Heuristics for the routing of trucks with double container loads

Authors Michela Lai, Massimo Di Francesco, Paola Zuddas

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Michela Lai
Massimo Di Francesco
Paola Zuddas

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Michela Lai, Massimo Di Francesco, and Paola Zuddas. Heuristics for the routing of trucks with double container loads. In 3rd Student Conference on Operational Research. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 22, pp. 84-93, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2012)


This research addresses a problem motivated by a real case study. A carrier must plan the routes of trucks in order to serve importers and exporters. What is original in this vehicle routing problem is the impossibility to separate trucks and containers during customer service and the opportunity to carry up to two containers per truck. Customers may demand more than one container and may be visited more than once. Moreover, according to the carrier’s policy, importers must be served before exporters. In order to address this Vehicle Routing Problem with backhaul and splits, a linear integer programming model is proposed. This research aims to show to what extent an exact algorithm of a state of the art solver can be used to solve this model. Moreover, since some instances are too difficult to solve for the exact algorithm, a number of heuristics is proposed and compared to this algorithm. Finally, the heuristics are compared to the real decisions of the carrier who has motivated this problem.
  • Split Vehicle Routing Problem
  • Backhaul
  • Drayage
  • Container transportation
  • Heuristics


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