Planning of time windows for end customers by a transport logistics provider
A German logistics service provider has developed a platform that allows customers of online stores to book an appointment for their delivery. Customers can choose from several 30-minute time windows. Every time a customer selects a specific time window, the system then automatically inserts this delivery into the plan and reoptimizes the current schedule. Then a vehicle will pick up the shipment from a local store or a hub and delivers it to the customer at the desired time.
Use Case description
The cargo usually comprises many small shipments consisting of parcels or additionally garments that are transported hanging.
The cargo usually consists of parcels and small parts. Garments are also transported hanging from Time to time. Orders are grouped together, taking account of the capacity of the vehicles.
The logistic service provider does not have its own fleet but works with contracted transport partners. These partners mainly use vans and transporters for both the collection of goods from the stores and depots, as well as for the delivery to the end customers.
Each driver has their own assigned vehicle to take home after their shift.
The logisitcs service provider receives orders via e-commerce platforms from partners such as mail or department stores or local retailers. These partners integrate the company's appointment booking system into the checkout of the order process of their online stores to offer their customers an improved delivery service.
The company receives its orders via e-commerce platforms from partners such as mail order companies, department stores or local retailers. These partners integrate the company's appointment booking system into the check-out of their online stores to offer their customers an improved delivery service.
The logistic service provider does not have any planners. The entire planning process is automated via the platform.
Pickup and Delivery Problem (VRPDP) without depots
Trips start and end at vehicle locations or drivers’ homes. Orders are picked up at designated shops, stores or hubs and delivered to the customer locations.
Continuous order revelation/ successive order entry
Orders are not known beforehand. They are disclosed during the planning process. After each order entry planning relevant decisions have to be taken.
The transportation service providers use mainly two different vehicle types, i.e. vans and transporters. The vehicles / vehicle types have different characteristics e.g. capacity, average speed, etc.
The trips are completed within one day. There are no overnight stays.
Customer time window
The dedicated business logic uses the VRP solver to generate delivery proposals. The customer picks the most suitable and the related time window is used for further optimization.
The logistics service provider assumes a fixed service time for pickup and delivery.