The Intermodal Trailer Assignment Problem

Feo, Thomas A.; González-Velarde, José Luis
November 1995
Transportation Science;Nov95, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p330
Academic Journal
The problem of optimally assigning highway trailers to railcar hitches in intermodal transportation is studied. An integer-linear programming formulation is constructed. The problem is formulated using set covering. The resulting formulation is very small, and possesses in practice a tight linear programming relaxation. This allows it to be solved effectively by a general purpose branch-and-bound code. This formulation also provided the basis for the development of a Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure (GRASP). This heuristic is observed to be extremely fast. Empirically, it finds the optimal solution to all of the problem instances furnished over a two year period by Consolidated Rail Corporation.


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