Many e-tailers providing attended home delivery, especially e-grocers, offer narrow delivery time slots to ensure satisfactory customer service. The choice of delivery time slots has to balance marketing and operational considerations, which results in a complex planning problem. We study the problem of selecting the set of time slots to offer in each of the zip codes in a service region. The selection needs to facilitate cost-effective delivery routes, but also needs to ensure an acceptable level of service to the customer. We present a fully automated approach that is capable of producing high-quality delivery time slot offerings in a short amount of time. Computational experiments reveal the value of this approach and the impact of the environment on the underlying trade-offs.

continuous approximation, e-grocery, home delivery, integer programming, time slots, vehicle routing
Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis (jel C61), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting: General (jel M00), Production Management (jel M11), Transportation Systems (jel R4)
dx.doi.org/10.1287/trsc.1100.0346, hdl.handle.net/1765/25987
ERIM Top-Core Articles
Transportation Science
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Savelsbergh, M.W.P, Fleischmann, M, Agatz, N.A.H, & Campbell, A.M. (2011). Time Slot Management in Attended Home Delivery. Transportation Science, 45(3), 435–449. doi:10.1287/trsc.1100.0346