U. Ritzinger, B. Hu, H. Koller, M. Dragaschnig:
"Synchronizing Trucks and Trailers in a Multiresource Problem with Variable Neighborhood Search";
Transportation Research Record,
We consider a real-world container drayage problem, where containers are transported between an intermodal terminal, a container terminal and customer locations. We model the problem as a multi-resource routing problem (MRRP) including trucks, trailers and containers. Given a fleet of trucks and trailers, the goal is to utilize these resources most efficiently to complete a number of given orders. Orders consist of several tasks with time windows, such as picking up a container at the terminal, delivering it to a customer, and bringing the processed container back. A challenging aspect of this problem is the management of trailers, which are required to transport the containers. Here, the compatibility between container types and trailer types must be considered. Thus, the decision which trailer should be attached to which truck depends on the containers which must be transported, on the day the availability of trailers, and the toll costs of the truck and trail combination on the highways.
In this paper, we present an efficient way to model this problem and propose a metaheuristic approach based on variable neighborhood search. It uses a compact solution representation and tailored neighborhood structures in order to reduce the search space. Classical MRRP neighborhood structures, as well as problem specific ones are used in combination and contribute to the overall success. Results show that the given real-world problem can be solved efficiently and it can be shown that with proper planning the utilization of the resources can be increased.
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