Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair

Taylor, G. Don

Author's Keywords

Freight imbalance; Truckload; Trucking industry; Hierarchical planning; Logistics


Trucking--Management; Freight and freightage--Cost control; Freight and freightage--Planning


Freight imbalance is a problem that negatively affects drivers and carriers within the truckload trucking industry. One result of this problem is that the industry experiences high annual driver turnover, exceeding 130% annually. The turnover can be attributed in part to driver dissatisfaction due to the inability of the carriers to provide regular driving tours as a result of freight imbalance. However, due to the complexity of the imbalance, carriers have difficulty combating the problem. This dissertation examines three problems addressing freight imbalance from a hierarchical planning perspective. The Weekend Draying Problem focuses is an operational planning approach for addressing weekend truckload dispatching. The application of this methodology to a nationwide trucking network reveals that a carrier can experience significant customer service improvements while at the same time meeting the needs and expectations of their drivers. As a result, more regular driving tours can be established. The Driver Domicile Problem uses tactical planning to examine nationwide driver recruitment strategies. With driver turnover and driver retention imposing significant burdens on the truckload trucking industry, the proposed strategy reveals key locations where a potential driver base could be recruited that would improve the carrier's ability to provide the drivers with more regular tours and frequent "get home" opportunities. Results highlight which factors contribute to the best design of a nationwide domicile plan. The Distribution Center Location Problem is a strategic plan for the design of various sized distribution networks that minimize trucking costs without affecting delivery requirements. Whereas historical design focused on time and distance minimization, these networks address freight imbalance by focusing on cost minimization. Examination and analysis of these problems is conducted through discrete event system simulation, computer modeling, and mathematical programming. Outcomes from the research of these problems are industrially relevant. The application of these methodologies will assist the truckload trucking carriers in dealing with inherent freight imbalance issues and helping them overcome many challenges they face. Collectively this dissertation demonstrates ways to address freight imbalance both in the short term planning horizon and the long term planning horizon.