Optimizing Departure Times in Vehicle Routes

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Most solution methods for the vehicle routing problem with time windows (VRPTW) develop routes from the earliest feasible departure time. In practice, however, temporary traffic congestion make such solutions non-optimal with respect to minimizing the total duty time. Furthermore, the VRPTW does not account for driving hours regulations, which restrict the available travel time for truck drivers. To deal with these problems, we consider the vehicle departure time optimization (VDO) problem as a post-processing of a VRPTW. We propose an ILP formulation that minimizes the total duty time. The results of a case study indicate that duty time reductions of 15% can be achieved. Furthermore, computational experiments on VRPTW benchmarks indicate that ignoring traffic congestion or driving hours regulations leads to practically infeasible solutions. Therefore, new vehicle routing methods should be developed that account for these common restrictions. We propose an integrated approach based on classical insertion heuristics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-587
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean journal of operational research
Issue number201
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • IR-76949
  • METIS-269362

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