Browse Prior Art Database

Shipment Priority

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107586D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 4 page(s) / 158K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Crehan, DT: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a formulation of shipment priority that provides a measure of the importance of acting on one shipment compared to others at transportation hubs where shipments make connections from inbound to outbound movements. The formulation identifies four key quantitative factors that are needed to make a decision to act and combines them into one number, the Shipment Priority, for the shipment. Shipment priorities can be applied in automated systems used by shipment carriers to determine the order in which actions should be taken at transportation hubs.

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Shipment Priority

       Disclosed is a formulation of shipment priority that
provides a measure of the importance of acting on one shipment
compared to others at transportation hubs where shipments make
connections from inbound to outbound movements.  The formulation
identifies four key quantitative factors that are needed to make a
decision to act and combines them into one number, the Shipment
Priority, for the shipment.  Shipment priorities can be applied in
automated systems used by shipment carriers to determine the order in
which actions should be taken at transportation hubs.

      At transportation hubs, shipments arrive into an inbound
staging area.  They then get moved into another staging area to
classify them based on (mostly) their next destination (hub or
delivery point) in the transportation network.  Finally, the
shipments are moved to the outbound vehicle for departure.  The
outbound movement to which the shipment is scheduled is referred to
as the shipment's outbound connection.  Usually, a shipment that
misses its connection can make another, later connection to get to
its final destination.  Typically, operational complexities cause a
significant number of shipments to miss connections at these hubs.
The carriers that operate these hubs are then faced with decisions as
to which shipment or groups of shipments must be acted on so as to
decrease the number of missed outbound connections while giving
preference to those shipments that are considered important in some
way.

      The four key factors that are identified as fundamentally
relevant to shipment priority are defined as follows.
     ICC = Importance of the customer to the carrier.  This factor is
supplied by the carrier and can reflect such variables as profit or
revenue from the customer, whether or not the customer's business is
a new market for the carrier, etc.
     ISC = Importance of the shipment to the customer.  This factor
is a function of the delivery window which is acceptable to the
customer.
     IMC = Importance of making the current connection (e.g., train,
plane, truck).  This factor is a function of how well the shipment
has kept up with its original schedule of movements from origin to
destination.
     IHU = Importance of hurrying at the hub to make the current
connection.  This factor is a function of the amount of time left to
get the shipment on its scheduled outbound connecti on at the hub.

      ICC, ISC, IMC, and IHU are real values that range from -1 to 1.
Shipment Priority (SP) is calculated as a weighted sum of the above
four factors:
      SP = W1*ICC + W2*ISC + W3*IMC + W4*IHU

      So that SP ranges from -1 to 1, the following constraint is
imposed on the weights:
      W1 + W2 + W3 + W4 = 1

      If shipment A has a higher SP than shipment B, then it is more
important to act on shipment A than B.

      Data required of the shipper to specify or calculate the abo...