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Optimization in Road-based Transportation

Total inland freight transport in the EU-28 was estimated to be 2 100 billion tonne-kilometres (tkm) in 2012; three quarters of this freight total was transported over roads. Savings of a few percent through optimization based planning tools give large benefits to economy and the environment.

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The first transportation optimization application area studied at SINTEF was road-based goods transportation. Since 1995, SINTEF has developed models, algorithms, prototypes, and industrial software through various types of R&D projects partly financed by industry, the Research Council of Norway, the EU Commission, and SINTEF. The results, including the Spider industrial VRP solver, have been commercialized through several system and service providers.

Spider is integrated in the web-based distribution planning and management system of Distribution Innovation AS. Many distribution companies in the Nordic countries utilize the solution, with a market share of nearly 100% in Norway, 80% in Sweden, and 40% in Finland. Some 12.000 carriers daily operate the routes that are revised and optimized using Spider.

In tactical fleet management, SINTEF has developed a software component for optimized allocation of buses to contracts.

For the Nordic bus company Nobina, SINTEF has developed SINTOpt, a solver for combined shift and vehicle route planning. The implemented software resulted in a reduced number of shifts, less working hours, and a reduction of distance driven. The operational plans generated are robust and adhere to the drivers' preferences.

SINTEF Optimization webpages

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