The split delivery vehicle routing problem with three-dimensional loading constraints
The Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem with three-dimensional loading constraints (3L-SDVRP) combines vehicle routing and three-dimensional loading with additional packing constraints. In the 3L-SDVRP splitting deliveries of customers is basically possible, i.e. a customer can be visited in two or more tours. We examine essential problem features and introduce two problem variants. In the first variant, called 3L-SDVRP with forced splitting, a delivery is only split if the demand of a customer cannot be transported by a single vehicle. In the second variant, termed 3L-SDVRP with optional splitting, splitting customer deliveries can be done any number of times. We propose a hybrid algorithm consisting of a local search algorithm for routing and a genetic algorithm and several construction heuristics for packing. Numerical experiments are conducted using three sets of instances with both industrial and academic origins. One of them was provided by an automotive logistics company in Shanghai; in this case some customers per instance have a total freight volume larger than the loading space of a vehicle. The results prove that splitting deliveries can be beneficial not only in the one-dimensional case but also when goods are modeled as three-dimensional items.