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Freight distribution problems in congested urban areas : fast and effective solution procedures to time-dependent vehicle routing problems
  • Published Date:
    2011-01-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-779.92 KB]


Details:
  • Publication/ Report Number:
    OTREC-RR-11-05
  • Resource Type:
  • Geographical Coverage:
  • OCLC Number:
    697280646
  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-FREIGHT-Trucking Industry ; NTL-FREIGHT-Freight Planning and Policy ; NTL-FREIGHT-FREIGHTNTL-OPERATIONS AND TRAFFIC CONTROLS-Traffic Control Devices ; NTL-OPERATIONS AND TRAFFIC CONTROLS-OPERATIONS AND TRAFFIC CONTROLS ; NTL-OPERATIONS AND TRAFFIC CONTROLS-Congestion ;
  • Format:
  • Abstract:
    Congestion is a common phenomenon in all medium to large cities of the world. Reliability of freight movement in urban areas is an important

    issue to manufacturing or service companies whose operation is based in just-in-time approaches. These companies tend to provide high value or

    time sensitive products/services. As congestion increases, carriers face increasing challenges to satisfy their time sensitive customers in an

    economical way. Route designs or schedules which require long computation times or ignore travel time variations will result in inefficient and

    suboptimal solutions. Poorly designed routes that lead freight vehicles into congested arteries and streets not only increases supply chain and

    logistics costs but also exacerbate externalities associated with freight traffic in urban areas such as greenhouse gases, air pollution, noise, and

    accidents.

    Whilst it is rarely possible to entirely avoid the impacts of congestion, it is feasible to schedule operations so that the effects of congestion are

    minimized. Better scheduling can be effectively supported by the advent of inexpensive and ubiquitous Information and Communication

    Technologies (ICT). The use of mobile phone technology and on-board routing devices allows fluid communication between truck drivers and

    fleet operators in real-time. In such a real time operation it becomes possible to dynamically reassign vehicles, including modifying the order in

    which customers are served and diverting a vehicle already en-route to service another customer. However, without fast routing methods that can

    take advantage of real time congestion information carriers cannot reap the benefits of real-time information.

    From the operational point of view, congestion creates a substantial variation in travel times during peak morning and evening hours. This is

    problematic for all vehicle routing models which rely on a constant value to represent vehicle speeds. And while the ubiquitous availability of real

    time traffic information allows drivers to reactively alter routes and customer service sequences to better cope with congestion, static routing

    models are unable to take advantage of these advances in real-time information provision in order to proactively find adequate routing solutions.

    In addition, changes in travel time caused by congestion cannot be accurately represented in static models.

    Research in time-dependent vehicle routing problem is comparatively meager and current solution methods are inadequate for practical carrier

    operations which need to provide fast solutions for medium to large instances. Even faster solution methods are essential to take advantage of real

    time information. The major aim of this proposal is to develop and evaluate new methods for vehicle routing in congested urban areas. The

    emphasis will be placed on improving the running time of the existing methods.

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