Joint optimisation of order batching and picker routing in the online retailerí»s warehouse in China

Author:  Jianbin Li;Rihuang Huang;James B.Dai*(Department of Management Science and Engineering)
Publication:  International Journal of Production Research, 55(2):447-461,2017
Abstract:  Order picking is the core of warehouse operations and considerable researches have been conducted on improving its efficiency. In this paper, we aim at the joint optimisation of order batching and picker routing based on a famous and typical online retailer of China, which mainly focuses on fast-moving consumer goods. An integer programming is formulated to minimise the total travelling distance involving with order batching and picker routing. In the stage of order batching, an effective batching procedure based on similarity coefficient which is measured by overlapping channels between orders is proposed. In the stage of picker routing, an improved ant colony optimisation algorithm with local search is proposed. Based on those simulated orders generated by actual transaction data, numerical experiments are conducted to verify the performance of the algorithm we proposed. Results show that the proposed joint optimisation algorithm has potential advantages under various order sizes and order structures, which implies that it is effective and efficient particularly in the online retailing of fast-moving consumer goods.