The Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) it’s nothing new, this has been a challenge since the logistics and transportation has been part of business, in 1959 Dantzing and Ramser proposed a way to resolve this transportation, distribution and logistics problem. The objective of VRP is to minimize the total rout cost. Since them a lot of heuristic and deterministic methods have been developed to find solutions to VRP.
The elements of VRP are:
- Transport Network. A network of roads, streets, railways.
- Fleets of vehicles. Group of motor vehicles owned or leased by a business.
- Customers/ Suppliers. Important to determinate the location of all our customers.
- Central Warehouse. Storage of goods.
- Demand/ Consumption. Entire listing of the quantity of the good that our clients would choose to buy.
- Solution Routes. Select the best routes possible.
This is so complex there’s even web pages dedicated to the study of VRP like NEO (Networking and Emerging Optimization) they have compiled a great amount of information and its open so all public can access to the information, they include technical reports, many different variants of the problem, alternative algorithms and techniques for solving it, some well-known instances of the problem, the best-so-far solutions for those instances, and more.
This is an example how VRP represents in a drawing.
This is a video that will illustrate how can we calculate the best VRP solution.