Optimising the Provision of Urban Freight Transport — the Operator
In considering the optimisation of the provision of urban freight transport from the point of view of the transport operator, the first point which must be established is what is meant, exactly, by optimisation in the present context. If freight transport is taken as a derived demand, such that the size of the whole market cannot be extended to any significant extent by the direct action of the transport operators, then optimisation can effectively be regarded as synonymous with cost-minimisation. The aim of the operator, whatever the nature of the service which he provides, will be to provide it at the lowest possible cost. It is, however, most important to recall the findings on operating costs which were outlined in Section 3.2. Cost-minimisation should not be seen necessarily as a straightforward exercise in taking a consignment of freight from A to B at the lowest cost in purely monetary terms. The form of cost-minimisation which takes place in practice may well be highly constrained by quality-of-service requirements imposed from outside the immediate transport sector. It may also have to take into account any interdependence which exists between ‘pure’ costs of movement and other related costs such as the cost of loss and damage, interest forgone on the capital value of goods in transit, etc.
KeywordsTravel Salesman Problem Freight Transport Physical Distribution Fleet Size Depot Location
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.