Glossary

Glossary
Route planning

What is meant by ...?

Simulation, Multi-Client Support and Mathematical Optimisation? Here, we will explain the most important terms related to vehicle routing and optimisation to you.

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B

Branch logistics (also called trade logistics or retail logistics) is a special field of distribution logistics. Here, the focus is on supplying points of sale or shops with the right goods, on time and efficiently.

D

In district planning, the smallest geographic units (e.g., municipalities or postal code areas) are merged according to individual criteria into superordinate territorial units (e.g., agent’s territories).

Vehicle routing is usually done in a dynamic environment, i.e., there are constant changes and information, which need to be immediately taken into account (new orders, cancellations, disruptions, changes in orders, delays, vehicle breakdown, etc.). Software with dynamic vehicle routing can respond automatically and flexibly, in real time, to changes during planning and during the trip, as possible events and uncertainties are included in the foresighted planning. The routing schedules thus created and changed are robust in respect of changes, i.e., only minor changes are caused.

I

An interface is a connecting point between data communication systems, hardware components, logical software units or between humans and computers.

M

Manual vehicle routing means planning without the aid of computers.

Mathematical optimisation or programming deals with the determination of an optimal solution from a set of permissible solutions. The set of permissible solutions is generally defined by the so-called constraints on the decision-making variables. The „optimality“ is defined by specifying a so-called „objective function“ through the decision-making variables, which need to be maximised or minimised. Typical examples of this are cost minimisation or contribution margin maximisation.

In simulation, experiments are performed on a model to gain insights into the real-world system. The first step in a simulation is the development of a model (modelling). The model can be used for drawing conclusions about the problem and its solution.

Software is said to have multi-client support capabilities when it allows multiple clients (e.g., customers) to be managed by a single user.

N

In network optimisation, the relationships of all factors (employees, customers, suppliers, warehouses, depots and structures) are optimised in their entirety on the basis of modelling and simulation.

O

In logistics, optimisation means the improvement of the process chains by focussing on the interfaces of all involved parties.

The OptimisationCheck is a free-of-charge offer by gts, in which an initial analysis of the potential for optimisation is done on the basis of customer data. The OptimisationCheck gives a realistic idea about how the router planning and optimisation should be done.

P

TransIT software has been specially developed for vehicle routing and optimisation. TransIT can be specifically customised to each company through its numerous applications and modules.

Q

Quantitative research is about interviewing the largest possible number of people. This is usually done with standardised methods (e.g., a questionnaire). In qualitative research, i.e., non-standardised research, open-ended questions are asked and the respondents can, to a great extent, narrate freely (participant observation, interviews or group discussions).

R

Vehicle routing is usually done in a dynamic environment, i.e., there are constant changes and information, which need to be immediately taken into account (new orders, cancellations, disruptions, changes in orders, delays, vehicle breakdown, etc.) Software with robust vehicle routing can respond automatically and flexibly, in real time, to the changes during planning and during the trip, as possible events and uncertainties are included in the foresighted planning. The routing schedules thus created and changed are robust in respect of changes, i.e., only minor changes are caused.

Route optimisation aims to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction through optimised travel times, service times, depots, distances, etc., taking into account all constraints (deadlines, time schedules, regulations, driving rules, etc.)

A route is a sequence of points that a driver or vehicle visits on a road network. While many vehicles are simultaneously considered in vehicle routing, in route planning, only one vehicle is considered.

Revierplanung ist vor allem im Bereich der Abfallwirtschaft ein gängiger Begriff.

S

Simulation is often used in the field of vehicle routing and scheduling to verify strategic or tactical optimisation results at an operational level. Through simulation it is examined how routes would have taken place in the past, if an optimised tactic or strategy had been used. By comparing the results of simulation with the results from real-world operations, conclusions can be drawn about the quality of the new tactics or strategies. The simulations are done using historical data, but often also using adjusted historical data (e.g., changed quantities or changes in the temporal bases).

Stochastic vehicle routing takes order probabilities, i.e., the probability that orders will actually have to be carried out, into account. This is typically relevant to the optimisation of common fixed route plans, that is, route plans that are served regularly (e.g., in medical laboratories) and include orders (e.g., call-off order customers), which do not need to be served while executing every route.

Strategic vehicle routing refers to regular routes with fixed, unchanging schedules that can be planned long-term. The goals of strategic vehicle routing are, among other things: reducing the effort of daily planning, commitment to fixed delivery times, outsourcing of fixed routes, district planning and depot optimisation.

Zielsetzung dieser Softwaresysteme ist es, schneller zu planen (durch automatische Optimierung und Unterstützung der manuellen Planung) und besser zu planen.

Supply chain optimisation aims to improve and increase the efficiency of all supply chain processes, taking into account the cost-benefit ratio, customer satisfaction and all internal and external factors affecting the supply chain.

T

In tactical vehicle routing (also called operational vehicle routing or ad-hoc planning), a specific, individual subset of known orders is planned, like for instance, the daily planning in freight forwarding.

Telematics is the integrated use of telecommunications with information and communications technology, which is particularly used in transportation management.

TransIT software has been specially developed for vehicle routing and optimisation. TransIT can be specifically customised to each company through its numerous applications and modules.

TransIT software can be used for diverse planning tasks. Depending on the planning task at hand and the planning level (strategic, tactical, operational), the system can be optimally adapted to the needs of the customer by using the appropriate modules. Examples of TransIT modules are:

  • District optimisation
  • Route optimisation
  • Telematics
  • Web applications

V

Vehicle routing is the grouping (clustering) of orders or transport orders to routes and determining the sequence of the stops (routing) within these routes. This needs to be done complying with numerous constraints, such as restricted arrival times or time limits within which the deliveries must be made (time windows), capacities, priority relations, etc.

Within vehicle routing, a distinction is made between strategic (long-term), tactical (operational), robust/dynamic and manual vehicle routing. Strategic vehicle routing refers to regular routes with fixed, unchanging schedules that can be planned long-term. The goals of strategic vehicle routing are, among other things: reducing the effort of daily planning, commitment to fixed delivery times, outsourcing of fixed routes, district planning and depot optimisation. In tactical vehicle routing (also called operational vehicle routing or ad-hoc planning), a specific, individual subset of known orders is planned, like for instance, the daily planning in freight forwarding. Manual vehicle routing means planning without the aid of computers.