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Transportation Research Record 1790

Paper No. 02-2649


Modeling City Logistics

Eiichi Taniguchi and Russell G. Thompson
Urban freight systems are experiencing many problems due to higher levels of service and lower costs being demanded by shippers, with carriers
having to operate in increasingly congested road conditions. Trucks operating in urban areas produce many negative impacts for society in terms
of emissions, crashes, noise, and vibration. City logistics aims to globally
optimize urban freight systems by considering the costs and benefits of
schemes to the public as well as the private sector. The concepts of city
logistics are introduced, and an outline is presented of some models that
have recently been developed to predict the consequences of intelligent
transportation systems. In particular, a stochastic vehicle routing and
scheduling procedure that incorporates the variation of travel times is
described. Results indicate that this approach can lead to significant
reduction in operating costs by carriers as well as shorter routes with
fewer trucks and increased reliability for customers. This procedure also
reduces emissions and fuel consumption.

have their own specific objectives and tend to behave in a different

manner. City logistics models need to recognize these factors.
Quantification of the consequences of city logistics initiatives is
necessary for their evaluation and planning. Predicting the impacts
of city logistics initiatives for evaluation purposes requires modeling
to be undertaken. Models should describe the behavior of the key
stakeholders involved in urban freight transport. They should also
incorporate the activities of freight carriers, including transporting
and loading and unloading goods at depots or customers. Models
must also describe the traffic flow on urban roads for freight vehicles
as well as passenger cars. Models are also required to quantify the
changes in costs of logistics activities, traffic congestion, emissions
of hazardous gases, and noise levels after implementing city logistics

There are many challenging problems concerning urban freight

transport. Shippers and freight carriers are required to provide higher
levels of service with lower costs to meet various needs of customers.
They have made efforts to rationalize their freight transportation systems, but this has often led to an increase in pickupdelivery truck
traffic in urban areas. This increase in the number of freight vehicles
using urban roads has become a major source of traffic congestion,
with many associated negative environmental impacts, such as air
pollution and noise. In addition, current global environmental agreements urge freight carriers to reduce CO2 emissions produced from
their vehicles as well as from passenger cars.
Some researchers [e.g., Ruske (1), Kohler (2), Taniguchi and van
der Heijden (3), and Taniguchi et al. (4)] have proposed the idea of
city logistics to solve these difficult problems. The definition of city
logistics can be stated as the process for totally optimizing the logistics and transport activities by private companies with the support of
advanced information systems in urban areas considering the traffic
environment, its congestion, safety and energy savings within the
framework of a market economy (5). Although some of the city
logistics initiatives listed below have only been proposed, others have
already been implemented in several cities:


Advanced information systems,

Cooperative freight transport systems,
Public logistics terminals,
Load factor controls, and
Underground freight transport systems.

There are four key stakeholders involved in urban freight transportation: (a) shippers, (b) freight carriers, (c) residents, and (d) administrators. All of these key stakeholders in urban freight transportation
E. Taniguchi, Department of Civil Engineering, Kyoto University, Yoshidahonmachi,
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan. R. G. Thompson, Department of Civil and
Environmental Engineering, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.

City logistics is based on the systems approach, of which modeling

is a key component (4). Models are used to estimate the effects of
various changes in the urban distribution system without actually
changing the system. There are three general types of network models that are typically used for predicting the effects of city logistics
initiatives: (a) supply models, (b) demand models, and (c) impact
models (6). Supply models are used to predict the level of service of
the freight system based on network characteristics and estimated
demand. Demand models predict the demand for urban goods movement on specific transportation links based on industry and resident
characteristics within an urban area as well as the level of service on
the links. Impact models predict the financial, energy, social, environmental, and economic impacts of city logistics initiatives based
on the predicted demand and level of service.
The modeling framework adopted in this paper is composed of
two submodels: (a) a probabilistic model for vehicle (pickupdelivery truck) routing and scheduling problem with time windows
(VRPTW-P) for each company and (b) a dynamic traffic simulation
model for the fleet of pickupdelivery trucks and passenger cars on
the road network within the city.
The optimal assignment of vehicles to customers, the departure
time, and the visiting order of customers for each freight carrier are
determined by the VRPTW-P model and become inputs to the dynamic traffic-simulation model. The dynamic traffic-simulation
model is based on a macroscopic dynamic-simulation BOX model
(7 ). This model estimates the distribution of travel times on each
link in 1-h intervals. The VRPTW-P model is then re-solved using
the updated distribution of travel times on each link obtained from
the BOX model. Thus, the distribution of travel times for each link
is represented by a normal distribution, in 1-h time intervals. The
model, therefore, incorporates time-dependent travel times.
There are many commercial software packages for vehicle routing
and scheduling. However, they generally use one value of forecasted


Paper No. 02- 2649

travel time for a link of road network. The authors developed a

new model that incorporates the variation of travel times using stochastic programming techniques. The model uses historical data of
travel times.

Transportation Research Record 1790

Penalty (yen/min.)

Cd ,n(i )
Ce,n(i )

1 t sn(i )

Probability of arrival time

t en(i )

Arrival time

The distribution of goods in urban areas using road-based vehicles

has led to many environmental and social problems, such as air pollution, crashes, and noise. There is, therefore, a need to establish effective procedures for minimizing the environmental and social costs of
transporting goods within cities.
Distribution Trends
Driven freight transportation systems (DFTS) characterize many
contemporary logistics services in manufacturing and retail sectors.
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) is a fundamental component
of just-in-time, quick-response, and efficient-consumer-response
systems (8). However, narrow customer-specified time windows can
lead to substantial increases in the travel time and number of trucks
used to deliver goods (4). Such customer demands are leading to
more distance being traveled by trucks, resulting in increased emissions, noise, and energy consumption. Therefore, new procedures
need to be developed that support DFTS but reduce the social and
environmental costs of such delivery systems.

Penalty of early arrival

and delay (yen/min.)

Arrival time

Arrival time (min.)

FIGURE 1 Penalty for early arrival and delay at
customers for the probabilistic model.

VRPTW-P Model Formulation

Intelligent Transportation Systems
Many cities have already developed extensive monitoring systems
capable of collecting vast amounts of data relating to the performance of urban traffic networks. Numerous ITS have already been
developed to automatically collect vehicle travel times (9). Technology incorporating vehicle license-plate recognition using imageprocessing techniques has been implemented to collect and predict
vehicle travel times in real time (10).
Several other methods can be used to automatically collect travel
time information for trucks, including specialized equipment within
vehicles such as global positioning systems (GPS) or electronic tags.
GPS allow the dynamic location of a vehicle to be determined using
satellite technology. Electronic tags installed on vehicles can be
detected by induction loops or other electronic scanning equipment
as trucks pass detectors. Travel times can be determined by comparing multiple readings of the same vehicle at different locations in the
network. Many cities now have some form of automatic travel-time
data-collection systems for performance monitoring and congestion
management. Private companies can also use such technology to
monitor travel times as part of their fleet management systems.
Stochastic Programming
Stochastic programming allows historical travel-time patterns that are
represented by probability distributions to be used in vehicle routing
and scheduling optimization procedures. Here, the objective function
explicitly incorporates expected penalty costs that are estimated
using stochastic travel times and the penalties incurred for arrivals at
customers outside the designated time windows (Equation 1 and
Figure 1).

The VRPTW-P model is defined where a depot and a number of customers are specified for each freight carrier. A fleet of identical vehicles collects goods from customers and delivers them to the depot or
delivers goods to customers from the depot. A designated time window specifies the desired time period the customer is to be visited.
For example, in the case of collecting goods, vehicles depart from
the depot and visit a subset of customers for picking up goods in
sequence and return to the depot to unload them. A vehicle is allowed
to make multiple trips per day. Each customer must be assigned to
exactly one route of a vehicle, and all the goods from each customer
must be loaded on the vehicle at the same time. The total weight of
the goods in a route must not exceed the capacity of the vehicle. This
problem is used to determine the optimal assignment of vehicles to
customers, the departure time, and the order of visiting customers for
a freight carrier. The VRPTW-P model explicitly incorporates the
distribution of travel times for identifying the optimal routes and
departure times of vehicles.
The VRPTW-P model minimizes the total cost of distributing
goods with truck-capacity and designated-time constraints. The total
cost is composed of three components: (a) fixed cost of vehicles;
(b) vehicle operating cost, that is, proportional to time traveled and
spent waiting at customers; and (c) delay penalty for missing the
designated pickup or delivery time at customers.
C(t0, X) = total cost (yen);
t0 = departure time vector for all vehicles at
the depot, t0 = {tl,0 l = 1, m};
X = assignment and order of visiting customers for all vehicles, X = {xl l = 1, m};
xl = assignment and order of visiting customers for vehicle l, xl = {n(i)i = 1, Nl};

Taniguchi and Thompson

Paper No. 02- 2649

n(i) = node number of ith customer visited by a

d( j) = number of depots (= 0);
Nl = total number of customers visited by
vehicle l;
n0 = total number of d( j) in xl ;
m = maximum number of vehicles available;
cf,l = fixed cost for vehicle l (yen /vehicle);
l (xl) = 1 if vehicle l is used, 0 otherwise;
Ct,l (tl,0, xl) = operating cost for vehicle l (yen);
Cp,l (tl,0, xl) = penalty cost for vehicle l (yen);
ct,l = operating cost per minute for vehicle l
tl,n(i) = departure time of vehicle l at customer
T (tl,n(i), n(i), n(i + 1)) = average travel time of vehicle l between
customer n(i) and n(i + 1) at time tl, n(i);
tc,n(i) = loading/unloading time at customer n(i);
pl,n(i) (tl, 0, t, xl) = probability that a vehicle departing the
depot at time tl, 0 arrives at customer n(i)
at time t;
cd,n(i) (t) = delay penalty cost per minute at customer
n(i) (yen/minute);
ce,n(i) (t) = early arrival penalty cost per minute at
customer n(i) (yen/minute);
N = total number of customers;
D [n(i)] = demand of customer n(i) in kilograms;
tl,0 = last arrival time of vehicle l at the depot;
ts = starting of possible operation time of
te = end of possible operation time of trucks,
Wl (xl) = load of vehicle l (kg); and
Wc,l = capacity of vehicle l (kg).
Then the model can be formulated as follows:
C( t 0 , X ) =

f ,l

 l (x l ) +

l =1


t ,l

l =1


(tl , 0 , x l )]

(tl , 0 , x l )]


E[Ct , l (tl , 0 , x l )] = ct , l {T [tl , n ( i ) , n(i ), n(i + 1)] + tc , n ( i +1) }


p, l

l =1




E[Cp, l (tl , 0 , x l )] =


l, n(i )

(tl , 0 , t, x l )[cd , n ( i ) (t ) + ce, n ( i ) (t )] dt


subject to
n0 2

( 4)
= N


l =1

D[n(i)] = W (x )

n( i ) xl



Wl ( x l ) Wc , l

( 7)

ts tl , 0


tl, 0 te

( 9)

tl, 0 = tl , 0 +


{T [t

l,n(i )


, n(i ), n(i + 1)] + tc , n ( i +1) }


The problem specified by Equations 1 through 10 is to determine

the variable X, that is, the assignment of vehicles and the visiting
order of customers, and the variable t0, the departure time of vehicles from the depot. Note that n(0) and n(Nl + 1) represent the depot
in Equations 2 and 3.
The distribution of travel times is required in Equation 1 for determining the expected value of operating costs and penalty costs. This
is the major difference between the probabilistic model (VRPTW-P)
and the standard or forecast model (VRPTW-F), with the forecast
model using only one value to represent the travel times, whereas
travel times in the probabilistic model are represented by a statistical
distribution. The dynamic traffic simulation calculates the distribution of travel times, which can be approximated by the normal distribution for every hour. Then the updated normal distribution is used
as input to the probabilistic model.
Figure 1 shows the penalty for vehicle delay and early arrivals at
s ) of the penalty function
customers. The time period (t en(i) t n(i)
defines the width of the soft time window in which vehicles are
requested to arrive at customers. If a vehicle arrives at a customer
s , it must wait until the start of the designated time
earlier than t n(i)
window and a cost is incurred during waiting. If a vehicle is delayed,
it must pay a penalty proportional to the amount of time it was
delayed. This type of penalty is typically observed in goods distribution to shops and supermarkets in urban areas. Multiplying the
penalty function and the probability of arrival time as shown in Figure 1 can identify the penalty of early arrival and delay at customers
for the probabilistic model. The forecast model assumes the particular time of a truck arrival. Therefore, the penalty for early arrival
and delay can be estimated by multiplying the penalty function by
the amount of time the truck arrives early or late.
The VRPTW-P is a nondeterministic polynomial (NP)-hard
combinatorial optimization problem. It requires heuristic methods
to efficiently obtain good solutions. Recently, several researchers
have applied heuristic algorithms such as genetic algorithms (GAs)
[e.g., Thangiah et al. (11)], simulated annealing [e.g., Kokubugata
et al. (12)], and tabu search [e.g., Potvin et al. (13)] to obtain approximate solutions for the VRPTW. Gendreau et al. reviewed the application of such modern heuristic approaches to VRP and described
the potential of such methods for tackling complex, difficult combinatorial optimization problems (14). The model described in this
paper uses a GA to solve the VRPTW-P. GA was selected because
it is a heuristic procedure that can simultaneously determine the
departure time and the assignment of vehicles as well as the visiting
order of customers. GA generally starts with an initial population of
individuals (solutions) and from these a next generation (set of solutions) is produced. Parents of subsequent generations are selected
based on their performance or fitness. Using the characteristics of the
parents, a number of operations are performed (crossover and mutation) to produce successive generations and to avoid local optimal
solutions. Generations continue to be produced until a satisfactory
solution is found.


Paper No. 02- 2649

Transportation Research Record 1790

This model adopts the delay penalty that depends on the delay
times at customers. However, if a truck of a freight carrier often
arrives late at customers, it will have difficulty in renewing the contract the next time. The model represents such circumstances in a
mathematical way. Therefore, it is not easy to quantify the delay
penalty. If the delay penalty is increased, freight costs will obviously
increase. The early-arrival penalty can be simply time costs of waiting at nearby customers.


The dynamic traffic simulation (modified BOX) model is based on
a model that was originally developed by Fujii et al. (7 ). This model
is essentially a macroscopic model, but because the origin and destination of each vehicle are defined, it is actually a hybrid macroscopic/
microscopic model. Vehicles are assumed to choose the shortest path
when they arrive at a node using an estimated average travel time.
The modified BOX model consists of two components: flow simulation and route-choice simulation. A sequence of boxes is used to represent each link. Groups of vehicles flowing out of a box and into the
next box during the scanning interval represent the flow on links.
There are two assumptions for modeling links: (a) the maximum flow
during a scanning interval is the same for all sections on links, and
(b) no inflow and outflow are allowed in the middle of links. A consequence of the first assumption is that only the lowest section of a
link can be a bottleneck, where a congestion queue starts. Two states
of flow, congested flow and free flow, are represented. The time for
a vehicle to proceed through a congested queue Tc is given by

Tc =


where Fc is number of vehicles in a congestion queue and Ce is the

effluent traffic volume.
The effluent traffic volume is the traffic volume that can flow out
of the lowest section of a link into the lower link. The time required
to go through the running area without any queue Tf is estimated by
Tf =


Tf =

Lf  K

if K K0 =


if K > K0 =



from the current node to the destination using their cognitive map. It
is assumed that all drivers have some experience in driving within
the defined network. The function for estimating the link cost is
Ck = Tkt + k


Ck = estimated cost on link k,
Tkt = travel time on link k at time t, and
k = disturbance term.
In this study, the disturbance term k is assumed to be normally
distributed, with the zero mean and variance 2 represented by
k ~ N (0, 2 )


Test Conditions
The model described in the previous section was applied to a test
network with 25 nodes and 40 links, as shown in Figure 2. This road
network is composed of the same type of roads, with free running
speed of 40 km/h. Any node within the network can generate and
attract passenger-car traffic. These nodes are referred to as centroids
and are also candidate nodes to be visited by pickupdelivery trucks.
Ten freight carriers are assumed to operate a maximum of 12 pickup
delivery trucks in this network. Each freight carrier has one depot
that is randomly located on the network. Three different types of
trucks, having capacities of 2, 4, and 10 tons, respectively, can be
used. However, only up to four trucks of each type can be operated
by each carrier. The passenger-car equivalence rates, operating
costs, and fixed costs for each type of pickupdelivery truck are
based on results from recent studies of truck operations in Japan.
The number of customers for each carrier was generated randomly
between 14 and 22. The actual nodes to be visited for each carrier
were also determined randomly from all nodes in the network. The
freight demand at each customer was determined based on the distribution of freight demand at Kobe City.

@2.67km * 4 = 10.7km



length of flowing area without any queue,

free running speed,
traffic density,
critical traffic density, and
maximum traffic volume.

The modified BOX model explicitly describes the flow of

pickupdelivery trucks that depart from a depot and return to the
same depot. Pickupdelivery trucks are converted to passenger-car
units and the first-in, first-out rule is assumed on all links. The model
was further modified to identify the arrival of specific vehicles at
assigned nodes (customers).
The simulation model described above estimates travel times on
each link and allows link costs to be determined. Drivers are assumed
to compose a cognitive map for each link based on its estimated link
cost. Drivers then choose routes based on their minimum travel cost

@2.67km * 4 = 10.7km



















Test road network.

Taniguchi and Thompson

Paper No. 02- 2649

Three types of time windows were permitted in this study:

1-h time windows for morning (9:0012:00), afternoon (13:0017:00),
and no time window. The type and starting time of each customers time window were based on a recent survey in the Kobe
and Osaka areas. The dynamic traffic simulation provides the distribution of travel times on each link for the scanning interval. In
this study, the scanning interval is 1 h. When the optimal routes
and schedules were initially calculated, the average travel times on
each link were assumed to be equal to the travel times using free
running speeds.
The dynamic traffic simulation requires information on passengercar behavior and on optimal routes and schedules of pickupdelivery
trucks produced by the VRPTW-P model. This includes the departure time and visiting order of customers. Passenger cars in this study
include actual passenger cars and trucks other than those that are considered in the optimal routing and scheduling model. Passenger car
origindestination (O-D) tables for every hour were estimated using
traffic generation rates at each centroid and the probability of O-D
choice. The number of passenger cars for each hour was generated
using a temporal demand pattern based on the traffic census conducted
in Kobe City.
The model described here uses an iterative procedure for representing day-to-day variation. Therefore, the travel time provided by
the dynamic simulation fluctuates between days. Figure 3 shows the
calculation procedure. Here, the generation of total passenger cars
changed 4,375 vehicles/day 10% at all nodes (175 vehicles/day
at each node). After 10 days of operation, the iterative procedure
stopped. The fluctuation of travel time at each link was within 5%.
At the end of 10 days of operation, optimal routes and schedules
were determined for freight carriers. Then they encountered three
different traffic conditions, Cases A, B, and C. The total generation
of passenger cars per day for Case A was 6,500 vehicles/day; for
Case B, 5,450 vehicles/day; and for Case C, 4,375 vehicles/day at all
nodes. The generation at Case C is the same as in the previous 10 days
of operation. This generation was uniformly located at all nodes.
Case A was more congested than Case B, which was more congested
than Case C. The average speeds of Cases A, B, and C were 30, 35,
and 38 km/h, respectively.

VRP model


Table 1 shows the change in total costs for 10 freight carriers for the
three traffic conditions. The table indicates that the probabilistic
model can reduce the total costs compared with the forecast model
in all cases. The reduction of total costs from the forecast model
increases in Cases A and B, with higher levels of congestion than
Case C. This means that freight carriers can obtain more benefits by
using the probabilistic model when traffic congestion becomes
worse. The value of the stochastic solution (VSS) is defined as the
percentage of the total cost reduction by using the probabilistic
model from the forecast model. The VSS in the three cases is 11%
to 17%, which is a considerable amount of benefit by incorporating
the uncertainty of travel times.
Table 1 also indicates that the delay penalty decreased by 24% to
35% with the probabilistic model, which means that this model provides better service to customers by reducing the risk of delay. However, the early arrival penalty increased by 8% to 11%. The fixed cost
in three cases increased by about 5%, and the operation cost remained
at the same level as for the forecasted model. The small increase in the
fixed cost is due to the slight increase in the number of trucks used by
the 10 freight carriers as shown in Table 2. The table shows that the
number of 2-ton trucks was reduced by one and that two additional
4-ton trucks were used in the optimal routes and schedules of the
VRPTW-P model. As the authors assumed that each freight carrier
has 12 pickupdelivery trucks, the increase in the number of trucks is
within the limitation of owned pickupdelivery trucks.
Here is an examination of why the probabilistic model can
decrease total costs. Figures 4 and 5 show an example of an optimal
diagram of operating trucks given by probabilistic and forecasted
models at the end of 10 days of operation in Figure 3. In Figures 4
and 5, the horizontal lines, which reach both ends of the graph, indicate that the depot and other horizontal lines show the time windows
of customers. These figures demonstrate that trucks tend to arrive at
customers earlier within the time window for the probabilistic model
than for the forecasted model. In this case in Figures 4 and 5, the
total delay time by the probabilistic model was 99 min and by the
forecasted model was 907 min, which is 10 times as large as the time
given by the probabilistic model. The optimal operation of the probabilistic model in this case used two trucks, whereas the forecasted
model used one truck. In this way, the probabilistic model provides
the routing and scheduling planning to avoid delay at customers.

visiting order
travel times

BOX model
variation of car generation
4375 veh./day10%

1st - 10th day

What day?


Change in Total Costs of 10 Freight Carriers


11th day

VRP model
BOX model
Case A
6500 veh./day
(car generation)

BOX model
Case B
5450 veh./day
(car generation)

BOX model
Case C
4375 veh./day
(car generation)


Evaluation of freight costs and

the environment

Flowchart of the calculation procedure.

unit: yen/day

fixed cost
early arrival
total cost
fixed cost
early arrival
total cost

Case A

Case B

Case C


Paper No. 02- 2649

Transportation Research Record 1790

TABLE 2 Change in the Number of Trucks

(10 Freight Carriers, Cases A, B, and C)


Type of vehicle
2 ton truck
4 ton truck
10 ton truck
2 ton truck
4 ton truck
10 ton truck

Number of vehicles

The table below shows the total time to spare after arriving at customers until the end of their time windows. The total time to spare
using the VRPTW-P model is 20.5% longer than that using VRPTWF model. The longer time to spare within the time window using the
probabilistic model allows drivers to avoid delays at customers in
case of increasing travel times due to unexpected traffic congestion.
This leads to the reduction of delay penalty as well as total costs. The
reason why the probabilistic model leads to longer time to spare is
that the delay penalty shown in Figure 1 is set much larger than the
early-arrival penalty. The specific value of the delay penalty for 2-,
4-, and 10-ton trucks was five times as large as the early arrival
penalty of a 4-ton truck. Therefore, trucks need to arrive earlier to
avoid the high delay penalty. On the other hand, when the forecasted
model is used, a single value of travel time is used instead of the
travel time distribution. No penalty is imposed for trucks unless they
arrive after the end of the time window. This can lead to optimal
routes in which trucks arrive very close to the end of time windows.
Total time to spare until the end of the time window (10 freight
carriers) is as follows:
Total time
to spare (min)
Forecasted model
Probabilistic model
Difference, %


Table 3 shows the total travel time. The total travel time using the
probabilistic model is slightly larger than that using the forecasted
model. The actual running time for both passenger cars and trucks
does not increase much, but the waiting time of trucks increases by
12% to 15%. This is due to the tendency of the probabilistic model

FIGURE 4 Example of an optimal trajectory diagram of operating

trucks (forecasted model, 10-ton truck).

FIGURE 5 Example of an optimal trajectory diagram of operating

trucks: (a) probabilistic model, the first 10-ton truck, and
(b) probabilistic model, the second 10-ton truck.

to lead to solutions in which trucks arrive at customers earlier to

avoid delay penalties.
Table 4 shows the CO2 emissions estimated based on the solutions
obtained by both the forecasted and probabilistic models, which were
calculated based on the average running speed of trucks. The CO2
emissions of trucks decreased by about 6% using the probabilistic
model compared with the forecasted model, whereas the CO2 emissions produced by passenger cars remained almost at the same level
for both models. The reduction of CO2 emissions by trucks was
mainly due to 10-ton trucks. As shown in Table 3, the travel time of
10-ton trucks decreased using the VRPTW-P model, which contributed to a reduction in total CO2 emissions from trucks, because
the unit emission rate of 10-ton trucks is larger than for other small
trucks. This is the reason why a reduction of CO2 emissions by trucks
was achieved in spite of the increase of total travel time of trucks.
As shown in Table 4, the total CO2 emissions by passenger cars
and trucks decreased by 1% to 3% using the probabilistic model
compared with the forecasted model. Therefore, incorporating the
uncertainty of travel times using the probabilistic model not only
allows freight carriers to reduce their total costs but also improves
the environment in terms of reducing CO2 emissions.
A dynamic vehicle routing and scheduling model with real-time
travel-time information has also been recently developed (15). Preliminary results indicate that this model can lead to a significant reduction in operating costs, an increased level of service for customers, and
a decrease in the running time for trucks.

Taniguchi and Thompson


Paper No. 02- 2649

Total Travel Time







Type of vehicle
passenger car
2 ton truck
4 ton truck
10 ton truck
subtotal of trucks

Case A

Case B

Case C





passenger car
change (%)
2 ton truck
4 ton truck
10 ton truck
subtotal of trucks
change (%)
change (%)
change (%)




unit: minute/day

ITS provides many opportunities for reducing the social, environmental, and financial costs of goods distribution in urban areas. In
particular, automatic vehicle-identification systems, systems monitoring vehicle location, provide us with a very good data set of
variable travel times. Vehicle routing and scheduling procedures
incorporating these systems have good potential for being effective
city logistics initiatives.
This paper described a probabilistic vehicle routing and scheduling
model based on ITS. A reduction in the number of trucks, vehiclekilometers of travel, and operating costs can be achieved by using the
probabilistic vehicle routing and scheduling model. This would result
in substantial social, environmental, and financial benefits. Thus, the
probabilistic model is an effective city logistics initiative.
For putting this type of modeling to practical use, users need to collect historical data of travel times on each link of a network. Until


CO 2 Emissions



Type of vehicle
passenger car
2 ton truck
4 ton truck
10 ton truck
subtotal of trucks
passenger car
change (%)
2 ton truck
4 ton truck
10 ton truck
subtotal of trucks
change (%)
change (%)

unit: kg-C/day

Case A

Case B

Case C





recently, collection of such data has been very limited. However,

today sophisticated ITS allows us to obtain these data at low costs. For
practical use, a conventional assignment software package can take
place in the dynamic traffic simulation in the modeling procedure.
Doing so would make it possible to apply the model to a large-scale
network of an entire urban area.
Public sectors should play an important role in installing equipment for measuring variable travel times on roads and in providing
historical data sets to the logistics industry.
Some shippers and freight carriers are very interested in the
authors models, and the authors are undertaking a project to assess
the benefits of applying the models in practical cases with real travel
time data in the Osaka area of Japan. Once the benefits of using the
models are recognized in practical situations, shippers and freight
carriers will use them.
1. Ruske, W. City LogisticsSolutions for Urban Commercial Transport
by Cooperative Operation Management. OECD Seminar on Advanced
Road Transport Technologies, Omiya, Japan, 1994.
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Publication of this paper sponsored by Committee on Urban Freight Transportation.