University of Twente Student Theses


The Vehicle Routing Problem With Drop Yards: A Dynamic Programming Approach

Steeman, Quirijn (2012) The Vehicle Routing Problem With Drop Yards: A Dynamic Programming Approach.

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Abstract:Transportation companies deliver goods to customers. Their goal is to do that as efficiently as possible. To do this, they can, for example, minimize the distance traveled by their vehicles. They do this by assigning the loads to the vehicles and creating routes for the vehicles in an efficient way. The problem of assigning loads to vehicles and creating optimal routes is called the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP). The standard VRP consists of several customers, which all have a demand and a location. Further, there is a fleet of vehicles that has to fulfill the demand of the customers and all vehicles start their routes from the depot. In general, the vehicles are specified as units that hold limited capacity to carry load. However, in some countries, companies can use large vehicles consisting of a pulling vehicle and multiple trailers. These vehicle combinations are sometimes too large to visit the customer locations. For this reason, trailers have to be decoupled to enable the vehicle to serve these customers. This decoupling happens on so called drop yards. In the literature, the VRP is extensively described and many solution approaches are suggested. In most of the problems, the vehicle is modeled as a single unit and the use of drop yards is not supported. There are some authors that describe problems, such as the Truck and Trailer Problem, that includes the use of vehicles that consist of two parts, a truck and a trailer. In these problems, the trailer can be parked at customer locations, to enable the truck to deliver goods to other customers, but they make no use of dedicated drop yards. The objective of this research is to incorporate the use of drop yards in the VRP. Additionally, we propose a method to solve this new Vehicle Routing Problem with Drop Yards (VRPDY).
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management MSc (60029)
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