Evaluating and Improving the Transport Efficiency of Logistics Operations

Abstract: The thesis focuses on evaluating and improving the transport efficiency of two types of logistics operations in the supply chain.One research area is the production of raw material in construction operations, specifically earthmoving operations. Methods and tools are developed to provide decision support in improving the transport efficiency of earthmoving at the vehicle and the systems levels. Using known road topography and a GPS unit, an optimal control problem is formulated and solved (Paper III) to determine the optimal gear shift sequence and timing in order to improve the transport efficiency at the vehicle level. For decision support at the systems level, a Fleet Performance Simulation (FPS) model is designed (Paper IV) to evaluate the transport efficiency for a given mix of construction vehicles in earthmoving. The FPS system is integrated with an optimization algorithm to solve the optimal fleet composition problem for earthmoving operations (Paper V & VI). Construction operations are dynamic and the environment is changing constantly, which bring difficulties in decision-making. Using GPS data from construction vehicles, a map inference framework (Papers I & II) is developed to automatically extract relevant input to decision support at the vehicle and the systems levels, which include the locations of various workstations, driving time distributions and road networks.The second research area is the transport efficiency of urban distribution system, which is in the final phase of the supply chain. An off-peak delivery pilot project in Stockholm is used as the background, designed to evaluate the potential for commercial vehicles to make use of off-peak hours for goods delivery. The thesis (Paper VII) evaluates the transport efficiency impacts of the off-peak pilot. An evaluation framework is defined where transport efficiency is studied in a number of dimensions. GPS data, fleet management data, and logistic information are used to assess the impacts.