Transport priority planning is a feature for users to specify strong preferences for which transport should be planned if not all transports can be served by the fleet.
By providing transport priorities the user can specify which transport is more important to plan than others. Possible scenarios that can be modelled by transport priorities:
- Premium transport
Premium transport must be served as fast as possible and get a higher priority than non-premium transport. Therefore, premium transport is more likely to be served in the current planning.
- Continuous daily planning
In continuous daily planning, it may happen that every transport must be served within 4 days upon receipt. When planning for the next day, transport which was not yet served in the last 3 days must be served the next day. Those transport get the highest priority. The next priority is given to transport which must be served in the next 2 days and so on.
How to use transport priorities
- If the global field considerTransportPriorities is set, the transport priorities will be considered in an optimisation. In this case, the priorities will always be considered even if a lot of lower prioritised transports could be planned by removing one higher prioritised transport from the plan.
- If the global field is set, each transport must have a priority set, otherwise, an exception is thrown. 0 is the lowest priority, and 9 is the highest.
- The transport priorities will only have an impact on the result if multiple distinct priorities are used.
The example contains 4 transport:
- Transport 1 is the least important transport with priority 0
- Transport 2 and Transport 3 have priority 1
- Transport 4 is the most important transport with priority 2
In this example, you can either plan transport 4 or transport 2 and transport 3.
A proper result of optimisation without considering transport priorities would be to plan transport 1-3 in a route and to leave transport 4 unplanned.
However, transport 4 is the most important transport, the result of optimisation with field considerTransportPriorities to considering transport priorities would be to plan transport 1 and transport 4 in a route and to leave transport 2 and transport 3 unplanned.
Note: Priority planning can increase the number of unplanned transports in order to plan higher prioritized transports.
Generally, the computational effort is higher when using transport priorities, since the flow of the algorithm is different. Therefore we name this algorithm priority planning.
The priority planning will first check whether every transport can be planned without considering transport priorities. If this is the case, the calculation will not take longer. However, if there are some unplanned transports, the solution is found iteratively and this will take more computation time than planning without transport priorities.
Transport in the input routes always remains planned after automatic planning. I.e., if a high-prioritised transport can only be planned by removing a low-prioritised transport of the input routes, this high-prioritised transport will remain unplanned. If you want to avoid this, first delete some low-prioritised transports from the input routes.
Note: There are no violations concerning transport priorities and the input routes may contain less prioritized transports even though higher prioritised transport is unplanned.