In this paper, we consider a real problem, which we call the 1-skip collection problem, where a fleet of vehicles must collect a number of skips situated in different locations and transport them to one among different plants chosen on the basis of the kind of waste contained in the skip. Each vehicle has a capacity of one skip and it starts and ends its tour at the depot. Each time a vehicle collects a skip, it has to go to a plant and empty it. A number of constraints are imposed, which involve time windows for the customers and the plants, shift-time, different kinds of skips, number of drivers available to carry out the service and priorities assigned to the customers who have to be served. The objective is to minimize the total cost of the service given by the fixed cost of the drivers engaged to carry out the service, the cost of the extra time and the penalty cost paid if a customer is not served. A heuristic algorithm to solve the real problem is presented. The algorithm first constructs a feasible solution by means of the nearest-neighbour algorithm. Then, if it finds a feasible solution, it improves it. The computational results show that the solution of the algorithm is much better than the solution applied by the firm that carries out the service since it serves a higher number of skips with a smaller number of drivers. Link to the article
ARCHETTI, C. and SPERANZA, M.G. (2004). Vehicle routing in the 1-skip collection problem. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 55(7), pp. 717-727.