Optimal automobile distribution model in multimodal freight transportation networks
This paper proposes a novel optimal automobile distribution problem for a large automobile manufacturer. The proposed problem concerns the cost-effective distribution of automobiles to vehicle distribution centers and vehicle storage centers in a multimodal freight transportation network including truck, rail, and ship modes by taking into account practical service frequencies and the capacities of ships and trains, multiple batches daily delivery, and demanded delivery time. The problem is formulated as an integer linear programming model, which can be solved efficiently by an optimization solver such as CPLEX. A case study created by the Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation is carried out to assess the applicability and performance of the model developed in this study.