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Collection and Distribution Route Optimization

Collection and Distribution Route Optimization is the planning of routes for a fleet of vehicles to meet pickup and delivery requests of multiple locations. Basically, each order has a desired time-window (e.g. earliest start time and latest completion time), while each vehicle has different capacities (e.g. volume, weight, palette) which should be respected for feasibility. Classical routing solutions make simplified assumptions such as assuming a homogeneous fleet of vehicles, using birds-eye-view distances, and restricting the objective only on minimizing the distance traveled. Most of the business requirements (e.g. the orders of customer A and customer B should not be carried on the same vehicle) are not taken into account in the optimization explicitly and are left to the users for modifying the resulting plans. This, however, creates a domino effect where a modified route plan impacts all other vehicle routes and degrades the quality of solutions.

Our Solution

Sophisticated best-of-breed algorithms which are continuously enhanced by our Ph.D level algorithm experts to decide on:

  • Which vehicles should be used
  • Which orders are served in each vehicle and in what order
  • Expected service start and end times for each order

We do not only minimize the distance traveled, our solution:

  • Provides a flexible routing objective where you can combine fuel and personnel costs with rewards and penalties that arise from different assignments between customers-personnel, personnel-vehicle, vehicle-location, and customer-customer
  • Allows fixing part of the solution yourself and leave the rest to our optimizer
  • Quickly determines a feasible solution and lets you decide how much optimization you need on top of that by setting run time limits

We consider the following inputs:

  • Size of the orders (weight, volume, palette or another measure)
  • Type of the orders (pickup, delivery or visit)
  • Delivery, Pick-up or Visit time-windows (earliest available time, latest available time)
  • Geo-position of locations and distance/speed/time matrix between locations
  • Order-Vehicle Type constraints (e.g. temperature control)
  • Order-Order Type constraints (e.g. order of customer A and customer B can not be served together)
  • Vehicle-Location constraints (e.g. a large truck can not stop at a location in the city-center)
  • Vehicle capacities (weight, volume, palette or another measure)
  • Vehicle costs (e.g. fixed and variable costs of utilizing each vehicle)
  • Driver availability and costs, Driver-Vehicle and Driver-Order restrictions
  • Fixed assignments of orders to certain vehicles or personnel (i.e partially fixed routes)

No more manual adjustments; just put all your business objectives, costs, rules, priorities, partially-fixed routes, and leave the rest to our optimizer which will balance everything for you in seconds.

Please contact us for a demo