The freight consolidation and containerization problem

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

18 Scopus Citations
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  • Hu Qin
  • Zizhen Zhang
  • Zhuxuan Qi
  • Andrew Lim

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-48
Journal / PublicationEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number1
Online published21 Sep 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


In today's global free market, third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are becoming increasingly important. This paper studies a problem faced by a 3PL operating a warehouse in Shanghai, China, under contract with a major manufacturer of children's clothing based in the United States. At the warehouse, the 3PL receives textile parcel shipments from the suppliers located in China; each shipment is destined for different retail stores located across the United Sates. These shipments must be consolidated and loaded into containers of varying sizes and costs, and then sent along shipping routes to different destination ports. An express company, such as UPS and FedEx, unloads the shipments from the containers at the destination ports and distributes them to their corresponding stores or retailers by parcel delivery. The objective is to find an allocation that minimizes the total container transportation and parcel delivery costs. We formulate the problem into an integer programming model, and also propose a memetic algorithm approach to solve the problem practically. A demonstration of a good solution to this problem was a decisive factor in the awarding of the contract to the 3PL in question. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Containerization, Freight consolidation, Memetic algorithm, Packing, Third-party logistics

Citation Format(s)

The freight consolidation and containerization problem. / Qin, Hu; Zhang, Zizhen; Qi, Zhuxuan; Lim, Andrew.

In: European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 234, No. 1, 01.04.2014, p. 37-48.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal