Vehicle Routing is a problem that many enterprises face on a daily basis: Find the best combination of routes for my vehicles to visit a number of locations. Solving the problem of Vehicle Routing can be of use for many different scenarios (freight delivery or pick-up, roundtrips for inspections, visits, public transportation, etc.) and have many different variations (w/ or w/o customer deadline, priority, freight weight/volume, return to depot/warehouse/headquarter, etc.)

Targomo offers you a powerful service to solve your vehicle routing problems

Primary use-cases for the Fleetplanner service:

Traveling Salesperson

The well-known Traveling Salesman Problem is a special case of the Vehicle Routing Problem: It describes a salesperson who wants to visit a specific set of locations at least once and return to the origin. The order of which the salesperson visits the locations does not matter. The goal is to keep the traveling costs and distance as low as possible. This is a famously difficult problem in computer science since exponentially growing computation time is required to find the optimal route. Popular use cases include maintenance roundtrips, customer on-site visits, and planning city tours.

Multi Traveling Salesperson

In many practical scenarios it makes sense to split up the work to be serviced by multiple “resources” instead of one. Since the “resources” can operate in parallel, all customers can be visited earlier. To find optimal routes, the service has to decide which “resource” visits which locations (and in which order). Popular use cases include maintenance visits, customer on-site visits, and planning public transportation routes.

Multiple “resources” can also be used to split up the work sequentially, e.g. a facility manager is in charge of 20 locations and has to visit them once per week - he can use 5 “resources” instead of one to split his viewings up into 5 tours (one per work day).

Vehicle Routing with Customer Deadlines and Priorities

In many scenarios the route is not only determined by its duration but also by deadlines that must be met: Customers that have a deadline coming up soon should be prioritised, despite it not being the quickest path. The fleetplanner service will first try to avoid missing deadlines, and then attempt to improve the routing duration. When trade-offs need to be made (e.g. when not all deadlines can be met), then you could assign a priority to each customer to ensure that higher priority deadlines are met rather than low priority deadlines (if this trade-off is necessary at all).

That means for the optimization: meet high priority deadline > meet low priority deadline > total duration of routes

Vehicle Routing with Capacity Management

For Vehicle Routing use-cases where freight is picked-up or delivered it is important to not exceed each vehicle’s capacity. The service interface allows you to specify each order’s load values (e.g. its weight) as well as each vehicle’s load constraints (e.g. its maximum load weight capacity). Popular use cases include transport or delivery companies.

Key Features

  • Includes Geocoding if coordinates of orders are not provided (extra run-time costs)
  • Detailed routing plan can be calculated (extra run-time costs)
  • Possible specification of route end points (finding the best route endpoint is part of the optimization)
  • Possible specification of delivery deadlines for each order
  • Possible specification of order/customer priorities
  • Possible specification of load characteristics per order and vehicle
  • Different types of transport selectable, e.g. car, bike, walk
  • Multiple Vehicles and Depots/Warehouses allowed
  • Timing Options to customize for the individual complexity of the problem
  • Robust, with many mitigation strategies → the service returns a solution if at all possible

Check it out!

In order to make the functionalities we offer with the fleetplanner easier to understand, we made some demos which highlight different features of the service.

Scenario 1: Locations.

In this scenario, the German chancellor is planning to visit different ministries in Berlin. We can select which ministries we want to visit, and for how long we want to visit them. Furthermore, we can move our start location and choose our preferred method of transport. The fleetplanner service calculates the optimal single tour to all selected ministries.

Scenario 2: Time constraints.

How many vehicles do we need to deliver all cakes on time?

This demo for the fleetplanner service tells the story of a bakery which has to deliver delicious cakes to Paris’ best hotels before lunch. In this scenario, vehicles are only allowed to deliver cakes within their specified working hours. Alongside that, we need to consider the varying opening hours of the hotels in which the cakes can be handed over. Finally, in case it is not possible to deliver all cakes on time, some hotels might have a higher priority than others. This means that if we have to decide between delivering on time for 1 out of 2 or more hotels, the hotels with a higher priority will be chosen over the others.

Our fleetplanner service keeps all of these constraints in mind while calculating the optimal tours.

Scenario 3: Load and vehicle constraints.

In this fictional demo scenario, Targomagic has to make some special deliveries of its magical items. Some orders, however, require special equipment to be delivered to its customers! It is possible for orders to have specific demands for their delivery, for example, the goblins’ treasure needs secured transportation. So in order to deliver this order, we must to have an available vehicle which supplies this ‘secured transport’ characteristic.

Besides these delivery demands and supplies, orders also have certain weight, volume or other load capacity characteristics. Of course our fleetplanner service can also take these characteristics into account, making sure vehicles will not get overloaded. In this demo scenario, one of the ordered items will never be deliverable, because none of the vehicles are able to carry the high load of this item!

Further Reading:

Fleet Planner API documentation

Contact us for more information about this service or to request a more detailed demonstration