A cluster-first route-second approach for the Swap Body Vehicle Routing Problem

The Swap Body Vehicle Routing Problem (SB-VRP) is a generalization of the classical Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) where a particular structure as well as several operational aspects for the trucks composing the fleet are considered. This research has been motivated by the VeRoLog Solver Challenge 2014, organized together by VeRoLog and PTV group, aiming to motivate the study of real-world logistic problems. A truck can carry either only one swap body or, in addition, an extra trailer with an extra swap body. For the latter, special depots, called swap locations, can be used to drop and pickup the swap bodies. These operations may affect the feasibility and the cost of a route, and therefore the overall operational cost. In this paper, we propose a cluster-first route-second heuristic for the SB-VRP. Computational experiments are conducted over the benchmark instances proposed for the competition, simulating a practical environment by considering limited resources and execution time. The results obtained are of very good quality, where our approach ended as runner-up in the final set of instances and performs similarly to the other algorithms in the remaining cases, showing its potential to be applied in practice.


Miranda-Bront, J.J., Curcio, B., Méndez-Díaz, I., Montero, A., Pousa, F. and Zabala, P., A cluster-first route-second approach for the swap body vehicle routing problem, Annals of Operations Research, 1--22, 2016.