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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 759418, 15 pages
Research Article

The Linehaul-Feeder Vehicle Routing Problem with Virtual Depots and Time Windows

Department of Civil Engineering, National Central University, No. 300, Jung-Da Road, Jung-Li City, Taoyuan 320, Taiwan

Received 15 August 2011; Accepted 17 September 2011

Academic Editor: J. J. Judice

Copyright © 2011 Huey-Kuo Chen 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.


This paper addresses the linehaul-feeder vehicle routing problem with virtual depots and time windows (LFVRPTW). Small and large vehicles deliver services to customers within time constraints; small vehicles en route may reload commodities from either the physical depot or from the larger vehicle at a virtual depot before continuing onward. A two-stage solution heuristic involving Tabu search is proposed to solve this problem. The test results show that the LFVRPTW performs better than the vehicle routing problem with time windows in terms of both objective value and the number of small vehicles dispatched.