An Ant-Based Algorithm for the Cross Docking Scheduling Problem for Distribution Centers

With an aim to reduce inventory level, raise handling efficiency, and to improve customer service, more and more logistics operators choose to adopt the cross-docking strategy. As no storage is involved at a distribution center (DC), transportation coordination becomes critical for a successful implementation of cross docking. The Cross-Docking Scheduling Problem (CDSP) determines the schedules of the inbound (supplier) and outbound (customer) trucks for a DC with the objective of minimizing the total work time span. Owing to the nature of the sequencing decision problem associated with the CDSP, this study designs the solution algorithm based on Ant Colony Optimization (ACO), which has some inherited advantages over other meta-heuristics due to its sequential framework for the searching process and the solution building procedure. An ant-based algorithm is developed to generate the outbound sequence under the condition of one single truck. Given this ant-generated initial sequence, a heuristic of several steps is used to make the scheduling decisions for both the inbound and outbound vehicles under the multiple-truck situation. In the numerical experiment, the developed algorithm is compared with a solution algorithm based on the classic Johnson’s Rule in the literature. It is found that the developed ant-based algorithm is promising for providing a new approach to solve the CDSP.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 248-255
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the International Forum on Shipping, Ports and Airports (IFSPA) 2013: Trade, Supply Chain Activities and Transport: Contemporary Logistics and Maritime Issues

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01496103
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9789623677677
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 19 2013 7:35PM