Consolidating and Dispatching Truck Shipments of Mobil Heavy Petroleum Products
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF OPERATIONS RESEARCH
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Mobil Oil Corporation consolidates and dispatches truck shipments of heavy petroleum products-lubricants in packages and in bulk-from 10 lubricant plants nationwide. It dispatches hundreds of orders daily either individually or as consolidated truckloads, using a very nonhomogeneous fleet of Mobil-controlled and contract vehicles and common carriers. Shipment schedules may span several days and include stops to pick up returned drums or entire trailers. Shipping costs depend upon the vehicle used, the shipment size, the locations of the stops, and the route distance and time. Candidate consolidations are generated automatically or with dispatcher assistance. Then, the dispatcher uses optimization to select a minimal- cost set of schedules. Mobil has been using this system for three years, reducing annual transportation costs by about 1 million US.
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