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A GRASP algorithm for multi container loading problems with practical constraints

  • M. T. AlonsoEmail author
  • R. Alvarez-Valdes
  • F. Parreño
Research Paper
  • 19 Downloads

Abstract

We consider the multicontainer loading problem of a company that has to serve its customers by first putting the products on pallets and then loading pallets onto trucks. When a large number of units of a product have to be shipped, the company requires that homogeneous pallets, with only one product, are built first, then weakly heterogeneous pallets, in which each layer corresponds to a single product, and finally strongly heterogeneous pallets with the remaining units of the products. To be useful in practice, the solutions have to satisfy five types of constraints: geometric constraints, so that pallets are completely inside the trucks and do not overlap; weight constraints, limiting the total weight a truck can bear and the maximum weight supported by each axle; constraints limiting the position of the centre of gravity of the cargo; dynamic stability constraints, to avoid cargo displacement when the truck is moving; and constraints ensuring that the delivery dates of products are respected. We have developed a Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure, including some improvement methods tailored to the problem, among them an adaptation of ejection chains. The approach has been tested on a benchmark of real problems and it has been shown to be capable of finding high-quality, realistic solutions in short computing times. We also provide a comparison with an integer programming formulation that justifies the use of a metaheuristic algorithm.

Keywords

Container loading Optimization Heuristics algorithm GRASP 

Mathematics Subject Classification

90B06 (Transportation and logistics) 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study has been partially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology DPI2014-53665-P and by Consejeria de Educacion y Ciencia, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha SBPLY/17/180501/000282.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain
  2. 2.Department of Statistics and Operations ResearchUniversity of ValenciaBurjassot, ValenciaSpain

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