Algorithms are being developed to quantify the reduction in economic and environmental costs in commercial logistics tasks
30/10/2017
Rubn Permuy
Improving business competitiveness in a globalized era

Average total cost savings of 55% with a 52% reduction in CO2 emissions. These are some of the benefits that could be obtained by applying horizontal cooperation strategies in logistics and transport activities, according to a study by Carlos Leonardo Quintero, in his doctoral thesis conducted at the UOC.

“The globalization of markets requires companies to be more competitive, given that their customers and competitors may be located anywhere in the world”, Quintero says. “Companies need to optimize their processes, not only in manufacturing, but also in distribution, and seek business strategies that allow them to generate economies of scale”, the researcher adds. His thesis, Applications of Simheuristics and Horizontal Cooperation Concepts in Rich Vehicle Routing Problems, proposes the creation of efficient optimization algorithms (simheuristics) to resolve new problems of transport logistics under real conditions, to support decision-making in the implementation of horizontal cooperation strategies in areas such as product distribution.

Quintero identified different scenarios of horizontal cooperation, in order to subsequently represent them through optimization problems and in this way design algorithms to solve them. These algorithms were tested using theoretical and real data to evaluate their quality.  “As well as savings in terms of costs and emissions, in the future we want to involve social aspects, such as employment equality, to analyse sustainability in the broader sense”, the researcher points out.

Carlos Leonardo Quintero conducted the research of his thesis under the supervision of ngel Alejandro Juan, principal investigator of the Distributed, Parallel, and Collaborative Systems - Internet Computing & Systems Optimization (DPCS-ICSO) research group, associated with the UOC Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3). It was jointly supervised by Javier Fauln, professor at the Public University of Navarre (UPNA), and Jairo Montoya, from the University of Los Andes in Colombia.