Automatic Inter transport planning – PostNL



Company Name / Department PostNL
Contact Person

Dr JC de Munck

Location Waldorpstraat 23 Den Haag
Study programme(s)


Community Data2Move
Start Date September, 2022
Housing arranged by company No


400 euro per month

Company Description

One of PostNL’s most important service is to transport parcels ordered at web shops to consumers. To enable a sustainable growth PostNL is involved in a digital transformation of the supply chain, where capacity planning and steering is endorsed by both historic and realtime data sources. This transformation poses many challenges in the field of operational research and data science.

Project Description

At the first sorting process, parcels are coarsely sorted using huge sorting devices and placed in trolleys for transport to their destination distribution centres. During this process distinction is made between different due times, corresponding to different shifts in the second sorting process. In this way, each sorting centre sorts parcels into about 250 distribution centre/shift combinations. The main question of the inter transport process is to plan trucks driving from first sorting centres to distribution centres, possibly via intermediate cross-docks, in such a way that each trolley arrives in time for its shift at the least possible costs.

Goals of the Project

Given the trolley production time lines

  • Devise a transport scheme that enables the transports of all trolleys to their destinations at the lowest possible costs.
  • Given this transport scheme, devise a set of loading rules that prescribe which trolley should be loaded onto which truck.


  • Python code for inter transport planning
  • Recommendations for further research based on given data and own explorations.. 

Essential Student Knowledge 

Python, linear programming, MILP, Gurobi, mathematical modelling


More information:  

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