A concise guide to existing and emerging vehicle routing problem variants

Thibaut Vidal, Gilbert Laporte, Piotr Matl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

163 Citations (SciVal)
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Vehicle routing problems have been the focus of extensive research over the past sixty years, driven by their economic importance and their theoretical interest. The diversity of applications has motivated the study of a myriad of problem variants with different attributes. In this article, we provide a concise overview of existing and emerging problem variants. Models are typically refined along three lines: considering more relevant objectives and performance metrics, integrating vehicle routing evaluations with other tactical decisions, and capturing fine-grained yet essential aspects of modern supply chains. We organize the main problem attributes within this structured framework. We discuss recent research directions and pinpoint current shortcomings, recent successes, and emerging challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-416
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Early online date10 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2020


  • Challenges and perspectives
  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Transportation
  • Vehicle routing problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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