Carton-Mix Optimization for Walmart.com Distribution Centers
An integrated heuristic approach based on genetic algorithms (GAs) is proposed for solving the container selection and loading problems. The GA for container selection solves a two-dimensional knapsack problem, determining a set of containers to minimize the transportation or shipment cost. The GA for container loading solves for the weighted coefficients in the evaluation functions that are applied in selecting loading positions and boxes to be loaded, so that the volume utilization is maximized. Several loading constraints such as box orientation, stack priority, stack stability, and container stability are also incorporated into the algorithm. In general, our computational results based on randomly generated data and problems from the literature suggest that the proposed heuristic provides a good solution in a reasonable amount of computational time.