Freight business is a huge market with strong competition. In many companies, planning and routing software has been introduced, and optimization potentials have been widely exploited. To further improve efficiency, especially the small and medium sized carriers have to cooperate beyond enterprise boundaries. A promising approach to exchange transportation requests between freight carriers is provided by combinatorial auctions and exchanges. They allow bundles of items to be traded, thereby allowing participants to express complex synergies.
In this paper we discuss various goals for a combinatorial request exchange in freight logistics and provide the reasoning for our design decisions. All goals aim to improve usefulness in a practical environment of less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers. We provide experimental results for both generated and real-life data that show significant savings and are often close to a heuristic solution for the global optimization problem. We study how bundling and restricting the number of submitted bids affect the solution quality.
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