In recent years, cold food chains have shown an impressive growth, mainly due to customers life style changes. Consequently, the transportation of refrigerated food is becoming a crucial aspect of the chain, aiming at ensuring efficiency and sustainability of the process while keeping a high level of product quality. The recently defined Refrigerated Routing Problem (RRP) consists of finding the optimal delivery tour that minimises the fuel consumption for both the traction and the refrigeration components. The total fuel consumption is related, in a complex way, to the distance travelled, the vehicle load and speed, and the outdoor temperature. All these factors depend, in turn, on the traffic and the climate conditions of the region where deliveries take place and they change during the day and the year. The original RRP has been extended to take into account also the total driving cost and to add the possibility to slow down the deliveries by allowing arbitrarily long waiting times when this is beneficial for the objective function. The new RRP is formulated and solved as both a Mixed Integer Programming and a novel Constraint Programming model. Moreover, a Local Search metaheuristic technique (namely Late Acceptance Hill Climbing), based on a combination of different neighborhood structures, is also proposed. The results obtained by the different solution methods on a set of benchmarks scenarios are compared and discussed.
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