Optimization model for a livestock collection problem
Stein W Wallace
Bjørn O Gullberg
K J Hovden
Purpose – The value chain of the Norwegian meat production industry has recently been through major structural changes resulting in increased flows and transportation needs at all levels. The purpose of this paper is to present results of the initial stage of a five-year research project between the Norwegian Meat Research Centre, Norwegian meat companies and Molde University College. The main goal of the project is to develop a decision support system for the transport of live animals to a slaughterhouse to reduce transportation costs while maintaining high level of livestock welfare and meat quality, as these are three main factors for the profitability of both farmers and industry.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a mixed integer programming model that combines vehicle routing and inventory control. We introduce the possibility for multiple routes for a given vehicle on a given day in a multiple-period planning perspective. Arrival times of the loaded vehicles to the slaughterhouse are controlled by production (slaughter) rate and inventory level at the abattoirs so that the supply of animals for slaughter is steady and production breaks are avoided. Livestock welfare is secured by the route duration constraints.
Findings – The model has been formulated and tested on small data sets. The major future challenge is to solve real-life problems from the involved companies.
Research limitations/implications – The main limitation is the present inability to solve large cases.
Originality/value – The model combining transportation and inventory control in a setting of animal welfare constraints is original.