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Title: The loader problem : formulation, complexity and algorithms
Authors: Tang, G
Chen, F
Cheng, TCE 
Ng, CT 
Chen, ZL
Keywords: Algorithms
Integer programming
Loader problem
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Source: Journal of the Operational Research Society, 2010, v. 61, no. 5, p. 840-848 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of the Operational Research Society 
Abstract: In this paper we consider a new transportation model, called the loader problem, which is frequently encountered by third-party logistics service providers in practice. It is a tactical staff-planning problem with the objective of minimizing the total labour cost of staffing a sufficient number of loaders on a given fleet of trucks that serve a given set of customer sites. We formulate the problem as an integer program and show that it is strongly NP-hard. We then consider two special cases of the loader problem that occur in certain practical situations, and propose polynomial and pseudo-polynomial time algorithms for solving these cases. We also propose a linear programming relaxation-based random rounding algorithm for the general problem and report the computational results of the algorithm.
ISSN: 0160-5682
EISSN: 1476-9360
DOI: 10.1057/jors.2009.55
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