The Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation addresses facility location and vehicle routing problems through flexible and practical optimisation approaches. It is the UK’s largest location analysis and routing research centre and one of the leading centres in Europe.
Locating the right number of facilities (plants, depots, fire stations, police stations, ambulance stations, etc.) at the right place can save companies and the government time and money while adding competitive advantages. For instance, in the public sector, locating an ambulance station at the right place can save lives and relieve distress to families. Using the right fleet and the right routes can not only improve a company or public body’s profit margin but also increase the availability of customer services and hence the company’s market share.
From an environmental viewpoint, a reduction of unnecessary transport movements reduces gas emissions together with the risk of accidents. The integration of deliveries with pickups makes the entire distribution system, wherever practically possible, more efficient on all fronts (costs, environment, etc.).
Following recent natural and man-made disasters, the research agenda is intensely focussed on providing extra protection to some facilities or parts of the supply chain by enhancing its security. As technology has advanced, taking decisions in real-time has become the best and the most appropriate way forward.