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Type: Journal article
Title: Combining vehicle routing and packing for optimal delivery schedules of water tanks
Author: Stolk, J.
Mann, I.
Mohais, A.
Michalewicz, Z.
Citation: OR Insight, 2013; 26(3):167-190
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0953-5543
Statement of
Jacob Stolk, Isaac Mann, Arvind Mohais and Zbigniew Michalewicz
Abstract: This article describes a decision-support system that was developed in 2011 and is currently in production use. The purpose of the system is to assist planners in constructing delivery schedules of water tanks to often remote areas in Australia. A delivery schedule consists of a number of delivery trips by trucks. An optimal delivery schedule minimises cost to deliver a given total sales value of delivered products. To construct an optimal delivery schedule, trucks need to be optimally packed with water tanks and accessories to be delivered to a set of delivery locations. This packing problem, which involves many packing and loading constraints, is intertwined with the transport problem of minimising distance travelled by road. Such a decision-support system that optimises multi-component operational problems is of great importance for an organisation; it supports what-if analysis for operational and strategic decisions and trade-off analysis to handle multi-objective optimisation problems; it is capable of handling and analysing variances; it is easy to modify – constraints, business rules, and various assumptions can be re-configured by a client. Construction of such decision-support systems requires the use of heuristic methods rather than linear/integer programming.
Keywords: Optimisation; clustering; vehicle routing; packing; shortest path
Rights: © 2013 Operational Research Society Ltd
DOI: 10.1057/ori.2013.1
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