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Timetabling of sorting slots in a logistic warehouse

Abstract : We study a problem that occurs at the end of a logistic stream in a warehouse and which concerns the timetabling of the sorting slots that are used to accommodate the prepared orders before they are dispatched. We consider a set of orders to be prepared in a certain number of preparation shops over a given time horizon. Each order is associated with the truck that will transport it to the customer. A sorting slot is an accumulation area where processed orders wait to be loaded onto a truck. For a given truck a known number of sorting slots is needed from the time the first order for this truck begins to be prepared, right up until the truck’s scheduled departure time. Since several orders destined for different trucks are processed simultaneously, and since the number of sorting slots is limited, the timetabling of these resources is necessary to ensure that all orders can be processed over the considered time horizon. In this paper we describe the general industrial context of the problem and we formalize it. We state that some particular cases of the problem are polynomially solvable while the general problem is NP-complete. We then propose optimization methods for solving the problem.
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Antoine Jouglet, Dritan Nace, Christophe Outteryck. Timetabling of sorting slots in a logistic warehouse. Annals of Operations Research, Springer Verlag, 2016, 239 (1), pp.295-316. ⟨10.1007/s10479-013-1499-9⟩. ⟨hal-01119231⟩

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