Our research work combining the fields of routing with multi-compartment vehicles and periodic delivery was accepted for publication in the European Journal of Operational Research (VHB-Journal: A). We are happy to announce that the Journal Pre-proof is already available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2020.12.033.
Grocery retailers usually apply repetitive weekly delivery patterns for the supply of their stores. Also, many grocery products require different temperature zones during storage and transportation. Therefore, they have to be transported in separate vehicles and it usually is not possible to coordinate deliveries across different temperature zones. In recent years, multi-compartment trucks have changed this and now allow for joint deliveries. The simultaneous delivery of multiple product segments impacts repetitive weekly delivery patterns as, for example, low volume segments can be delivered more frequently if they are transported together with high volume segments and transportation synergies can be exploited.
In this paper, we address the problem of defining delivery patterns for delivery with multi-compartment vehicles. After deriving decision-relevant costs in all logistic subsystems of the retailer, we define the novel Periodic Multi-Compartment Vehicle Routing Problem. We solve the model by an integrated framework that determines delivery patterns within an Adaptive Large Neighborhood Search. We analyze the impact of selecting delivery patterns across product segments considering scenarios with different segment numbers and volume distributions and show that joint planning generates cost savings of up to 15%. Beyond that we demonstrate the applicability and advantage of our approach in a case study with a large German grocery retailer, improving his current planning approach by about 8%.
Frank, M., Ostermeier, M., Holzapfel, A., Hübner, A., Kuhn, H. (2020): Optimizing routing and delivery patterns with multi-compartment vehicles, European Journal of Operational Research (VHB: A), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2020.12.033