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Using a GIS-based Emissions Minimization Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (EVRPTW) Model to Evaluate CO2 Emissions and Costs: Two Case Studies Comparing Changes Within and Between Fleets

Publication: Transportation Research Board 90th Annual Meeting
Publication Date: 2010

Growing pressure to limit greenhouse gas emissions is changing the way businesses operate. A model was developed in ArcGIS to evaluate the trade-offs between cost, service quality (represented by time window guarantees), and emissions of urban pickup and delivery systems under these changing pressures.

A specific case study involving a real fleet with specific operational characteristics is modeled as an emissions minimization vehicle routing problem with time windows (EVRPTW). Analyses of different external policies and internal operational changes provide insight into the impact of these changes on cost, service quality, and emissions. Specific considerations of the influence of time windows, customer density, and vehicle choice are included.

The results show a stable relationship between monetary cost and kilograms of CO2, with each kilogram of CO2 associated with a $3.50 increase in cost, illustrating the influence of fuel use on both cost and emissions. In addition, customer density and time window length are strongly correlated with monetary cost and kilograms of CO2 per order. The addition of 80 customers or extending the time window 100 minutes would save approximately $3.50 and 1 kilogram of CO2 per order. Lastly, the evaluation of four different fleets illustrates significant environmental and monetary gains can be achieved through the use of hybrid vehicles.

Authors: Erica Wygonik
Recommended Citation:
Wygonik, Erica and Anne V. Goodchild. “Using a GIS-based emissions minimization vehicle routing problem with time windows (EVRPTW) model to evaluate emissions and cost trade-offs in a case study of an urban delivery system.” Proc., 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.