13

The answer to this question is quite complicated. There are two main types of vehicle routing problems, the offline and the online problem. Solving the offline problem takes longer and is used to make planning-level decisions. The online problem is solved as real-time information comes in, and tells us what to do at the low level (as in which vehicle should ...


9

One common $c(x)$ function is a "cost per distance unit (mile/km)" like $2/mile, which is just distance-dependent. My 2 cents for more realistic cost functions: For distance-dependent costs: Use a different distance function. If you are using linear distance (Euclidean or Manhattan), replace it with a better approximation like Haversine distance ...


7

If there is one book to know about VRPs, it is: "Vehicle Routing: Problems, Methods, and Applications, Second Edition" (Paolo Toth and Daniele Vigo, 2014)


7

I am a researcher in vehicle routing, and my answer is based on my experience as a researcher, conversations with practitioners and consultants, and seminars and conference talks I have attended. You make a very interesting observation: solving VRP's to optimality is currently only possible for hundreds of customers, while problems in practice are ...


6

In my experience, there are two types of logistics modeling questions that require truck transportation costs. In the first, a shipper will operate a fleet of its own vehicles and would like to estimate costs. In such cases, it is usually important to model both fixed costs of using additional vehicles and the variable costs of operating vehicles (which ...


5

Talking about real use in logistics, I suggest reading about the UPS ORION project. Not many details, but it provides an example of a real system dealing with this kind of problem.


4

In my experience when solving Vehicle Routing with time windows in the industry, with one case handling 50 000+ vehicles and 100 000+ visits per day as well as many other cases with lower numbers, all running in production, I notice that: The problem is often (un)naturally partitioned, due to Conway's law. In the 50K+ vehicles case, each vehicle and visit ...


3

I make a commercial vehicle routing solver for both dynamic and static problems (see https://odllive.com), and so I can offer a bit of industry insight into this question. Using heuristics, metaheuristics including things like clever splitting of the problem, you can get to much larger problem sizes. This doesn't mean of-course that you're getting optimal ...


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