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Assessment of Telecommunication-Supported Dynamic Vehicle Routing Strategies

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We describe the application of a simulation model in the domain of dynamic vehicle routing. This model allows for the assessment of optimization potentials in terms of distance, cost and energy savings. Telecommunication between trucks and their central dispatchers has made it possible to react to short-term orders and traffic disturbances. Therefore it is advantageous to go from a static to a dynamic strategy of vehicle route planning. Then a company must ask how to deal with orders coming in on short notice and what consequences different strategies to handle these orders have on the length of distances driven and the utilization of trucks. Our simulation model is able to answer this question using a sample of the data from one trucking company for its specific situation. All constraints relevant in practice are used in the form of corresponding parameters such as different capacity limits of vehicles, the number of vehicles, drivers’ working times, etc. An additional parameter makes it possible to vary hypothetically (0-100%) the percentage of orders considered “dynamic”, i.e. the ones that have to be integrated into truck routes that are already proceeding. In this way the relative value of different strategies to solve an instance of the Dynamic Vehicle Routing Problem (DVRP) can be simulated given different dynamic shares. Important output variables include the sum of distances driven, the associated costs for the company and the environmental impact. Our model was used to study a Swiss trucking company as an example. It became apparent that the dynamic share influences the total distance driven very differently depending on the strategy chosen.


Hilty, Lorenz M.; Rogger, André J.; Hartmann, Frank A. (2003): Assessment of Telecommunication-Supported Dynamic Vehicle Routing Strategies. The Information Society and Enlargement of the European Union. Marburg: Metropolis. Environmental Management - Logistics. Cottbus. 2003