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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 483830, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/483830
Research Article

Vehicle Routing Problem with Soft Time Windows Based on Improved Genetic Algorithm for Fruits and Vegetables Distribution

1School of Transportation, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
2School of Automation, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China

Received 16 March 2015; Revised 15 July 2015; Accepted 26 July 2015

Academic Editor: Filippo Cacace

Copyright © 2015 Peiqing Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Fresh fruits and vegetables, perishable by nature, are subject to additional deterioration and bruising in the distribution process due to vibration and shock caused by road irregularities. A nonlinear mathematical model was developed that considered not only the vehicle routing problem with time windows but also the effect of road irregularities on the bruising of fresh fruits and vegetables. The main objective of this work was to obtain the optimal distribution routes for fresh fruits and vegetables considering different road classes with the least amount of logistics costs. An improved genetic algorithm was used to solve the problem. A fruit delivery route among the 13 cities in Jiangsu Province was used as a real analysis case. The simulation results showed that the vehicle routing problem with time windows, considering road irregularities and different classes of toll roads, can significantly influence total delivery costs compared with traditional VRP models. The comparison between four models to predict the total cost and actual total cost in distribution showed that the improved genetic algorithm is superior to the Group-based pattern, CW pattern, and O-X type cross pattern.