Cargo Hitching PhD thesis

On October 27, my PhD student Vaeceslav Ghilas will defend his thesis entitled:

The Pickup and Delivery Problem with Time Windows and Scheduled Lines: models and algorithms

This work is the second PhD thesis delivered within the Cargo Hitching setting (see here for the other thesis by Boaxiang Li). This thesis investigates integrated freight and public transportation solutions to perform pickup and delivery services in short-haul freight transportation environments, from an operational and tactical planning perspective. More specifically, Ghilas investigates an extension of the classical pickup and delivery problem, where requests may be transferred to available public transportation lines (also referred to as scheduled lines (SLs)).

Given a fleet, each vehicle performs at most one tour per working day, transporting the freight requests from their origins to the corresponding destinations and public transportation can be used as a part of the freight’s journey, as long as the customer requirements are satisfied.

The following figure gives an illustrative example. This example includes three requests that need to be served, two SLs, and two depots with one vehicle each. In this example, all requests are first picked up by one vehicle, and then transferred to SLs at T2. Requests 1 and 2 are transported on the SL between T2 and T1. Request 3 is transported on SL that connects T2 and T3. Afterwards, another vehicle re-collects the requests from the corresponding transfer nodes, and delivers them to their final destinations.


Nowadays, municipalities become interested in developing instruments and policies to ensure efficient and effective mobility for passengers and freight. Since urban space is scarce, passenger and freight transportation flows overlap to a significant extent. Hence, the accessibility level decreases for both, passengers and freight, resulting in congestion and longer travel times. Furthermore, these lead to a number of negative side effects, such as noise, local air pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One way to tackle this trend is to adopt alternative ways to manage transportation networks to ensure smooth transportation flows.

More information is available here. The full thesis is available after October 27, 2016.


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