Heuristic solutions for the vehicle routing problem with time windows and synchronized visits


We present a simulated annealing based algorithm for a variant of the vehicle routing problem (VRP), in which a time window is associated with each client service and some services require simultaneous visits from different vehicles to be accomplished. The problem is called the VRP with time windows and synchronized visits. The algorithm features a set of local improvement methods to deal with various objectives of the problem. Experiments conducted on the benchmark instances from the literature clearly show that our method is fast and outperforms the existing approaches. It produces all known optimal solutions of the benchmark in very short computational times, and improves the best results for the rest of the instances.

In Optimization Letters, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2015.