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Efficient metaheuristics to solve the intermodal terminal location problem

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  • SÖRENSEN, Kenneth
  • VANOVERMEIRE, Christine
  • BUSSCHAERT, Sylvie
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    Abstract

    Determining the optimal number and location of intermodal transshipment terminals is a decision that strongly influences the viability of the intermodal transportation alternative. In this paper, we develop a model and an optimization method that provides policy makers with a tool to help them take these decisions. The objective of the terminal location problem described in this paper is to determine which of a set of potential terminal locations to use and which not and how to route the supply and demand of a set of customers (representing zones of supply and demand) through the network (by both uni- and intermodal transport) so as to minimize the total cost. We develop two different metaheuristic procedures that both consist of two phases: a solution construction phase and a solution improvement phase. The first metaheuristic constructs solutions using a GRASP procedure, the second one uses the relatively unknown attribute based hill climber (ABHC) heuristic. Innovative in our approach is the integration of a fast heuristic procedure to approximate the total cost given the set of open terminals. Both metaheuristics are compared to the results of an MIP solver. A thorough performance assessment uncovers that both metaheuristics generate close-to-optimal solutions in very short computing times. An argument in favor of the ABHC approach is that it is parameter-free and hence more transparent and likely to be accepted in a business or policy environment.

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    File URL: https://www.uantwerpen.be/images/uantwerpen/container1244/files/TEW%20-%20Onderzoek/Working%20Papers/RPS/2012/RPS-2012-001.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012001.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2012001

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    Postal: Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerpen
    Web page: https://www.uantwerp.be/en/faculties/applied-economic-sciences/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Intermodal transportation; Terminal location; Metaheuristics;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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