Flow of contents:
- Introduce concept of Routing
- Types of routing available in ElasticRoute
- Use cases
- Actual route planning generated from ElasticRoute
Type Of Route Planning Supported By ElasticRoute
Route Planning or Routing is the process of finding the most optimized path to cater to your needs.
ElasticRoute is highly versatile and supports several different types of route planning to cater to various workflows.
Closed Path Routing
This is the classical Traveling Salesman Problem – “Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city and returns to the origin city?"
As can be seen from the image below, Closed Path Routing will try to plan the route in an U-shaped path that takes the vehicle back to the starting depot, with the final stop close to the depot.
- Example Usage:
- Distribution Centers where the vehicles are loaded prior to deliveries, and needs to return back to the starting location at the end of the run.
Image Of Closed Path Routing
Example of Closed Path Routing
Open Path Routing
This type of routing is highly suitable for users who wishes to serve the maximum number of stops within the shortest period of time, and for third party logistics (3PL) company that are not obligated to return to the depot after performing the delivery.
However, one would often incur a high cost when trying to return back to the depot (starting location), with the final stop located far away from the depot.
- Example Usage:
- Food Delivery companies rushing to finish delivering their goods fast.
- 3PL that need not return to depot at the end of their run.
Image Of Open Path Routing
Example Screenshot Of Open Path Routing
Reverse Open Path Routing
As opposed to the Open Path Routing, the planning will start from the furthest stop from the depot, and generate a route for the vehicle to travel back to the depot.
It is known that the car load of your vehicle contribute directly to fuel consumption. The lighter the car load, the less fuel it will use for traveling. Hence, starting from the furthest stop would be highly beneficial in saving fuel.
This planning is suitable if your workflow involves collection of goods back to your depot.
- Example Use:
- Distribution plants collecting items to be sent back to a warehouse.
Image of Reverse Open Path Routing
Screenshot Of Reversed Open Path Routing
Depot-to-Depot Routing is suitable when one needs to plan their route in a directed path from one to another depot in an optimized path.
- Example usage:
- Vehicle that starts off with an empty load, pickup goods along the way, till they unload the goods for processing in another depot or factory for processing.
- Vehicle that starts off with a full load, drop off goods along the way, till they get re-loaded in another depot or factory.
- Technicians performing field service or maintenance in vicinities near them, and get routed back to their home.
Image Of Depot-to-Depot Routing
Screenshot Of Depot-to-Depot Routing
Traveling Salesman Problem with Time Windows
The Traveling Salesman Problem with Time Windows (TSPTW) involves finding the shortest path that visits each of a set of cities exactly once, where each city must be visited within a given Time Window.
Due to demands from customers, one typical constraint in route planning is the time window factor, while trying to minimize the traveling path. ElasticRoute allows you to enter the Time Window for visiting that stop for planning, and helps to plan and generate an estimated time of arrival.
Another use of this Time Window Routing can involve allowing the vehicle to visit the stated stop at certain timings for certain low carbon emission zones.
Below is an example image and screenshot involving several Time Windows in planning a route, assuming that the driver starts work from 9 AM.
Image Of Time Window Routing
During the planning phase, ElasticRoute can assist to plan according to the provided Time Windows in a chronological order, and generate an Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) for the stops to address the TSPTW.
Screenshot Of Time Window Routing
Capacitated Traveling Salesman Problem
The Capacitated Traveling Salesman Problem (cTSP) involves finding the shortest path that visits each stop exactly once, except that each of the stops have a capacity restriction (e.g. weight, volume, boxes etc); and that the capacity constraint have to correspond with the maximum load capacity of the vehicle.
Assuming that you have a vehicle that can carry an arbitrary maximum load of 15; and that each of your stops have varying loads. ElasticRoute can assist to plan optimized routes without exceeding the vehicle load capacity to service your stops.
Image Of Stops Varying Loads
Image Of Capacitated Routing
Screenshot Before Planning
Screenshot After Planning With 2 Runs Being Generated Each With A Maximum Load Of 15.
Screenshot Of Run 1 With Stop Sequences Being Indicated
Screenshot Of Run 2 With Stop Sequences Being Indicated
Automatic Depot Selection Feature
Other than the various route planning selection, ElasticRoute has an automatic depot selection that can assist to assign the depot to your stops for route planning.
This feature would be useful for solving the multiple depot traveling salesman problem, if you happen to have multiple depots and stops and do not wish to perform manual depot selection.
Industry suitable to use this feature:
Transportation industry with multiple bus routes and depots.
Image Of Multiple Stops and Depots
Image Of Multiple Stops and Assigned Depots
Screenshot Of Planned Stops
Click to learn more about Vehicle Routing Problems