Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



This study is concerned with optimizing inbound operations at distribution centers (DCs), warehouses, and cross-docks with staging areas. The objective of the problem is to minimize the makespan required to move all unit loads from the trailers to the flow racks, and from the flow racks to their respective storage locations. It is assumed that a set of inbound trailers with known composition have been assigned and sequenced to inbound dock doors. The following three inbound logistics decisions are simultaneously considered: i) unloaders’ assignment and scheduling, ii) loads-to-flow rack assignment, and iii) assignment and haulers’ scheduling. In this study we describe the relationship between the problem of minimizing makespan and an unloader-hauler balancing problem. Three rule-based heuristics are proposed and evaluated in an instance of the problem.


Paper 16

Publication Title

Progress in Material Handling Research: 2016