Producción + Limpia
Print version ISSN 1909-0455
CORREA ESPINAL, Alexander Alberto; COGOLLO FLOREZ, Juan Miguel and SALAZAR LOPEZ, Juan Carlos. Application of the graph theory on the solution of environmental problems. Rev. P+L [online]. 2011, vol.6, n.1, pp. 9-20. ISSN 1909-0455.
Introduction. An aspect that is emerging in the commercial distribution systems is the reduction of environmental impacts, by finding the best routes for the vehicles to take and aiming to reduce time or distance and, thus, fuel consumption. The graph theory is an important tool to solve routing problems for vehicles with a restricted capacity (Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem, CVRP). Objective. To apply an informatics tool based on the graph theory to analyze and solve a CVRP in a national cargo transportation company. Materials and methods. A 13 vehicles fleet with the same technical specifications and load capacity (15 tons) were analyzed. The c hosen departure place was Medellín and its surrounding towns. Destinations were concentrated in four cities: Cartagena, Bogotá, Buenaventura and Cúcuta. Results. Two optimal routes were found: The first one is covered by a vehicle with a distance of 2347 Km. The second is covered by a vehicle with a distance of 1761 Km. Conclusions. A 21.9% saving in fuel consumption can be achieved because the routes can be covered by the use of 2 vehicles or less. It is necessary to complement the theoretical solution obtained with an adequate route planning in order to avoid moving empty vehicles.
Keywords : environmental impact; fuel consumption; graph theory; routing; optimization; distribution.