In this paper, we study the problem of scheduling and dispatching vehicles in vehicle-based internal transport systems within warehouses and production facilities. We develop and use two rolling horizon policies to solve real-time vehicle scheduling problems. To solve static instances of scheduling problems, we propose two new heuristics: combined and column-generation heuristics. We solve a real-time scheduling problem by applying a heuristic to dynamically solve a series of static instances under a rolling horizon policy. A rolling horizon can be seen either as a fixed-time interval in which advance information about loads’ arrivals is available, or as a fixed number of loads which are known to become available in the near future. We also propose a new look-ahead dynamic assignment algorithm, a different dynamic vehicle-scheduling approach. We evaluate these dynamic scheduling strategies by comparing their performance with that of two of the best online vehicle dispatching rules mentioned in the literature. Experimental results show that the new look-ahead dynamic assignment algorithm and dynamic scheduling approaches consistently outperform vehicle dispatching rules.

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ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Le-Anh, T., & de Koster, R. (2004). Real-Time Scheduling Approaches for Vehicle-Based Internal Transport Systems (No. ERS-2004-056-LIS). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Retrieved from