Dynamic Temperature Control in the Distribution of Perishable Food
The temperature of chilled and frozen products along the distribution process must be maintained within close limits to ensure optimum food safety levels. The temperature variation along the vehicle routing sequence is represented by non-linear functions which depend on the process stage (line haul, unloading at customer’s premises, local displacements, etc.). The usual vehicle routing optimization strategy is generally based on a TSP (Travelling Salesman Problem) sequence, with the objective of minimizing travel distance or time. It is shown in the paper that in order to maintain the temperature variability within adequate restriction limits, other routing strategies, apart from the TSP criterion, should be considered.