Efficient combination of routing and loading capacity optimisation

The project consortium

The research project EfficientLoad is initiated by the TüV Rhineland and financed by BMWi. Fraunhofer IML is involved in the project as well as M-Real Corporation, GEFCO Deutschland GmbH, VCE Verkehrslogistik GmbH and PSI Logistics GmbH.     

Research Task

The loading of a vehicle currently depends on the outcome of strategic route planning and with respect to the scheduling, largely on the skills of the dispatchers. The project EfficientLoad is designed to develop innovative methods, which perform an optimisation of vehicle occupancy in transportation of goods by an intelligent interlinking of loading space optimisation and route planning algorithms. These methods are designed to produce practical solutions.      

Approach

The fundamental idea is that the load factor can have a negative impact on the journey which in turn result in suboptimal route planning. The integration of both procedures allows determination of the best possible outcomes, which in turn provides an optimal solution for practical use. Regarding the integration, existing methods of tour planning and algorithms for loading space optimisation have to be analysed, adapted and configured into one overall procedure for the approach. The parameters of both methods have to be known and taken into consideration.  

Results

A variable method to combine route planning and loading space optimisation can be realised by means of the project; it will be achieved by on the ground trials at participating companies. On completion of the project, it will be available to all interested branches. Its precise working method allows it to be configured to supply optimal solutions for different scenarios continually.

What companies say about EfficientLoad:

Ralf Weske, Expert for transport solutions, Bayer Business Services:

This project minimises the fleet capacity and with it the kilometres on the road. Increasing demands on quick disposition of orders and frequent delivery of partial loads and bulk goods to clients would cause an increasing use of vehicles and additional journeys, if the planning of transport was not adjusted. Our approach is a counterstrategy which prevents the increase of mileage as well as a reduction of the current transport capacity.