Vehicle and Commodity Flow Synchronization

  • Jörn SchönbergerEmail author
  • Herbert Kopfer
  • Bernd-Ludwig WenningEmail author
  • Henning RekersbrinkEmail author
Conference paper


Network freight ow consolidation organizes the commodity ow with special attention to the minimization of the ow costs but the efficiency of transport resources is not addressed. In contrast, vehicle routing targets primarily the maximization of the efficiency of transport resources but the commodity-related preferences are treated as inferior requirements. This article is about the problem of synchronizing simultaneously the use of vehicles and the ow of commodities in a given transport network. Section 2 introduces the investigated scenario. Section 3 proposes a multi-commodity network ow model for the representation of the ow synchronization problem and Section 4 presents results from numerical experiments. Related and Previous Work. The synchronization of ows along independently determined paths in a network is investigated under the term multi-commodity network ow problem [3]. While most of the contributions aim at minimizing the sum of travel length (or similar objectives) only little work has been published on the assignment of commodity path parts to transport resources with intermediate resource change [1, 2].


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  1. 1.
    Borndörfer R, Grötschel M, Pfetsch ME (2004) Models for Line Planning in Public Transport. ZIB-Report 04–10, BerlinGoogle Scholar
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    Pickl S, Mues C. (2005) Transhipment and Time-WIndows in Vehicle Routing. In: Proceedings of International Symposium of Parrallel Architectures, Algorithms and NetworksGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Assad AA (1978) Multicommodity Network Flow – A Survey Networks 8:37–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of LogisticsUniversity of BremenBremen
  2. 2.Communication NetworksUniversity of BremenBremen
  3. 3.BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbHUniversity of BremenBremen

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