Evaluation of Transportation Distance Optimization Route for Milk Run Logistics System

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Smart Manufacturing Research Institute, School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Malaysia.

2 Proton Berhad, Shah Alam, Malaysia

3 Smart Manufacturing Research Institute, School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA

4 Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pulau Pinang, Kampus Permatang Pauh. Pulau Pinang, Malaysia


An efficient logistic system has become more important in today’s business process. Milk run system is being introduced to encourage efficient logistic system in manufacturing which has indirectly resulted in a reduction of transportation cost, travelling path, as well as fuel consumption. However, the poor optimal state of the original delivery route and low vehicle loading rate has a huge impact on the production effectiveness. The objective of this study is to evaluate the current milk run route, optimize the transportation volume capacity and propose a transportation route for the milk run logistics system. The milk run concept is introduced to deliver components to the production line from multiple suppliers. This approach is based on the Just-In-Time concept promoted by Toyota Production System where the small batch is delivered to the production line to reduce the side inventory. A high frequency of delivery is required. Therefore, the load for each of the delivery needs to be calculated to achieve maximum load with minimum inventory. The Saving Matrix Method based on Tabu Search model and Ant Colony Optimization model is used to evaluate the current milk run route. The result of the analysis showed an unutilized capacity of 49% that can be reduced to 3% with a distance deviation between 0% for direct milk run route and 2.0% to 6.8% for indirect milk run route. The managerial suggestions that can increase the logistics efficiency of the milk run are provided to benefit the organization by reducing the total logistics cost.


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