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An optimal control policy for crossdocking terminals

An optimal control policy for crossdocking terminals

Stickel, Matthias
Furmans, Kai

Quelle: Selected Papers of the 2005 International Conference on Operations Research, Bremen, 2005: Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR), Springer, Berlin. Accepted for publication.
Crossdocking terminals are transhipment facilities without stock, for the rapid consolidation and shipment of products. The difference to traditional distribution centers is the complete elimination of all storage functions. In consequence of this elimination the incoming and outgoing shipments have to be exactly coordinated to achieve a transshipment operation at minimum cost. This paper describes a mixed-integer model for a centralized optimal control policy for crossdocking facilities, which takes into account the shipments of goods to the crossdocking terminal, the transfers inside the terminal as well as the shipments to the customers. A Branch-and-Bound algorithm has been applied to obtain an exact solution for the optimization model which is tested on different data sets. The results show that an exact solution can be obtained for small instances. Finally, the results for a decomposed model are presented. The decomposition yields faster results for larger instances and therefore is more applicable in practice.