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# Optimization of a Real-World Auto-Carrier

Transportation Problem

Outline

## 1 The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem

Motivation
Problem Description

2 Solution Algorithm
Outline of the Algorithm
Routing the Auto-Carriers

3 Computational Results

4 Conclusions

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 2 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Motivation

A real-world motivation

This work is devoted to the study of a real-world case derived from the
everyday activity of a logistic company, whose core business is to deliver
vehicles to dealers by means of a fleet of auto-carriers

Main activities:
from the manufacturers
usually by train
stock them in storage
areas
deliver them to the
dealers when ordered

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 3 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Motivation

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 4 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Motivation

## Auto-carriers are special trucks composed by a tractor and perhaps a

small platforms that allow the rotation of the vehicles
upper platforms that can be translated vertically and/or rotated
upper and lower platforms that can be extended in length

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 4 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Motivation

## The problem in a few words

We are given
an heterogeneous fleet of auto-carriers based at a central depot
a set of dealers each requiring a certain number of vehicles
Our aim is to
load the vehicles into the auto-carriers and route them along the road
network to serve all dealers with minimum routing cost
Split deliveries are allowed

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 5 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Problem Description

## a complete graph G = (N, E )

a set N = {0, . . . , n} of vertices
0 is the depot
{1, . . . , n} are the dealers
a routing cost cij associated with
each edge (i, j) E
a demand for each dealer i
consisting of a set Mi of vehicles

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 6 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Problem Description

## T different types of auto-carrier

Kt auto-carriers available for each type t (t = 1, . . . , T )
each type t has
a weight capacity

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 7 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Problem Description

## Input of the problem: Vehicles

Each vehicle k demanded by a dealer
has a weight
has a particular shape, two-dimensional to our scope
belongs to a model

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 8 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Problem Description

## We define a route by the triplet hR, S, ti:

R = (r1 , r2 , . . . ) is the sequence of dealers to be visited
Si Mi is the (sub)set of vehicles to be delivered to i
S = S1 S|R|
t is the auto-carrier type used in the route

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 9 / 26

The Auto-Carrier Transportation Problem Problem Description

## We define a route by the triplet hR, S, ti:

R = (r1 , r2 , . . . ) is the sequence of dealers to be visited
Si Mi is the (sub)set of vehicles to be delivered to i
S = S1 S|R|
t is the auto-carrier type used in the route

The A-CTP calls for the determination of a set of routes such that:
the demands of the dealers are completely fulfilled
at most Kt auto-carrier are used for each type t
the routing cost is minimum
each route hR, S, ti is load-feasible

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 9 / 26

Solution Algorithm Outline of the Algorithm

## Decomposition of the problem

We decompose the problem into its two main components

## Routing the auto-carriers

NP-hard
Iterated Local Search

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 10 / 26

Solution Algorithm Outline of the Algorithm

## Decomposition of the problem

We decompose the problem into its two main components

NP-hard NP-hard
Iterated Local Search Enumeration tree

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 10 / 26

We developed a three step procedure (check-load)
Step 1 (easy)
return infeasible if sum of vehicles weights greater than capacity

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 11 / 26

We developed a three step procedure (check-load)
Step 1 (easy)
return infeasible if sum of vehicles weights greater than capacity

## We define load-index dkt and fill-index ft as:

dkt = maximum number of vehicles k loaded on auto-carrier t
X 1
ft =
dkt
kS
Step 2 (easy)
if (ft > 1) return infeasible
else return feasible
if (ft 1.2) return infeasible
else execute Step 3 (difficult)
DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 11 / 26

## Each platform p (p = 1, . . . , Pt ) of auto-carrier t:

has a length Lpt and a possible extension Apt
has a platform h(p) placed side by side with it (e.g., h(1) = 2)
has a platform v (p) placed vertically above/below it (e.g., v (1) = 3)
has a set of LIFO precedence relations: p q (p precedes q) if

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 12 / 26

Each vehicle k:
belongs to a class c(k) according to its length, height and shape

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 13 / 26

Each vehicle k:
belongs to a class c(k) according to its length, height and shape
when loaded on platform p of auto-carrier t has an equivalent length
`kpt = (original length) (class reduction coefficient)

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 13 / 26

Each vehicle k:
belongs to a class c(k) according to its length, height and shape
when loaded on platform p of auto-carrier t has an equivalent length
`kpt = (original length) (class reduction coefficient)
has an equivalent vertical impact on v (p)
kv (p)t = (platform length) (vert. class reduction coefficient)

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 13 / 26


xkp =
0 otherwise

P
X
xkp = 1 k S (1)
p=1
X
(`kp xkp + kv (p) xkv (p) ) Lp + ap p = 1, . . . , P (2)
kS
xkp + xlq 1 p, q = 1, . . . , P : p q
k, l S : r (k) > r (l) (3)
ap + ah(p) A
e ph(p) p = 1, . . . , P (4)
0 ap Ap, p = 1, . . . , P (5)
xkp {0, 1} p = 1, . . . , P ; k S (6)

## We implemented an enumeration tree in which

Vehicles are loaded one at a time into platforms according to their
order of visit
At level k, we create nodes by assigning vehicle k to any platform in
which it can still be loaded
Tree is explored in a depth-first fashion
We use a fathoming criterion based on an aggregate continuous
estimation of total vehicle and platform lengths

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 15 / 26

Solution Algorithm Routing the Auto-Carriers

## input: An A-CTP instance I

output: The best solution found sbest

## sbest = Randomized Closest Neighbor(I )

repeat
s = Perturbation Method(sbest );
s 0 = Local Search(s);
if c(s 0 ) < c(sbest ) then
sbest = s 0
end-if
until time limit
return sbest

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 16 / 26

Solution Algorithm Routing the Auto-Carriers

Local Search
We use eight Local Search algorithms:
1 dealer-relocation
intra-route optimization
check-load must be invoked because of LIFO

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 17 / 26

Solution Algorithm Routing the Auto-Carriers

Local Search
We use eight Local Search algorithms:
1 dealer-relocation
2 1-0 dealer-move
3 1-1 dealer-swap
4 2-1 dealer-swap
inter-route optimizations
many calls to check-load hence need of a tailored implementation

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 17 / 26

Solution Algorithm Routing the Auto-Carriers

Local Search
We use eight Local Search algorithms:
1 dealer-relocation
2 1-0 dealer-move
3 1-1 dealer-swap
4 2-1 dealer-swap
5 1-1 model-swap
6 2-1 model-swap
inter-route optimizations
attempt smaller variations w.r.t. moves 24
only subsets of identical vehicles are swapped
useful when demands are large

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 17 / 26

Solution Algorithm Routing the Auto-Carriers

Local Search
We use eight Local Search algorithms:
1 dealer-relocation
2 1-0 dealer-move
3 1-1 dealer-swap
4 2-1 dealer-swap
5 1-1 model-swap
6 2-1 model-swap
7 auto-carrier interchange
exploits the heterogeneous fleet
move vehicles into more suitable auto-carriers
may decrease split deliveries but does not increase number of routes

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 17 / 26

Solution Algorithm Routing the Auto-Carriers

Local Search
We use eight Local Search algorithms:
1 dealer-relocation
2 1-0 dealer-move
3 1-1 dealer-swap
4 2-1 dealer-swap
5 1-1 model-swap
6 2-1 model-swap
7 auto-carrier interchange
attempt to decrease split deliveries by using one more route

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 17 / 26

Solution Algorithm Routing the Auto-Carriers

Perturbation Method

## We implemented a 4-step perturbation heuristic:

1 randomly select a dealer i
2 select all dealers within a given threshold from i
3 destroy all routes involving these dealers
4 complete partial solution with Randomized Closest Neighbor

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 18 / 26

Computational Results Instances and Settings

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 19 / 26

Computational Results Instances and Settings

## Benchmark Instances and Settings

More than 700 different models of vehicles
ILS tested on 23 instances of July 2009, one per working day
Instance size is quite large on average:
800 vehicles
200 dealers
2 auto-carrier types
80 auto-carriers used
A route contains on average
9.4 vehicles
From 1 to 6 stops to dealers
Real cost matrix computed with a GIS
Procedures coded in C++, run on a Pentium at 2.70 Ghz
ILS halted after 1500 CPU seconds

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 19 / 26

Computational Results Instances and Settings

## We compare the two procedures by testing them on all instances:

1 ILP model solved with CPLEX 12
2 tree enumeration with aggregate fathoming criterion (TE)

CPLEX 12 TE
obj. value (km) 44,180 43,667
# of best values (out of 23) 0 23
# of ILS iterations 58 3057

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 20 / 26

Computational Results Results

## ILS vs In-practice Solutions

Difficult to obtain a fair comparison
In-practice approach:
Routing: greedy heuristic based on clustering of dealers in areas
We execute our ILS and a version (ILS at 1.1) in which we use the

Logistic Company
ILS - Load feasible if ft 1.1
ILS
Jul-01

Jul-02

Jul-03

Jul-06

Jul-07

Jul-08

Jul-09

Jul-10

Jul-13

Jul-14

Jul-15

Jul-16

Jul-17

Jul-20

Jul-21

Jul-22

Jul-23

Jul-24

Jul-27

Jul-28

Jul-29

Jul-30

Jul-31
Improvement by ILS at 1.1 = 6%
Improvement by ILS = 12%, consistent on all instances
DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 21 / 26
Computational Results Results

## Iterated Local Search vs Multi-Start

We compare our ILS with a Multi-Start algorithm

ILS Multi-Start
obj. value (km) 43,667 44,067
# of best values 23 0
# of iterations 3057 2013
# of auto-carriers (nac ) 82.6 83.2
# of visits (nvis ) 240.0 239.5

%gap
1.60%
1.40%
1.20%
1.00%
0.80%
0.60%
0.40%
0.20%
0.00%

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 22 / 26

Computational Results Results

nac nvis km
No weight +0.1 +0.0 +0.03%
No LIFO 0.9 +2.3 0.73%

## DellAmico, Falavigna, Iori (DISMI) Auto-Carrier Transportation ROUTE 2011 23 / 26

Computational Results Results

## Split delivery impact

We penalize split deliveries by setting a penalty parameter (in km)

1.08

1.06 nvis
nac
1.04 km

1.02

1.00

0.98

0.96
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
(penalty parameter )

Conclusions

Conclusions

## We have some worth-noting contributions

ILS obtains important savings (about 5000 km per day!)

Conclusions

Conclusions

## We have some worth-noting contributions

ILS obtains important savings (about 5000 km per day!)

In our implementation it worsens the results
feature for the everyday activity of the company

Conclusions

Conclusions

## We have some worth-noting contributions

ILS obtains important savings (about 5000 km per day!)

In our implementation it worsens the results
feature for the everyday activity of the company

## What if the fleet is not large enough?

Not the case in our instances (big crisis on July 2009!) but frequent
Future research = dynamic multi-period A-CTP

Conclusions