- Transshipment and Cross-Docking: goods are shipped from factories to main depots overnight; from main depots to regional platforms in early morning, and finally from regional platforms to customers.
- Flow Consolidation: larger vehicles are used to deliver the goods to regional platforms from which smaller vehicles can be used for the local distribution.
- Creating Synergies: vehicles used to bring the goods from main depots to regional platforms should pursuit their route to deliver goods to customers on their way back to the main depot.
- Reverse Logistics: the goods to be returned to the manufacturer should be collected by the vehicles doing the deliveries.
- Accurate Capacity Monitoring: conveyed goods, delivered goods and returned goods must share the vehicle capacity.
- Service time: parcels are checked at reception, hence the service time depends on the delivery.
- Specific pickup/delivery time windows: customer locations are characterized by specific morning and afternoon opening hours.
The decision support tool provides in a few seconds a transportation plan that was taking hours to build by hand, with a significant decrease in operational costs thanks to synergies between conveyance routes and delivery routes.
The company is now able to compare multiple scenarios and to optimize next day deliveries through a multi-echelon distribution network, improving both its productivity and its quality of service.