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Vehicle routing problem -- Mathematical models, Transportation problems (Programming), Transportation -- Planning -- Case studies


Supply chains and urban areas cannot thrive without the efficient movement of goods. A recent study indicates that commercial vehicles carrying goods or providing services account for, on average, almost 10 percent of the total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in medium to large urban areas. A predominant share of these trips takes place within a multi-stop tour. In order to develop a well-organized system for moving freight through urban areas, it is crucial to understand and quantify how routes and distribution decisions affect commercial vehicle flows and VMTs.

In the past, transportation planning models have focused on passenger movements but not on freight routes or on estimating commercial vehicle activities or VMT. This research provides new methods to quantify the effect of delivery size and time windows in urban areas. This project aimed to determine how best to obtain practical and intuitive approximations on the length of commercial vehicle tours and miles traveled in urban areas. Additionally, the project tested various means of estimating the impact of time windows and delivery sizes on commercial VMTs.


This is a summary of TREC research project OTREC-RR-09-07, which can be found online at

The final research report can be found here:

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