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Design and Implementation of a Real-Time Fleet Management System for a Courier Operator

Ninikas, G., Athanasopoulos, Th., Marentakis, H., Zeimpekis, V., and Minis, I.

Proceedings of the 4th World Congress on Engineering Asset Management (WCEAM 2009), Athens, Greece, September 28 - 30, 2009.

The need for higher customer service and minimization of operational costs has led many courier operators to seek innovative information systems for efficient handling of customer requests that occur either during the planning and/or the execution of daily deliveries. These systems address a series of operational issues that occur in the courier sector such as fleet and HR management, vehicle routing and monitoring, proof of delivery, track-and trace services, and so fourth. However, the demanding environment of the courier industry generates further operational needs that have not fully addressed by the existing systems. This paper presents the architecture of an innovative fleet management system that have been developed and implemented to a Hellenic courier operator, in order to address daily challenges and provide an integrated framework that supports effectively the dispatchers during the planning and execution of delivery schedules. The proposed system manages and allocates in real-time the dynamic requests that occur during service execution, as well as, the bulk deliveries that need to be serviced over a multiple-period (days) time horizon upon their receipt. The system has been evaluated through simulation tests and field experiments so as to ensure the robustness and interoperability of its components and assess the potential of adopting such a system in the courier industry.