IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

An investigation into the vehicle routing problem with time windows and link capacity constraints


  • Ma, Hong
  • Cheang, Brenda
  • Lim, Andrew
  • Zhang, Lei
  • Zhu, Yi


In this work, we investigate a new, yet practical, variant of the vehicle routing problem called the vehicle routing problem with time windows and link capacity constraints (VRPTWLC). The problem considers new constraints imposed on road links with regard to vehicle passing tonnage, which is motivated by a business project with a Hong Kong transportation company that transports hazardous materials (hazmats) across the city and between Hong Kong and mainland China. In order to solve this computationally challenging problem, we develop a tabu search heuristic with an adaptive penalty mechanism (TSAP) to help manage the company's vehicle fleet. A new data set and its generation scheme are also presented to help validate our solutions. Extensive computational experiments are conducted, showing the effectiveness of the proposed solution approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Ma, Hong & Cheang, Brenda & Lim, Andrew & Zhang, Lei & Zhu, Yi, 2012. "An investigation into the vehicle routing problem with time windows and link capacity constraints," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 336-347.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:40:y:2012:i:3:p:336-347
    DOI: 10.1016/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wang, Xiubin & Regan, Amelia C., 2002. "Local truckload pickup and delivery with hard time window constraints," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 97-112, February.
    2. Zografos, Konstantinos G. & Androutsopoulos, Konstantinos N., 2004. "A heuristic algorithm for solving hazardous materials distribution problems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 152(2), pages 507-519, January.
    3. Ioannou, George & Kritikos, Manolis & Prastacos, Gregory, 2003. "A problem generator-solver heuristic for vehicle routing with soft time windows," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 41-53, February.
    4. Rodrigo Garrido, 2008. "Road Pricing for Hazardous Materials Transportation in Urban Networks," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 273-285, September.
    5. Anken, F. & Beasley, J.E., 2012. "Corporate structure optimisation for multinational companies," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 230-243, April.
    6. Li, Haibing & Lim, Andrew, 2003. "Local search with annealing-like restarts to solve the VRPTW," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 115-127, October.
    7. Jacobson, Sheldon H. & McLay, Laura A., 2009. "Applying statistical tests to empirically compare tabu search parameters for MAX 3-SATISFIABILITY: A case study," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 522-534, June.
    8. John P. Norback & Robert F. Love, 1977. "Geometric Approaches to Solving the Traveling Salesman Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(11), pages 1208-1223, July.
    9. Grabowski, Jøzef & Pempera, Jaroslaw, 2007. "The permutation flow shop problem with blocking. A tabu search approach," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 302-311, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lai, David S.W. & Caliskan Demirag, Ozgun & Leung, Janny M.Y., 2016. "A tabu search heuristic for the heterogeneous vehicle routing problem on a multigraph," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 32-52.
    2. repec:eee:jomega:v:70:y:2017:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zhang, Zhenzhen & Liu, Mengyang & Lim, Andrew, 2015. "A memetic algorithm for the patient transportation problem," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 60-71.
    4. Liu, Ran & Xie, Xiaolan & Garaix, Thierry, 2014. "Hybridization of tabu search with feasible and infeasible local searches for periodic home health care logistics," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 17-32.
    5. repec:eee:jomega:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:50-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Qian, Fubin & Strusevich, Vitaly & Gribkovskaia, Irina & Halskau, Øyvind, 2015. "Minimization of passenger takeoff and landing risk in offshore helicopter transportation: Models, approaches and analysis," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 93-106.
    7. Ke, Liangjun & Zhai, Laipeng & Li, Jing & Chan, Felix T.S., 2016. "Pareto mimic algorithm: An approach to the team orienteering problem," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 155-166.
    8. repec:eee:jomega:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:96-117 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:40:y:2012:i:3:p:336-347. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.