Efficiencies in Freight & Passenger Routing & Scheduling

Project Number


Project Summary

The growth in the number of containers has already introduced congestion and threatened accessibility to many terminals. The congestion at a port, in turn, magnifies the congestion in the adjacent metropolitan traffic network. At the same time, more and more container terminals require Just-In-Time (JIT) cargo delivery and pickup due to advances in information technologies and limited space for storing containers.  These facts magnify the need for finding better ways of performing truck operations in metropolitan areas adjacent to the ports. Congestion affects the trucking industry on three major service dimensions: travel time, reliability, and cost.  Trucking is a commercial activity, and trucking operations are driven by the needs to satisfy customer demands and to operate at the lowest possible cost. The transportation industry has undergone significant change in the last few years through the introduction of information technologies. 

The dynamic VRP has emerged as an active and intense area of research, both due to industry needs and to technological advances, including map databases, location determination technology (e.g., GPS), wireless communication and mobile computing.  We will investigate the potential benefits as well as methods for generating partial routing techniques for freight transportation in uncertain and dynamic environments in which the information of the network parameters are partially available a priori or are becoming available in the course of time. We will focus on developing computationally fast heuristics such as insertion heuristics to generate the partial routes.  Overall our proposed approach could generate routing solutions that could reduce freight vehicle miles traveled, thus minimizing the impact of freight on passenger travel in metropolitan areas. 

Project Status




Topic Area

Integrated Freight and Passenger Systems

P.I. Name & Address

Professor, Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; USC Viterbi School of Engineering
University of Southern California
3715 McClintock Ave.
Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) 206A
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0193
United States

Funding Source

Department of Transportation

Total Project Cost


Agency ID or Contract

Grant No: DTRT13-G-UTC57

Start and End Dates

1/1/2014 – 6/30/2015


Web Links, Reports Project website

M. Dessouky and H. Zou, “Efficiencies in Freight & Passenger Routing & Scheduling,” Final Report, Metrans, Los Angeles, CA, 2015.