Vehicle Routing in Multi-Echelon Distribution Systems with Cross-Docking: A Systematic Lexical-Metanarrative Analysis

Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu


Multi-echelon distribution systems and more precisely, optimization of LTL routes related to them is one of the most popular subjects in the last 5 years of vehicle routing research. Although a plethora of models, methods and visions is found, it is still difficult to compare them because they use different terminologies and some authors insist on the fact there are a multitude of close but different problems. This paper presents the main concepts of multi-echelon distribution with cross-docks and the notation standards for cost optimization in this field on an attempt of unification, in order to provide a guide to researchers and practitioners. A literature review is first presented, in order to list the main problems and methods that are found in the literature. Then, by a hybrid systematic analysis method combining a lexical and a meta-narrative analysis, the main concepts and standards of multi-echelon based vehicle routing optimization problems are presented. A theoretical model as well as a classification of solving methods, both exact and heuristic, is presented. Finally, research paths are proposed to support both scientists and outbound logistics practitioners.

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Computer and Information Science   ISSN 1913-8989 (Print)   ISSN 1913-8997 (Online)
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