Improving the efficiency of assigning vehicles to auto carrier loads : a decision support system

Husted, Christopher (2008-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Auto Carrier Transport (ACT) is the motor ferrying division of Grindrod South Africa (Pty) Ltd and is contracted to transport the product of 15 different vehicle manufacturers. The division is responsible for ensuring that the combined annual volumes of each contract, totalling over 300 000 vehicles per year, are delivered to the right place, at the right time, and in the right condition. ACT's operating mandate thus focuses on the outbound logistics of new vehicles, which implies moving cars from either the local manufacturing plants, or from the import facilities at the ports, to the respective dealer networks all across Southern Africa. One of the key operational processes regarding the transportation of vehicles is the allocation of cars to carrier loads, also known as load building. Once cars have been allocated to a load, a carrier is then used to transport the load. The existing load building operation is completely manual, with operators simply assigning cars to loads as best they see fit. No support systems exist. Thus, given the complexity of the load building problem, and the manual processes used, existing load building practices result in suboptimal payload performances. A Linear Programming Model was developed to improve the manner in which vehicles are categorised, and then assigned to loads. When compared against the results of load building operators, it was found that the model could potentially improve the company's contribution margin by 5.8 percent.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Auto Carrier Transport (ACT) is die motorvoertuig vervoerafdeling van Grindrod Suid Afrika (Edms) Bpk en word gekontrakteer vir die vervoer van die produkte van 15 verskillende motorvervaardigers. Die afdeling is verantwoorde1ik om te verseker dat die jaarlikse volume van elke kontrak (met 'n gekombineerde volume van meer as 300 000 motorvoertuie per jaar) betyds afgelewer word, op die regte plek en in die regte toestand. ACT se operasionele mandaat fokus dus op die uitgaande logistiek van nuwe motorvoertuie met die implikasie dat motorvoertuie vanaf die plaaslike vervaardingsaanleg, of die invoer fasiliteit by die hawens, na die ooreenstemende handelaarsnetwerke in Suider Afrika vervoer word. Een van die kern operasionele prosesse rakende die vervoer van motorvoertuie, wat bekendstaan as vragtoekening, is die toedeling van motorvoertuie tot vragmotor vragte. Sodra 'n motorvoertuig aan 'n vrag toegeken is, word dit deur middel van 'n vragmotor vervoer. Die bestaande vragtoekeningsproses word per hand uitgevoer deur operateurs wat eenvoudig motorvoertuie aan vragte toedeel soos hulle goeddink sonder die gebruik van enige besluitnemingsondersteuningstelsels. Aangesien vragtoekening 'n baie komplekse probleem is wat per hand uitgevoer word, is die resultate suboptimaal. 'n Lineêre programeeringsmodel is ontwikkel om die klassifikasie van motorvoertuie te verbeter waarna die motorvoertuie aan vragte toegeken word. In 'n vergelyking tussen die model se resultate en die van die operateurs is daar bevind dat die model die maatskappy se wins per eenheid met 5.8 persent kan verbeter.

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