Backhauling in forest transportation : models, methods and practical usage
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- Discussion papers (FOR) 
Transportation planning in forestry is divided into strategic, tactical and operational depending on the length of the planning horizon. We consider a tactical problem of finding efficient backhauling routes. Given a set of supply and demand points the backhauling problem is to identify a set of efficient routes which is a combination of direct tours between supply and demand points such that the unloaded distance is minimized. Given these routes we formulate a linear programming problem where the solution is the actual flows in the routes. The problem normally has a time horizon ranging from one to five weeks. However, in some cases it can be included in strategic planning for more than one year and as a basis for daily operative route planning. The size of the problem increases rapidly with the number of supplies and demands and we describe a column generation approach for its solution. Models and methods have been used with success in a number of case studies and in decision support systems. We describe the model and solution method and report on case studies and systems where the approach has been used.
PublisherNorwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. Department of Finance and Management Science