Congestion avoidance: optimization of vehicle routing planning for the logistics industry

Managing a fleet of vehicles is a challenging but crucial task for companies distributing goods to customers. They need to determine which customers to visit, the best order to visit these customers and how to assign the customers to the available vehicles. Moreover, they have to take into account congestion issues: the travel times between two customers will vary significantly during the day. The vehicles should try to avoid the busiest areas and roads during rush hour. This problem of optimizing the schedule for a fleet of vehicles can be modeled by the time-dependent orienteering problem.

The goal of this research is to develop efficient solution methods to solve these time dependent orienteering problems in real time (only a few seconds). Until now, very little fundamental research is carried out on time dependent routing problems. Firstly, we want to achieve profound insights in the consequences of dealing with time dependent travel times. Secondly, we want to exploit this knowledge to develop state-of-the-art solution methods for these problems. These solution methods will be tested and analyzed using benchmark instances. Finally, more realistic, and therefore more complex, variants of the basic problem will be studied, for instance, taking into account opening hours of customers and capacity limitations of the vehicles.

C├ędric Verbeeck
  • El-Houssaine Aghezzaf
Aug. 9, 2016, 3:58 p.m.
Research group