Introduction to Freight Transportation
We introduce freight transportation and provide some historical context focusing on sources of innovation. We demonstrate how improvements in freight systems (infrastructure, conveyances, etc.) have ripple effects throughout an entire economy. We compare and contrast freight and passenger transportation. We introduce the basic terminology and concepts such as of time-space diagrams, types and classifications of transportation networks, and the four core components: load/unload, linehaul, sorting, and local delivery.
Building from direct or one-to-one moves, we next consider local routing where we deliver from one origin to many destinations. We introduce the concepts of network algorithms and how they are used in solving local routing problems. We will cover shortest path, traveling salesman, and vehicle routing problems.
Transportation is one of, if not the, most outsourced activities for a company. Better procurement of transportation services is critical for any manufacturer, retailer, or distributor. We will discuss how transportation is typically procured and illustrate innovative approaches to include using combinatorial optimization.
Hubs & Transshipment
We introduce the idea of consolidation at facilities that enables many to many movements with and without transshipment points. We discuss how to make trade-offs in cost and time to determine how to flow products from multiple sources to multiple destinations. We will work through the classic transportation problem as well as different flow problems.