Courier satisfaction in rapid delivery systems using dynamic operating regions

Rapid delivery systems where an order is delivered to a customer from a local distribution point within minutes or hours have experienced rapid growth recently and often rely on gig economy couriers. The prime example is a meal delivery system. During an operating day, couriers in such a system are used to deliver orders placed … Read more

Dynamic courier capacity acquisition in rapid delivery systems: a deep Q-learning approach

With the recent boom of the gig economy, urban delivery systems have experienced substantial demand growth. In such systems, orders are delivered to customers from local distribution points respecting a delivery time promise. An important example is a restaurant meal delivery system, where delivery times are expected to be minutes after an order is placed. … Read more

Incremental Network Design with Multi-commodity Flows

We introduce a novel incremental network design problem motivated by the expansion of hub capacities in package express service networks: the \textit{incremental network design problem with multi-commodity flows}. We are given an initial and a target service network design, defined by a set of nodes, arcs, and origin-destination demands (commodities), and we seek to find … Read more

A Prescriptive Machine Learning Method for Courier Scheduling on Crowdsourced Delivery Platforms

Crowdsourced delivery platforms face the unique challenge of meeting dynamic customer demand using couriers not employed by the platform. As a result, the delivery capacity of the platform is uncertain. To reduce the uncertainty, the platform can offer a reward to couriers that agree to be available to make deliveries for a specified period of … Read more

A Fast and Robust Algorithm for Solving Biobjective Mixed Integer Programs

We present a fast and robust algorithm for solving biobjective mixed integer programs. The algorithm extends and merges ideas from two existing methods: the Boxed Line Method and the epsilon-Tabu Method. We demonstrate its efficacy in an extensive computational study. We also demonstrate that it is capable of producing a high-quality approximation of the nondominated … Read more

Multi-period Workload Balancing in Last-Mile Urban Delivery

In the daily dispatching of urban deliveries, a delivery manager has to consider workload balance among the couriers to maintain workforce morale. We consider two types of workload: incentive workload, which relates to the delivery quantity and affects a courier’s income, and effort workload, which relates to the delivery time and affects a courier’s health. … Read more

Capacity requirements and demand management strategies in meal delivery

Online restaurant aggregators have experienced significant sales growth in recent years, driving demand for meal delivery in the US. Meal delivery logistics is quite challenging, primarily due to the difficulty in managing the supply of delivery resources to satisfy dynamic and uncertain customer demand under very tight time constraints. In this paper, we study several … Read more

The Dynamic Freight Routing Problem for Less-than-Truckload Carriers

Less-than-Truckload (LTL) carriers transport freight shipments from origins to destinations by consolidating freight using a network of terminals. As daily freight quantities are uncertain, carriers dynamically adjust planned freight routes on the day of operations. We introduce the Dynamic Freight Routing Problem (DFRP) and model this problem as a Markov Decision Process (MDP). To overcome … Read more

Dynamic Discretization Discovery for Solving the Continuous Time Inventory Routing Problem with Out-and-Back Routes

In time dependent models, the objective is to find the optimal times (continuous) at which activities occur and resources are utilized. These models arise whenever a schedule of activities needs to be constructed. A common approach consists of discretizing the planning time and then restricting the decisions to those time points. However, this approach leads … Read more

Planning the City Operations of a Parcel Express Company

We introduce an interesting and challenging routing and scheduling problem arising in the city operations of SF Express, a large package express carrier in China. Vehicles execute multiple trips during a planning horizon spanning multiple shifts, where a trip can involve deliveries only, pickups only, or deliveries followed by pickups. Complicating factors include split deliveries … Read more