Modelling and solution approaches for the interconnected city logistics
Imen Ben Mohamed (),
Jean-Christophe Deschamps and
Mohamed Zied Babai
International Journal of Production Research, 2017, vol. 55, issue 9, 2664-2684
Achieving a sustainable delivery of goods in urban areas has become a challenging task for service providers and logistics managers. Under this context, the physical internet (PI) Manifesto offers through its emergent concept of interconnected city logistics (ICL) a solution toward a more sustainable transportation of PI containers within cities. In this article, we explore the operational urban transportation problem of PI containers under ICL considerations. For this variant, built on the multiplicity of urban logistics centres and their interconnection, a comprehensive modelling approach is proposed to include key features such as multiple time periods, multi-zone urban coverage, heterogeneous fleets, multi-trip and multi-hub pickups, and delivery constraints. In order to deal with solvability issues encountered with realistic instances of the problem, a heuristic solution approach is developed. This is done with the objective to come up with solutions offering the best trade-offs between economic and ecological attributes within a short computational time. To validate the approach, a realistic set of instances is built with data inspired from city freight movements in an urban area in France. Using these experiments, the solvability of the model and the performance of our heuristic approach are discussed and managerial insights are derived.
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