Statement of the problem

 

The objective of the trailer loading problem is to minimise the number of trailers an order requires by maximising the height and weight utilisation. However, the problem has multiple objectives, primarily involving the trade-off between utilising fewer trailers and the quality of the arrangement of pallets inside each trailer, whilst considering other loading factors such as constraints and goals. The constraint for the weight allowance on each of the trailerís axles is a legal requirement that must be met, whilst other constraints include meeting the trailers dimensions and the allowable weight a product can accept on top without damage. Additional goals that could be included after minimising the main objective include product separation, product grouping and load stability.

An order is made up of a list of products pre-loaded onto pallets of a fixed horizontal dimension. They have attributes that state their height, weight and maximum weight above for a pallet of products. These attributes can be used to find an effective loading pattern for the trailers. The next section outlines our approach to this problem.