This exercise introduces an important topic in the operations and supply chain management – distribution problem. Essentially, it deals with a problem where you need to match the supply and demand with the least transportation cost.
To understand the impact of this kind of approach in the real world, please refer to the following talk by Jack Levis, the guy who led the optimization effort in UPS.
More detailed information about the UPS ORION is published by the team here:
Holland, C., Levis, J., Nuggehalli, R., Santilli, B., & Winters, J. (2017). UPS optimizes delivery routes. Interfaces, 47(1), 8-23. https://doi.org/10.1287/inte.2016.0875