Enabling Urban Parcel Pickup and Delivery Services Using All-Electric Trucks
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With the increasing interest of green logistics strategies and operations, all-electric truck adoption becomes one of the main addressees of green logistic activities, especially for urban parcel delivery, because of its positive effects on reducing greenhouse gas emission and promoting urban sustainability. However, the limited driving range of all-electric trucks which necessitates visits to charging stations, the long charging time of these trucks which causes congestion and waiting at the charging station and the high costs of deploying al-electric trucks as well as establishing charging infrastructure become the challenges to adopt these trucks. The objective of this dissertation is to provide insights of how to adopt all-electric trucks, electric vehicles (EVs) in general, for urban parcel pickup and delivery services, focusing on the operational, strategic and economic aspects of the adoption. This dissertation includes three closely related parts. The first part concentrates on the operational aspect that aims to optimize the daily routing schedules of all-electric delivery trucks. In order to overcome the challenges of limited battery capacity of EVs and the lack of charging facilities, a new mathematical formulation of EV routing problem considering capacitated charging stations is proposed in this part. The strategic partial recharging scheme of EVs is incorporated and the possibility of conflicts at a charging stations is addressed in the model. A variable neighborhood search and tabu search based heuristic method, utilizing charging time adjustment processes, is developed for its solution. Both the capacitated E-VRP model and heuristic are implemented and tested with different size instances. The second part focuses on the strategic aspect that presents an alternative strategy to route EVs cost-efficiently. Different than direct shipping method proposed in first part that customers are visited by EVs directly from the depot, this strategy is an indirect shipping method with additional intermediate depots. With intermediate depots, a mixed fleet of conventional vehicles (CVs) and EVs is deployed to complete service, where CVs are used to transport parcels from the central depot to intermediate depots while EVs are used to transport parcel from intermediate depots to customers. A two-phase approach of first clustering customers to intermediate depots and routing CVs and EVs secondly is developed for solving the strategic problem. The two-phase approach is implemented for experiments on small and large instances for the proposed strategy and further discussion is provided on potential implementation issues. Finally, the last part extends the work in second part and explores the economic aspect that addressing various cost components of adopting EVs, such as operating and investment costs. In this part, economic analyses are conducted on four adoption strategies of EVs using a mixed fleet. A general mixed fleet routing formulation, G-MFRTW, with primary objective to minimized travelled distance is proposed for these strategies and a column-generation based approach is developed to solve the model. Results of preliminary experiments are first provided to show the performance of different strategies. Furthermore, a case study is presented to find out preference of strategies under various conditions of fuel price, battery price, financial incentive programs and other factors.