Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Industrial Engineering

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering, PhD

Committee Chair

Heragu, Sunderesh

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Usher, John

Committee Member

Usher, John

Committee Member

Evans, Gerald

Committee Member

Gupta, Mahesh


Due to earth's climate change and global warming, environmental consideration in the design of logistic systems is accelerating in recent years. In this research we aim to design an efficient and environmentally friendly logistical system to satisfy both government and carriers. In particular, we considered three problems in this dissertation: intermodal network design, deterministic green vehicle routing problem and stochastic green vehicle routing problem. The first problem aims to design an economic and efficient intermodal network including three transportation modes: railway, highway and inland waterway. The intent of this problem is to increase the utilization percentage of waterway system in the intermodal transportation network without increasing the cost to the consumer. In particular, we develop a real world coal transportation intermodal network across 15 states in the United States including highway, railway and inland waterway. The demand data were obtained from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) under the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Four boundary models are built to evaluate the potential improvement of the network. The first boundary model is a typical minimum cost problem, where the total transportation cost is minimized while the flow balance and capacity restrictions are satisfied. An additional constraint that help obtain an upper bound on carbon emission is added in the second boundary model. Boundary model 3 minimizes the total emission with flow balance and capacity restrictions the same as boundary model 1. Boundary model 4 minimizes the total emission with an additional current cost restriction to achieve a less-aggressive lower bound for carbon emission. With a motivation to minimize the transportation and environmental costs simultaneously, we propose multi-objective optimization models to analyze intermodal transportation with economic, time performance and environmental considerations. Using data from fifteen selected states, the model determines the tonnage of coal to be transported on roadways, railways and waterways across these states. A time penalty parameter is introduced so that a penalty is incurred for not using the fastest transportation mode. Our analysis provides authorities with a potential carbon emission tax policy while minimizing the total transportation cost. In addition, sensitivity analysis allows authorities to vary waterway, railway and highway capacities, respectively, and study their impact on the total transportation cost. Furthermore, the sensitivity analysis demonstrates that an intermodal transportation policy that uses all the three modes can reduce the total transportation cost when compared to one that uses just two modes. In contrast with traditional vehicle routing problems, the second problem intends to find the most energy efficient vehicle route with minimum pollution by optimization of travel speed. A mixed integer nonlinear programming model is introduced and a heuristic algorithm based on a savings heuristic and Tabu Search is developed to solve the large case for this problem. Numerical experiments are conducted through comparison with a solution obtained by BONMIN in GAMS on randomly generated small problem instances to evaluate the performance of the proposed heuristic algorithm. To illustrate the impact of a time window constraint, travel speed and travel speed limit on total carbon emission, sensitivity analysis is conducted based on several scenarios. In the end, real world instances are examined to further investigate the impact of these parameters. Based on the analysis from the second problem, travel speed is an important decision factor in green vehicle routing problems to minimize the fuel cost. However, the actual speed limit on a road may have variance due to congestion. To further investigate the impact of congestion on carbon emission in the real world, we proposed a stochastic green vehicle routing problem as our third problem. We consider a green vehicle problem with stochastic speed limits, which aims to find the robust route with the minimum expected fuel cost. A two-stage heuristic with sample average approximation is developed to obtain the solution of the stochastic model. Computational study compares the solutions of robust and traditional mean-value green vehicle routing problems with various settings.