OR Spectrum

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 787–808 | Cite as

Heuristic-based truck scheduling for inland container transportation

Regular Article


A truck scheduling problem for container transportation in a local area with multiple depots and multiple terminals including containers as a resource for transportation is addressed. Four types of movements of containers as inbound full, outbound full, inbound empty and outbound empty movements as well as the time windows at both the origin and the destination are considered. The total operating time of all trucks in operation is taken as the optimization criterion that has to be minimized. The problem is mathematically modeled based on a preparative graph formulation and falls into an extension of the multiple traveling salesman problem with time windows (m-TSPTW). The window partition based solution method for the m-TSPTW in Wang and Regan (Transp Res Part B: Methodol 36:97–112, 2002) is modified so that its computation time is reduced greatly. The experiments based on a number of randomly generated instances indicate that the modified method is quite fast and the quality of solutions is relatively high for the m-TSPTW. These experiments also demonstrate that our approach is able to generate high-quality results for the equivalent truck scheduling and inland container movement problem in container drayage operations.


Container transportation Traveling salesman problem (TSP) Time window Heuristics Container drayage operation Container as a resource in transportation planning 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Systems EngineeringNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.Department of Industrial EngineeringPusan National UniversityBusanKorea
  3. 3.Faculty of Business Studies and EconomicsChair of Logistics, University of BremenBremenGermany

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