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IEM Capstone Senior Design Team Selected Among Top Five Finalist By IISE

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

An IEM Capstone Senior Design team was selected among the top five finalists (out of 22 teams nationwide) by the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).  They were recognized for their capstone project work titled "Cost-effective Freight Carrier Selection for ArcBest."  

Kaustuvi Thapa

Kaustuvi Thapa - Team lead

Cade Phelan

Cade Phelan

Torie Richardson

Torie Richardson

This project concerns the client’s managed transportation service in which they manage the customer’s freight as a third-party logistics company. A major component of this service consists of determining which carriers will fulfill the customer’s shipments. To do this, the client meets with the carriers to negotiate rates for their customer by using shipment data such as origin zip code, destination zip code, weight, cube, and commodity. After which, the carriers bid for the freight at the shipment level. This bid data is then used to determine the most cost-effective contract for the customer. The project client needed a new computational approach to select carriers that was quicker, able to handle multiple business requirements, and minimized cost, as they established more carrier relationships and took on larger customers.

The senior design team used the tools we acquired from Operations Research to formulate an integer program to solve the client selection problem and implemented it using Python and Gurobi. From our preliminary experimentation, we were able to show that our approach can find optimal solutions with 70,000 shipments in under 5 minutes and near-optimal solutions with more than 120,000 shipments under 15 minutes, significantly faster than the current enumerative approach used by the client. The team has successfully incorporated various complex business requirements that the current approach only captures in an ad hoc manner (or not at all).

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