JOURNAL OF ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION, vol.48, no.8, pp.942-956, 2014 (SCI-Expanded)
This paper presents a differential evolution algorithm (DEA) to solve a vehicle routing problem with backhauls and time windows (VRPBTW) and applied for a catering firm. VRPBTW is an extension of the vehicle routing problem, which includes capacity and time window constraints. In this problem, customers are divided into two subsets: linehaul and backhaul. Each vehicle starts from a depot and goods are delivered from the depot to the linehaul customers. Goods are subsequently brought back to the depot from the backhaul customers. The objective is to minimize the total distance that satisfies all of the constraints. The problem is formulated using mixed integer programming and solved using DEA. Proposed algorithm is tested with several benchmark problems to demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency of the algorithm and results show that our proposed algorithm can find superior solutions for most of the problems in comparison with the best known solutions. Hence, DEA was carried out for catering firm to minimize total transportation costs. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.