Efficient and flexible transportation logistics is increasingly important in society of today. In large-size, complex transport service operations tactical route planning is still performed manually. Major route revisions are extremely costly and time con suming.
Advanced route planning technology with optimization is rapidly maturing. Route design and fleet management tools are now being implemented in industry at an increasing rate. However, recent evaluations performed by waste management companies an d newspapers concluded negatively. Significant innovations are needed to enhance route planning technology such that it meets the highly demanding requirements from such services.
At the operational level, new technology that enables a new level of flex ibility in transportation management has recently been introduced. This technology does not include advanced, optimization based route planners. The reasons are that, for complex applications, route planners have serious problems with problem size, comple x user interfaces, and excessive human effort needed for manual data acquisition.
The EDGE project shall integrate state-of-the-art technologies for transport management and route design, with powerful solvers based on novel methods for solving large-si ze Vehicle Routing Problems. More effective and user-friendly user interfaces shall be developed, along with efficient methods for collection of address, time, and distance information where available electronic databases are not adequate. Hence, existing solutions for transportation management will considerably enhance their potential for logistics savings and their market penetration. Generic route planning solutions will be enhanced with better optimization power, user-friendly web and PDA interfaces, and integration with real-time tracking systems.
The innovative solutions produced in EDGE will be exploited by 2 end users and commercialized and disseminated internationally through 3 technology vendors.