Transportation planning in freight forwarding companies: Tabu search algorithm for the integrated operational transportation planning problem
The integrated operational transportation planning problem extends the traditional vehicle routing and scheduling problem by the possibility of outsourcing a part of the requests by involving subcontractors. The purpose of this paper is to present the integrated planning problem and to propose an approach for solving it by a tabu search heuristic. Existing approaches from literature which discuss vehicle routing combined with outsourcing regard only one specific type of subcontracting. This paper describes and explores the complex situation where an own fleet and several types of subcontracting are used for request fulfillment. As the approach contains new aspects, unknown to the literature so far, tabu search is extended to special types of moves. On the basis of computational results the cost structure is analyzed in order to investigate the long-term planning question whether and to what extend it is profitable to maintain an own fleet.
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