The problem addressed in this paper-the linehaul-feeder vehicle routing problem with virtual depots (LFVRP-VD)-can be regarded as an extension of the vehicle routing problem. During delivery operation, one large vehicle departs from the physical depot (PD) and services all virtual depots (VDs). A set of small vehicles delivers to customers and, if necessary, reloads either from the PD or from the large vehicle at a VD before continuing work. The objective of the operation is to minimize the total travel and waiting costs for all vehicles. Two heuristics that embed the cost-sharing method and the threshold method are proposed for initial solution construction. Seventeen test problems are extensively examined. The results show that the cost-sharing method outperforms the threshold method in terms of several selected performance measures. In addition, the more candidates available a VD can choose, the better the obtained objective value.
|Number of pages
|IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
|Published - Oct 2011
- Cost-sharing method
- threshold method
- vehicle routing problem (VRP)
- virtual depot (VD)