Truck Operations Planning Application

Project: Consultancy

Project Details

Description

The cost-effectiveness of large-scale logistics operations relies on computer optimisation models that respect the operational practices of the specific business. In the Truck Operations Planning Application project VTT developed an optimisation model specialised for short-term wood transport planning at Stora Enso Wood Supply Finland, enabling cost-effective transport of pulp wood, round wood and energy wood by transport contractors within Finland.
Stora Enso Wood Supply Finland (WSF) procures approx. 20 million m³ of wood annually. The wood is transported from thousands of forest locations by road, rail and waterways to dozens of sawmills and pulp mills. Since mid-1990's, Stora Enso WSF has used optimisation models designed by VTT to plan transport routes for logging trucks, considering details such as delivery schedules, different wood assortments and organisational targets. However, following a strategy change in 2010 Stora Enso WSF transferred substantial planning responsibility to regional transport partners, which operate truck fleets on their own, and detailed route planning and scheduling was no longer needed by Stora Enso WSF.
The goal of the TROPA (Truck Operations Planning Application) project was to design and implement a new short-term wood transport optimisation model that would operate at a higher level suitable for the new transport planning process at Stora Enso WSF. The new model was designed to generate transport orders from roadside stocks to mills at a daily resolution, and in particular to suggest suitable backhaul loads for return trips. The new model was based on an earlier VTT model for tactical planning of rail and vessel transport: the earlier model was extended with an approximate truck routing model, so that the effect of backhaul loads on empty driving and overall cost-efficiency could be estimated.
The new short-term wood transport optimisation model was developed during the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system at Stora Enso WSF. The commissioned research & development project involved requirements specification in collaboration with Stora Enso WSF, mathematical modelling and software development by VTT, and extensive user testing at Stora Enso WSF. VTT delivered the transport optimisation model as a separate software component, for which Stora Enso WSF implemented the user interface and ERP integration.
In production use, the new transport optimisation model reduces the required planning effort at Stora Enso WSF by automatically generating transport orders that not only satisfy mill demands, but can be cost-efficiently implemented by the regional transport contractors.
AcronymTROPA
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/06/155/06/18

Keywords

  • wood supply
  • logistics
  • optimisation