Department of Economics and Business Economics

Simon Emde

Integrated truck and workforce scheduling to accelerate the unloading of trucks

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Giorgi Tadumadze, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • ,
  • Nils Boysen, Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • ,
  • Simon Emde
  • Felix Weidinger, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Truck scheduling coordinates the loading and unloading processes of trucks competing for the timely processing at some terminal, e.g., a cross-docking terminal or distribution center. Existing research almost invariably assumes that the (un-)loading times of trucks are fixed. In the real-world, however, terminal managers have the additional flexibility of adapting the workforce for processing critical trucks. For instance, two instead of one worker can be assigned to jointly unload the parcels of a trailer reaching a terminal of the postal service industry onto a conveyor, or an additional forklift can support the removal of pallets from a truck in a distribution center. Thus, workforce management influences the processing times of trucks and a simultaneous planning of both tasks seems advisable. For two representative truck scheduling settings, mixed-integer models integrating workforce planning and truck scheduling are presented. Furthermore, we re-formulate the problems as interval scheduling problems and develop heuristics based on these formulations. Finally, the holistic planning models are compared with alternative models assuming a fixed workforce. Our findings reveal that integrated planning can considerably increase the performance of truck scheduling in terms of total flow time and punctuality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Pages (from-to)343-362
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Controllable processing times, Integrated planning, Interval scheduling, Scheduling, Truck and personnel scheduling

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