Cross Chain Control Collaboration (4C)

Freight consolidation in networks with transshipments

Networks with transshipments facilitate the e_cient transportation of freight. The realization of high fill rates is essential to remain competitive as a carrier. We concentrate on operational order consolidation in networks with transshipments, such as intermodal networks. We introduce a k-shortest path matching algorithm to consolidate less-thantruckload orders in a dynamic setting. Based on an enumerative leg-expansion procedure, multiple high-quality routes are generated and stored for each order. For each incoming order, we aim to combine one of the k best routes for the order at hand with open orders that have been scheduled, but not yet delivered. We identify overlap in the utilized legs, thereby taking into account idle capacity, time restrictions, handling operations and characteristics of the various transport means. Based on these properties, we determine the combination of orders that yields the highest cost reduction. It is expected that good routes yield the best consolidation opportunities. We therefore only assess k routes per order for consolidation opportunities, as such limiting the size of the search space. The algorithm takes into account the time schedules and available capacity on all legs in the routes. Experiments on various virtual problem instances show cost savings up to 14%. Experiments using a data set of a leading logistics service provider based in the Netherlands show a 29% improvement in the average fill rate compared to the case where only the best routes are considered for consolidation purposes, achieving a cost reduction of 9% for the orders that were consolidated.

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