University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

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A Solution Framework for the Multi-Mode Resource Constrained Cross-Dock Scheduling Problem

Author(s): Nicole Adler, Dror Hermel, Hamed Hasheminia, Michael Fry

Status: Published
Year: 2016
Publication Name: OMEGA
Volume: 59, Page Number(s): 157-170


In this paper we propose a framework for shift-level container scheduling and resource allocation decisions at a cross-dock facility. The Multi-Mode Resource-Constrained Cross-Dock Scheduling Problem (MRCDSP) approach minimizes material flow and schedules inbound and outbound containers to dock-doors such that the total processing time is minimized subject to the resource constraints at the cross-dock. While container scheduling and resource allocation problems at cross-dock facilities have been studied previously in isolation, our work is the first to consider a complete view of cross-dock operations providing optimal container to dock-door allocation, and a makespan minimizing schedule of containers to the cross-dock. We present a comprehensive framework that includes identification of container clusters to reduce the problem size, a container-to-dock-door assignment algorithm, and a container clusters scheduling model that is solvable for practically sized problems. In a comparative numeric study based on data simulating a cross-dock facility, our approach is shown to outperform current practice, reducing the average time required for processing a set of containers by 37% and reducing the weighted-distance material traveled within the cross-dock by 45%.


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