Airfreight forwarder shipment planning: A mixed 0-1 model and managerial issues in the integration and consolidation of shipments
The planning and management of air cargo logistics is a complex endeavor, involving collaboration of multiple logistics agents to deliver shipments timely, safely and economically. Airfreight forwarders are third-party brokers/operators who coordinate and manage cargo shipments for their clients. It is important for a forwarder to develop a shipment plan to evaluate the possible integrations and consolidations, to assess whether shipments can meet their respective target delivery dates, and to estimate the amount of costs involved. In this paper, we formulate a forwarder's shipment planning problem as a mixed 0-1 LP. Effects of integration and consolidation - on the timely delivery of shipments during any phase of the shipping process - are explicitly addressed. A forwarder's in-house capacity, as well as the available capacity of its partners and sub-contracting agents, are incorporated. We also consider the target cost for a shipment. Based on the special characteristics of the model, we design a customized tabu-search algorithm. We also provide an illustrative case to examine several managerial issues.
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