It can be expected that road freight transport in the European Union will increase by around 50% until 2050. This growth in road traffic will increasingly lead to traffic congestion and travel times along some routes will increasingly depend on the traffic situation. This research project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) aims to develop models and methods allowing transport service providers to tackle the economical, ecological, and societal challenges that arise due to this increase, with a particular focus on planning routes and schedules for regenerable resources, such as battery-powered vehicles.
Road freight traffic in the European Union can be expected to increase by around 50 % until 2050. The main goals for this project are to answer the resulting questions and develop methods for routing and scheduling regenerable resource under consideration of time-dependent travel times. The main scientific questions and algorithmic challenges arise from the interplay between time-dependent travel times and the de- and regeneration of resources, because the first in, first out (FIFO) assumption that is typically made in the literature on time-dependent travel times, i.e. the assumption that an earlier departure implies an earlier arrival, can no longer be made. Synchronized supply chains with low inventory levels makes timely deliveries more and more important. If time-dependent travel times are ignored when planning vehicle routes, frequent delays and the need for buffer times will be the result. From an economical point of view, both delays and unnecessary buffer times should be avoided. From an ecological point of view electric vehicles, and also battery-powered vehicles, will gain importance in road freight transport. It will be indispensable to plan ahead when the vehicles shall be recharged. From a societal point of view, we can expect that road safety and working conditions of truck drivers shall steadily improve and thus, compliance with hours of service regulations will be increasingly expected and enforced. Both the remaining operating range of battery-powered vehicles and the remaining driving time subject to hours of service regulations can be interpreted as attributes of regenerable resources. Because of the above mentioned developments both time-dependent travel times and the de- and regeneration of resources must be considered when planning routes and schedules.
Transport Logistics, Sustainability, Environment