Vehicle routing with dynamic travel times: a queueing approach

T. van Woensel, L. KERBACHE, H. Peremans, N. Vandaele

European Journal of Operational Research

May 2008, vol. 186, n°3, pp.990-1007

Departments: Information Systems and Operations Management, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Transportation is an important component of supply chain competitiveness since it plays a major role in the inbound, inter-facility, and outbound logistics. In this context, assigning and scheduling vehicle routes is a crucial management problem. In this paper, a vehicle routing problem with dynamic travel times due to potential traffic congestion is considered. The approach developed introduces mainly the traffic congestion component based on queueing theory. This is an innovative modeling scheme to capture travel times. The queueing approach is compared with other approaches and its potential benefits are described and quantified. Moreover, the optimization of the starting times of a route at the distribution center is evaluated. Finally, the trade-off between solution quality and calculation time is discussed. Numerous test instances are used, both to illustrate the appropriateness of the approach as well as to show that time-independent solutions are often unrealistic within a congested traffic environment, which is usually the case on European road networks. Keywords: TABU SEARCH; EUCLIDEAN PLANE; ALGORITHMS; CAPACITY