Research: urban freight planning requires new TMS capabilities

Transport management systems (TMS) for urban freight optimizing time, distance and cost of trips have not been fully explored. There are different shortcomings of TMS currently available on the market. Trip times in the city remains a very uncertain factor. Consider that drivers spend 65% of their time standing beside their vehicle rather than sitting inside it. The unloading time is something that never gets taken into consideration when plans are made in advance.

On the basis of analysis methods, computer simulation and statistical analysis methods, an advanced approach for determining the criterion of optimization of freight transportation between the length of the route and the time of the trip was developed by researchers from the National University of Urban Economy in Kharkiv (Ukraine).

Shortcomings of TMS

Current transport management systems solve the problem of modeling urban freight routes, but also have significant drawbacks:

  • Not taking into account the state of the intensity of traffic of vehicles on the arcs of the network in real time, which affects the actual correspondence of the planned time of the trip to the actual time.
  • Determining the length of the route by the criterion of optimization, which makes it impossible to carry out the appropriate modeling with the optimization by the parameters of the travel time.
  • Static characteristics of cargo, which is a deterrent to the full use of these software products in certain areas, for example, mail and parcels.
  • The software architecture of the named software products does not include client-server relations between the vehicle and the route planning center; this determines the impossibility of re-scheduling a given vehicle’s task in real-time, taking into account changes in the route.



The proposed approach takes into account the intensity of the traffic flow in individual sections of the road network. With the help of comparison of the basic indicators of the functioning of the modeled routes optimized by two criteria, the approach for determining the optimization of the length of the route or the time of the trip was defined.

The strengths of the study consist in the possibility of improving the efficiency of the criterion of optimization of freight traffic between the length of the route and the time of the trip, taking into account the intensity of the traffic flow along the arcs of the road network. The model takes into account:

  • The possibility of introducing transport parameters, namely: the features of the network arc, the characteristics of the load and the vehicle, loading/unloading characteristics, start/end of the work shift and breaks.
  • Forecasting parameters of the transportation process such as: time in the run and movement time, number of working shifts, mileage, total service time of the order, total amount of costs per run, expenses per one kilometer of the run, expenses per hour and others. It might be possible to include charging strategies for e-vehicles.

This will allow taking into account the optimization of the efficiency of the transportation process by minimizing the number of vehicles and their mileage, time of travel and total run costs.


Dolia Kostiantyn, Dolia Olena, Lyfenko Sergey, Botsman Anastasiia, Management of Freight Transport Projects in Cities in Assessing Their Effectiveness, Software Engineering. Vol. 6, No. 2, 2018, pp. 63-68. doi: 10.11648/

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