What VRP problem types are you modeling?

09-17-2018 10:19 AM
Esri Contributor

The VRP Solver can be configured to solve many different fleet routing problems.  What are you using it for?

13 Replies
Occasional Contributor

I would like to solve, given:-

  • Service area
  • Number of start locations of field force
  • Kernel density of workload

Determine the optimal (start) locations to place the field force.

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New Contributor III

I'm working with Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) on a fleet of vehicles configuring, Orders (Time Windows, Service Time, Routes (Delivery Quantities, MaxTotalTime, MaxDistance) Route Seed Points (Dynamic) to cluster a lot of orders, but this is very dificult because it depends of a lot of variables that you can't controlled, I'm applyng this in a retail organization.

Do you have any idea what I should take in mind? or if I can combine with other analysis that can help me to cluster orders.

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Esri Contributor

Hi Cesar,

For other options on clustering you might take a look at location-allocation and tools in the Spatial Statistics Tools\Mapping Clusters toolbox.  This might help break the problem down into smaller groupings that can get better results when doing routing.

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New Contributor II

I work in public transit and will use the VRP to assist in developing and planning some specialized transit solutions around work and school. 

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Esri Contributor

Hi Paul,

That is a very interesting problem.  We don't have too many of our users telling us about using transit with VRP.  We'd love to hear more of your workflows and how it is going.  In case you do not have this link already one of my colleagues has put together an awesome story map on workflows and resources for transit. http://arcg.is/2timm2E 


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New Contributor II

Hi Heather,

 I was finally able to devote some time to this task. I get to do GIS maybe 5% of my work time in a month. I do have Premium StreetMap Custom Roads, but for this exercise I used a Michigan Roads layer that was built by the state. Rachel Applebaum informed me how I had my ONEWAY traffic patterns coded incorrectly. I am delighted to have this network up and running. I will use the Custom Roads with Pro next, as we will feed turn by turn directions thru Navigator to bus drivers. On to the problem.

Flint and Genesee County in Michigan has few economic opportunities. Surrounding counties have employment, but residents in those communities commute elsewhere for higher paying jobs. The Flint MTA has regional routes that anyone can use (disclaimer: this is not a charter service) and we travel to employment districts in those surrounding counties. Multiple businesses and shift times, both starting and ending, affect the solution. Shift change usually takes 20 min from unloading workers and waiting for the shift to end and those workers coming to load the bus. 

I initially thought about using the two different time windows, but I didn't see that I could specify that the 1st start and end time window is tied to the Delivery Quantity and the 2nd start and end time window is tied to the PickUp Quantity. 

Every Delivery and Pickup received its own Order. Using the StartTimeWindow1 and EndTimeWindow1 as parameters for when the companies would like employees to be dropped off and picked up, the VRP would not have our vehicle waiting at each location for the shift change. 

I completed my first attempt at this solution. I have to tinker with the MaxTotalTime and MaxTotalTravelTime parameters to ensure we are not inconveniencing our riders by having them on the bus for 2-3 hours for an hour long trip. 

All and all, my boss is really impressed with this program. This company did not use Arc or any GIS prior to hiring me. I'm slowly introducing the functions and capabilities of the ESRI products as I learn them and can convey how they will benefit different parts of the organization. 

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New Contributor II


I need to  know the options that the software offers to increase the occupation of the capacity of vehicles (routes), I have read the VRP Solve bibliography, but I couldn´t find a variable that controls this parameter.


The options that I already worked are:


  1. Trial and error tests modifying distance costs and fixedcost according to capacity.
  2. Run a VRP with higher capacity vehicles, then another vrp with the smaller capacity vehicles.

None of the above gave a positive result.  


The software respects time windows, optimizes resources but underutilizes load capacity. An example of this, a vehicle with a capacity of 10 tons dispatches it with deliveries equivalent to 3 tons, a vehicle with a capacity of 3.5 tons dispatches it with 2 tons, etc., for the company that distributes mass consumption products. This is not efficient since the cost of transport per ton rises, even though it respects time windows and other restrictions.

Example: The table on right side represents the results of the vrp, while the table on left side represents the expected results. The goal is to increase the average of %UseCapacity, in this test the costs were zero for all routes.



I would appreciate to your suggestions or study material where there are options to solve this requirement.

Esri Contributor

Hi Deivid,

For the different routes that you have in the problem are there other constraints that are different between them?  Starting/Ending Depot, max total time/travel time/distance, max order count, etc?  

Also do you have breaks set up for the routes?

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New Contributor

I work in distribution company and will use the VRP to help in developing and planning the route for each vehicle.

We have big and small vehicles.

Big vehicles are not allowed to enter city downtown. 

I am reading the documentation as developer, but cannot find where I can define this restriction to big vehicles.

I know I can define route zones where I set limits where each vehicle can go, but I need the opposite, where it can not go.

Best regards.

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