The Period Vehicle Routing Problem with Service Choice

The period vehicle routing problem (PVRP) is a variation of the classic vehicle routing problem in which delivery routes are constructed for a period of time (for example, multiple days). In this paper, we consider a variation of the PVRP in which service frequency is a decision of the model. We refer to this problem as the PVRP with service choice (PVRP-SC). We explore modeling issues that arise when service choice is introduced, and suggest efficient solution methods. Contributions are made both in modeling this new variation of the PVRP and in introducing an exact solution method for the PVRP-SC. In addition, we propose a heuristic variation of the exact method to be used for larger problem instances. Computational tests show that adding service choice can improve system efficiency and customer service. We also present general insights on the impact of node distribution on the value of service choice.