We study a new routing problem arising in City Logistics. Given a ring connecting a set of urban distribution centers (UDCs) in the outskirts of a city, the problem consists in delivering goods from virtual gates located outside the city to the customers inside of it. Goods are transported from a gate to a UDC, then either go to another UDC before being delivered to customers or are directly shipped from the first UDC. The reverse process occurs for pick-up. Routes are performed by electric vans and may be open. The objective is to find a set of routes that visit each customer and to determine ring and gates-UDC flows so that the total transportation and routing cost is minimized. We solve this problem using a column generation-based heuristic, which is tested over a set of benchmark instances issued from a more strategic location-routing problem.
GIANESSIA, P., ALFANDARI, L., LETOCART, L. et WOLFLER CALVOA, R. (2016). A Column Generation Based Heuristic for the Multicommodity-Ring Vehicle Routing Problem. Transportation Research Procedia, 12, pp. 227-238.