A network design model for multi-zone truckload shipments



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Texas A&M University


Truckload shipments constitute a significant portion of the freight transportation industry. In recent years, truckload industry is facing a serious problem of high driver turn over rate. In this research, we present a mathematical model for multi-zone dispatching method to solve this issue. Multi-zone dispatching is a method in which a service area is divided into many zones. Truckload within a zone is carried by local drivers and the truckload between zones is carried by lane drivers. Apart from reducing the driver tour length to a desirable level, the model for multi-zone also contains some unique constraints to address some issues from the perspectives of the company and the customer. The binary integer program is solved by exact methods. As the problem size increases, exact methods fail quickly. Hence, a construction heuristic within tabu search framework is developed to solve the model. Analysis of various parameters concerned is provided to gain better insights of varied aspects of the problem. Computational results for analysis of parameters and comparison of exact and heuristic methods are provided.