Algorithms for last-mile delivery problems

Algorithms for last-mile delivery problems


Operations Seminar by Diego Cattaruzza, Centrale Lille

May 2019,  Tuesday 21 (11:00 am) - N1 – 220

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E-commerce is a thriving market around the world and suits very well the busy lifestyle of today’s customers. In 2016 consumers in US were purchasing more things online than in stores. Meantime. This growing e-commerce poses a huge challenge for transportation companies, especially in the last mile delivery that hefty share in total parcel delivery cost often reaches or even exceeds 50%, making it a top concern for many companies. In order to gain a competitive advantage, companies are exploring creative and innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of the last mile delivery. Nowadays, the most common delivery service is home delivery. Customers wait at home to get their orders. Besides home delivery, companies like Amazon, Fedex, etc., develop locker delivery. When customers shop online, they can choose a nearby locker as a pickup location. In the recent two years, there is a new concept called trunk delivery that allows to deliver goods to the trunk of a car. Volvo launched its in-car delivery service in Sweden in 2016 which allows the owners of Volvo to choose their cars as delivery locations. What interests us is to combine all these delivery services and study an efficient last mile delivery system. The problem that arises in this context is a vehicle routing problem with synchronization characteristics since when the order is delivered to a customer’s car, it requires the simultaneous presence of the shipper and the car at the same location. In this seminar we will formally introduce the problem and the mathematical formulation. We then present the algorithms that we developed to tackle the problem and the results that we obtain on benchmark instances.

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