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Paths

A path connects location points within your supply chain, allowing a product to be transported from one location to another.

It is obligatory to:

  • Define a vehicle for each path.
  • Define a shipping policy for each path record (in case of SIM scenario type only).

Paths are unidirectional. To define a path for the reverse travel direction, you must create a new table entry.

A pair of locations within your supply chain can be connected by multiple paths.

The defined connections may not be shown on the GIS map for the following reasons.

Paths can be created manually or automatically.

Column Description

From

Defines the starting location point of the path, which can be a:

  • Location taken from the Locations table
  • List of locations taken from the Location Groups table
  • Customer from the Customers table, in case a location is used by this single customer
  • Group from the Groups table

To

Defines the ending location point of the path, which can be a:

  • Location taken from the Locations table
  • List of locations taken from the Location Groups table.
  • Customer from the Customers table, in case a location is used by this single customer.
  • Group from the Groups table.

Cost Calculation

Sets the formula for calculating transportation cost for the path.

In case of the NO experiment, see the following statistics for details:

The available transportation cost calculators:

  • Product-based - calculated as Cost per specified product measurement unit * volume(unit) + Add cost, where:
    • Costis the cost for transporting one item of product in the specified measurement unit no matter the distance.
    • Volume is the amount of the shipment.
    • Add cost is a fixed value. Add cost is commonly treated as the cost of vehicle provisioning.
  • Product&distance-based - calculated as Cost per product measurement unit *volume(unit) * distance, where:
    • Cost per product measurement unit is the cost for transporting one item of product in the specified measurement unit to the distance of one kilometer,
    • Volume is the total amount of the shipment and distance is the travel distance.
  • Fixed delivery - a fixed Cost value, which is the shipping cost per delivery per vehicle (if vehicle type is defined).
    e.g. a vehicle visits 5 customers. The costs will be calculated as delivery cost * N of customers * N of vehicles
    • If a shipment involves several vehicles, the resulting cost is calculated as Cost * Number of vehicles.
    • If no Vehicle Type is set, the provided value is the total shipping cost. No other parameters are taken into account.
  • Distance-based with cost per stop - calculated as Variable cost * distance + cost per stop, where:
    • Variable cost - the cost for transporting a product to a distance of one kilometer no matter the weight
    • Distance - the shipping distance. The distance value is either manually defined by the user in the Distance column of this table, or is received from the GIS server.
    • Cost per stop - the user-defined fixed cost that is simply added to the expression. The defined cost is added per every object a vehicle visits but the site the vehicle sets off.
    • Note the following:

      • If a Vehicle Type is specified, the value of the Cost per stop parameter is applied to each truck, i.e., it is calculated as vehicles amount * (Variable cost * distance + Cost per stop)
      • In case of NO scenarios if the vehicle type is not specified or the policy is set to LTL, it is calculated as Variable cost * distance * Cost per stop * delivered amount of products
  • Product&distance-based limited distance - allows you to set distance limit that will prevent vehicles from setting off if violated. Calculated as Distance range * cost per product measurement unit * volume(unit) * distance, where:
    • Distance range - the min and max distances (specified in the Distance lower limit and Distance upper limit cost calculation parameters) that must not be violated by the delivery path length
    • Cost per product measurement unit - the cost for transporting one item of product in the specified measurement unit to the distance of one kilometer
    • Volume - the total amount of the shipment
    • Distance - the travel distance
    • Note the following combinations:

      • If the length of the path that is used to deliver the goods is less than the specified Distance lower limit, or larger than, or equal to the specified Distance upper limit, vehicles will not set off.
      • If the length of the path that is used to deliver goods is less than, or equal to the specified Distance lower limit, or is larger than, or equal to the specified Distance upper limit, vehicles will set off.
  • Cost per drop - works just like the Fixed delivery, except for the returning segment, which is cost-free. The returning segment is a route segment, which is used by the vehicle to return to the positioning site.

    This policy type requires the route to be defined by one Path. To create such route, you must define the From and To locations with a group that will contain the required set of sites and customers.

  • Distance-based with fixed cost - calculated as Variable cost * distance + fixed cost, where:
    • Variable cost - the cost for transporting a product to a distance of one kilometer no matter the weight
    • Distance - the shipping distance. The distance value is either manually defined by the user in the Distance column of this table, or is received from the GIS server.
    • Fixed cost - the user-defined fee that is simply added to the expression. The defined fee is added once per trip.
      • If Vehicle Type is specified, the value of the Fixed cost parameter is applied to each truck, i.e., it is calculated as vehicles amount * (Variable cost * distance + Fixed cost)
      • In case of NO scenarios if the vehicle type is not specified or the policy is set to LTL, it is calculated as Variable cost * distance * Fixed cost
      • If the experiment objective is profit (Advanced TO experiment), the transportation cost should be the same on all paths for each vehicle type.

        e.g. Transportation cost for Vehicle type 1 on all paths is $0.05, for Vehicle type 2 it is 0.03 on all paths.

  • Rate matrix - uses data from the provided external table. It is calculated as delivered amount * delivery cost, where:
    • Delivered amount - the amount of products in the measurement unit defined in the Amount unit parameter.
    • Delivery cost - the transportation cost per Amount unit between the two objects. This cost is defined in the external table, which is required for this policy.

Cost Calculation parameters

The field displays the resulting formula for calculating transportation costs for the path in accordance with the selected Cost calculation type. The formula parameters are initially set to zero. Double-click the cell to open a pop-up dialog box allowing you to set the parameters of the corresponding policies:

  • 0 * amount unit + 0 - for Product-based cost. The formula parameters are Amount and Add cost.
  • 0 * amount unit * distance - for Product&distance-based cost. The formula parameters are Cost per specified product measurement unit, volume and distance.
  • 0 - for Fixed delivery cost. The parameter is Cost.
  • 0 * distance + 0 - for Distance-based with cost per stop. The formula parameters are Variable Cost per km, distance, and Cost per stop.
  • Distance [0, 0): 0 * volume * distance - for Product&distance-based limited distance. The formula parameters are Amount unit, Cost per unit, Distance lower limit, Distance upper limit.
  • 0 * distance + 0 per trip - for Distance-based with fixed cost. The formula parameters are Variable Cost per km, distance, and fixed cost.
  • Rate matrix, Unit - for Rate Matrix. The parameter is Unit.

CO2 Calculation Parameters

The field displays the resulting formula for calculating CO2 emissions for the path in accordance with the selected Cost calculation type. The formula parameters are initially set to zero. Double-click the cell to open a pop-up dialog box allowing you to set the parameters of the corresponding policies:

  • 0 * amount unit + 0 - for Product-based cost. The formula parameters are CO2 per unit and Add CO2.
  • 0 * amount unit * distance - for Product&distance-based cost. The formula parameters are CO2 per specified product measurement unit, the specified product measurement unit, volume and distance.
  • 0 - for Fixed delivery cost. The parameter is Cost.
  • 0 * distance + 0 - for Distance-based with cost per stop. The formula parameters are Variable CO2 emissions per km, distance, and Fixed cost.
  • Distance [0): 0 * CO2 * distance - for Product&distance-based limited distance. The formula parameters are Amount unit, CO2 per unit, Distance lower limit, Distance upper limit.
  • 0 * distance + 0 per trip - for Distance-based with fixed cost. The formula parameters are Variable Cost per km, distance, and fixed cost.

Currency

The type of currency, in which the payment will be made.

The list of available units comprises the units defined in the anyLogistix settings.

Distance

Defines the path length in the measurement unit specified in the Distance Unit column.

If set to zero, the path length at the experiment runtime is calculated according to the Straight column setting.

Distance Unit

The Distance measurement units.

The list of available units comprises the units defined in the anyLogistix settings.

Transportation Time

[Not available in GFA scenario type]

Defines the transportation time for the path in the specified Time Unit.

The value can be either fixed or stochastic (defined by a probability distribution). For details on providing fixed or stochastic value refer to this section.

If Transportation Time is set to zero and:

  • Distance is non-zero, then the path's transportation time is calculated at the experiment runtime as Distance divided by vehicle speed. Vehicle speed is taken from the Vehicle types table or is set to default (50 km/h) if no vehicle type is set.
  • Distance is set to zero, the path's transportation time is calculated at the experiment runtime according to the Straight column setting.

Time Unit

[Available in SIM scenario type]

The measurement unit that the Transportation Time is measured in.

The list of available units comprises the units defined in the anyLogistix settings.

Straight

Defines the graphical representation of the path on the map, as well as the method for calculating travel distance and transportation time for the path.

The graphical path representation on the map is regulated as follows:

  • If Straight is enabled, the path is depicted as a straight line.
  • If Straight is disabled [default state], the path is depicted as an actual route. Road network data is obtained from the anyLogistix routing server.

If Transportation Time and Distance are both set to zero, the Straight option defines how the travel distance and the transportation time for the path are calculated:

  • If Straight is enabled, the path travel distance is calculated as the geodesic distance between the From and To location points.
  • If Straight is disabled [default state], the path travel distance is calculated as the length of the actual route. Road network data is obtained from the anyLogistix routing server.

Vehicle Type

The vehicle type (previously defined in the Vehicle Types table) that is used for shipping products along the path.

The selected vehicle provides the Speed value that is used for calculating the path Distance or Transportation Time.

Transportation Policy

[Available in NO scenario type only]

Transportation policy regulates the handling of the orders for the amount smaller than the selected vehicle capacity.

The orders are handled as follows:

  • LTL - Less than Truck Load - the truck does not need to be necessarily fully loaded. Order for any amount is shipped.
  • FTL - Full Truck Load - order(s) will not be shipped until at least one vehicle is fully loaded (in accordance with the Min load, ratio value).

    For example, if an order is received for 0.1 amount of vehicle capacity and Min load, ratio is set to 0.7, the order will not be shipped. If the next order is received for the amount of 1.4 units of a vehicle capacity, the total ordered volume will constitute 1.5 units which is enough to cover the threshold ratio of two trucks. As a result both orders will be shipped in full scope.

  • If no Vehicle type is selected for the path, the FTL policy will be similar to LTL, since there will be no basis for comparing the ordered amount with the vehicle capacity.

Min Load, ratio

[Available in NO scenario type only]

[The value is applied only if Transportation Policy is set to FTL]

The value sets the threshold for the ratio between the ordered product amount and the vehicle capacity. If the threshold is exceeded, the vehicle is treated as fully loaded. The value is provided as a fraction in the interval between 0 and 1. For example, the Min load, Ratio of 0.7 implies that if a vehicle load exceeds 0.7 of its capacity, the vehicle is treated as fully loaded.

The system compares the product amount and the vehicle capacity based on their mass and volume characteristics. The data for the comparison is taken from the Products and Vehicle Types tables, respectively. As a result, two separate ratios are produced: the masses ratio and the volumes ratio. If any of these ratios exceeds the Min load, Ratio, the vehicle is treated as fully loaded.

Aggregate Orders

[Available in SIM scenario type]

The option defines whether the orders are accumulated during the time period defined in Aggregation Period. The resulting amount is shipped after this period ends.

Orders aggregation works in connection with the path Transportation Policy:

  • If Aggregate Orders is turned off and Transportation Policy is set to LTL, an order for any amount is shipped without any delay. If Transportation Policy is set to FTL, an order is not shipped until at least one vehicle is at full capacity.
  • If Aggregate Orders is turned on and Transportation Policy is set to LTL, the order is shipped in full only after the Aggregation Period is over. If Transportation Policy is set to FTL, an order is shipped as soon as any of the following conditions is met: the Aggregation Period is over or at least one vehicle is at full capacity.

Aggregation Period

[Available in SIM scenario type]

[The value can be set and applies only if Aggregate Orders is turned on]

The time period during which the orders are aggregated.

Time Period

The time period during which the paths are used.

The Advanced TO experiment accepts only (All Periods) value.

Name

[Available in SIM scenario type]

Specify the name of the path.

It must be a meaningful name since you will refer to it in the Events table to change the state of the path.

Inclusion Type

The status of the path:

  • Include - the path is included, so vehicles can use it to get to the destination.
  • Exclude - the path is not used in the scenario. If selected, the table record will be grayed out to denote the current inclusion type. The table record stays editable.

    Note: If you feel that your scenario contains too many objects marked as "Excluded" and you know that you no longer use them, you can instantly remove all such objects.

Creating a path manually

To create a path manually, you add a new entry to the Paths table and provide the path parameters. These parameters are set depending on the source data you are provided with.

For example, you can be provided with the actual values of the distances between the locations of your supply chain or the transportation times for location pairs. In this case, you can create a path based on these exact values. Alternatively, you can create a path based on a geographical route, which can be either a straight line, or the actual road network segment. In this case, anyLogistix will automatically calculate the corresponding distances and transportation times.

Creating a path automatically

Paths are created automatically when you create a new scenario or run a GFA experiment:

  • When you create a new scenario, a new "All-to-All" path is created. This path serves as the default connection between the sites of your supply chain and uses the All locations system location group as its starting and ending points.
  • When you run a GFA experiment, the system either uses the default "All-to-All" path or, in case the default path is deleted, creates new paths between the proposed locations and the sites of your supply chain. Running any experiment except GFA is not possible until the appropriate paths are defined.

Multiple paths for a pair of locations

A product can be shipped from one location to another by different means of transport: by air or by truck, as for instance. You can define the vehicle parameters in the Vehicle types table and create a path entry for each vehicle type in the Paths table.

  • Air transportation can be described by a path entry with the Straight option enabled. Its length will be calculated as the geodesic distance (as the crow flies) between the location points.
  • Truck transportation can be described by a path entry with the Straight option disabled. Its length will be calculated as the length of the actual route on the road network.

The resulting paths will have different transportation time; transportation costs can also differ for them. Depending on your optimization goal, one of these paths can be more preferable. Each path should have a shipping policy, which will eventually choose the optimal path according to the defined parameters.

Rate matrix table

Data in the external table should be organized in the following way to allow the Rate matrix properly calculate the transportation costs:

  • The first column should contain source locations of a product.
  • The rest of the columns should contain destinations (customers, sites) the product is taken to.
  • The transportation cost (per specified Amount unit) is specified for the pair of source / destination locations.
  • In case of MS Excel file the sheet name will be taken as the matrix name after import.
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