A Hybrid Algorithm for Vehicle Routing of Less-Than-Truckload Carriers
In this paper we address a variant of the vehicle routing problem faced by less-than-truckload carriers in Europe. As a consequence of globalization and increasing customer expectations, medium-sized less-than truckload carriers operate together in cooperations. Each cooperative member faces a multitude of requirements when constructing a low-cost, feasible set of routes. Among other aspects heterogeneous vehicles, time windows, simultaneous delivery and pick-up at customer locations, and multiple use of vehicles have to be considered. After the determination of an adequate set of routes, the vehicles must be assigned to loading bays at the depot at which the loading and unloading activities can occur.We present a vehicle routing model which integrates the real-life vehicle routing problem and the assignment problem of vehicles to loading bays at the depot. The proposed solution heuristic combines a multi-start and a local search procedure. Using a set of suitable benchmark instances, we assess the performance of the proposed method.
KeywordsFreight-handling Less-than-truckload carriers Vehicle routing
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