How Air Liquide solves inventory routing problems in minutes with Hexaly

Air Liquide is a French multinational company that supplies industrial gases and services to various industries, including medical, chemical, and electronic manufacturers. Founded in 1902, it is the second-largest supplier of industrial gases by revenue and has operations in over 80 countries. Relying on Hexaly Optimizer, Air Liquide solves large-scale Inventory Routing Problems in minutes, making bulk gas transportation greener and cheaper.

Inventory routing problem

Air Liquide’s trucks travel 1 million kilometers daily to deliver liquid gases to their customers worldwide. Every day, 4,000 drivers, 250 dispatchers, and 50 business leaders work hand in hand to guarantee that their customers receive the right products safely and on time. To optimize and digitalize the bulk supply chain, Air Liquide developed an inventory routing software, Bulk Trip Assist (BTA), based on Hexaly Optimizer, to plan more efficient deliveries of bulk cryogenic liquids to customers over a 5-day horizon.


Bulk Trip Assist aims to standardize the logistics analyst’s approach to scheduling bulk deliveries using an interactive tool based on Hexaly Optimizer. The tool assists them in optimizing the vehicle routing (minimizing kilometers) and inventory routing (maximizing kg/km) aspects of their delivery plans while respecting business rules and constraints. After validating Hexaly’s performance on the vehicle routing aspects of their problem in a proof-of-concept stage, Air Liquide’s team chose to go through with the small-scale industrialization of the tool. Hexaly now helps them solve their whole inventory routing problems, maximizing the weight of product transported per kilometer driven. Interactivity features also allow logistics analysts more flexibility in planning shifts. Indeed, the analysts remain the final decision makers, using the tool to support their work.


Environmental benefitsFinancial benefits
5 minutes of running time on a 2.7GHz server
7% decrease in the annual traveled distance
1.7 kgCO2e/km decrease for each delivery trip
Payback in 6 months for small-scale industrialization
$1M savings/year with small-scale industrialization

For more information on the Bulk Trip Assist project, look at the magazine published by Air Liquide here.