2-echelon vehicle routing problems / multi-level routing problems

Posted 20 Apr 2022

ODL Live version 1.5.7 and later supports job patterns - where the optimiser chooses which pattern of jobs (e.g. set of jobs) to include in the routes out of several possible patterns. We’re currently testing the different types of vehicle routing problems job patterns can solve. In this example, ODL Live is optimising routes for a multi-level transport network (technically a 2-echelon vehicle routing problem). Products are being delivered from a main depot in the centre of France, going to local satellite depots and then being delivered on last mile routes to end-customers. ODL Live is selecting the satellite hub for each job and optimising both the trunk routes and the last mile routes, all together in one single model.

Usually, a problem like this would be split up into multiple subproblems – e.g. model trunks separately, model each satellite depot separately. By modelling the entire network together, you can get a better solution because all variables are considered at once.