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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2018 TOPIC AREA: Freight logistics and optimization Sustainability, energy, and health CENTER: NCST

Congestion Reduction through Efficient Empty Container Movement under Stochastic Demand

Project Summary

Funding source: Caltrans
Funding amount: $100,000
Contract number: 65A0686 Task Order 018
Start and end dates: 2/1/2019 to 4/15/2020

Project summary

In today's world, there is a significant amount of investigation regarding how to efficiently distribute loaded containers from the ports to the consignees. However, to fully maximize the process and become more environmentally friendly, one should also study how to allocate the empty containers created by these consignees. This is an essential part in the study of container movement since it balances out the load flow at each location. The problem of coordinating the container movement to reuse empty containers and lower truck miles is called the "Empty Container Problem". In this work, the authors develop a scheduling assignment for loaded and empty containers that builds on earlier models but incorporates stochastic (random) future demand. Since this problem is meant to be solved daily and the solution implemented today affects tomorrow's starting state, incorporating future demand is an important aspect. This report shows that the truck miles needed to satisfy the demand at all locations is reduced by about 4-7% when considering future stochastic demand as opposed to only considering today's demand. Thus, leading to a cleaner and greener solution, creating less congestion and lowering the impact of freight movement on the environment.

Project final report 

Published web location: 

Project data

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Maged Dessouky
Dean's Professor and Chair, Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
3715 McClintock Ave.
Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) 206ALos Angeles, CA 90089-0193
United States
[email protected]