This paper investigates the routing of pressurized tank trailers and proposes a scheduling plan which ensures the practical delivery of industrial gases under the objective of reducing transportation costs. Using constraint programming, we solve a combinatorial optimization problem that incorporates both hard and soft constraints for routing and scheduling tank trailers. Hard constraints are resource and safety/regulation constraints, whereas soft constraints are utilization and efficiency constraints. This approach enables tank-trailer routing and scheduling management to consider different combinations of parameters and view the results in 'real-time.' The routing and scheduling results based on a case study in Taiwan fulfil the goals of avoiding risks associated with transporting industrial gases, and attaining efficient delivery while conforming to regulations and consistent with good business practice. The results also suggest that significant economies in distribution costs are possible.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development