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project R-9971

Title : Improving logistics performance in e-commerce by integrating warehouse and delivery operations (R-9971)
Abstract: Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales are booming. At the same time, customers expect a fast and accurate delivery. To meet these expectations at low cost, excellent logistics performance is indispensable. In this context, integrating operational decisions (e.g., taking warehouse and delivery decisions simultaneously) can be seen as one of the key opportunities for improvement. Typically, predefined deadlines are used to separate order picking activities in the warehouse (i.e., retrieving goods from their storage locations) from delivery operations to customer locations, allowing both activities to be scheduled independently. Previous studies have already shown the large potential benefit of integrating both scheduling problems in limited settings. However, it is unclear how both problems can be integrated, and what the benefits are, in more realistic settings. Therefore, the main objective of this project is to develop adequate models and algorithms to support integrated decision making in a realistic setting, and to analyse the benefit of integrated decision making under different problem characteristics. As such, the project will provide new tools and insights to deal with current and future challenges in B2C e-commerce. Additionally, the project contributes to the operations research community in general by providing innovative algorithms and new insights on how related decision making problems interact and can be solved efficiently in an integrated manner.
Period of project : 1/10/2019to31/10/2020