What is Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem (SDVRP)? [Examples and Benefits]

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What is split delivery vehicle routing problem

What is Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem (SDVRP)?

The Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem (SDVRP) is a logistical challenge that involves finding the most effective delivery routes for several vehicles while allowing for split deliveries at diverse locations.

With the rising demand for quick and dependable delivery services, SDVRP turned into a crucial tool for companies who want to stay competitive and meet customer expectations. Another advantage of properly implementing SDVRP for businesses aiming to run more ecologically friendly operations is reduced carbon emissions.

In simpler terms, SDVRP is a kind of routing problem for vehicles that deals with delivering packages or goods to different customers in the shortest amount of time, while minimizing the distance traveled and carbon emissions by the delivery vehicles.

How Does SDVRP Work?

To discover the ideal delivery route, the SDVRP problem necessitates a number of procedures. These steps are:

1. Identifying the delivery points

The first step in solving the SDVRP is finding the delivery locations and figuring out how many delivery vehicles are needed. This stage entails getting details about the distribution sites, such as addresses and window sizes. 

2. Creating a distance matrix 

The next step is to make a distance matrix that displays the separation between each delivery point and the other points. There are other ways to generate this distance matrix, including utilizing the Google Maps API or other routing tools.

3. Creating clusters 

Once the distance matrix is created, The delivery spots are then grouped according to proximity. The size of the delivery clusters and the vehicle capacity are used to calculate the necessary number of delivery vehicles, which are assigned to each cluster.

4. Solving the routing problem 

The next step is to resolve the routing issue for each cluster. For each delivery vehicle, the best route must be determined, taking into account the split deliveries at multiple sites. The goal is to determine the shortest route for each vehicle while making sure that all deliveries are done within the allocated windows of time.

5. Evaluating the solution 

The final stage is to assess the answer and decide whether any adjustments are necessary. This assessment may take into account things like the duration of each delivery, the distance covered by each vehicle, and the number of split deliveries. Changes can be made to increase the effectiveness of the delivery process based on the evaluation.

Hence, by offering quicker and more dependable delivery services SDVRP can help lower transportation costs, boost productivity, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Challenges Faced While Solving SDVRP 

The SDVRP problem has a number of challenges that must be overcome, such as:

  1. Size of the problem: As the number of delivery points and vehicles rises, the size of the problem may increase quickly. Further, as the problem size grows, it gets harder to locate an ideal solution in a reasonable length of time.
  2. Complexity of the problem: The number of vehicles, each vehicle’s capacity, the window of time for each delivery, and the distance between each delivery site are only a few of the many variables and restrictions that are part of the SDVRP problem. Due to this, it is a challenging problem that calls for sophisticated algorithms to find an optimal solution.
  3. Need to balance conflicting objectives: To solve the SDVRP, competing goals must be balanced, including saving travel time, cutting expenses, and increasing customer satisfaction. Finding a solution that satisfies all these objectives can be difficult, as optimizing for one objective can come at the cost of another. 
  4. Need for real-time optimization: The delivery routes frequently need to be adjusted in real-time to make changes in traffic, weather, and other factors into consideration. It especially becomes difficult when there are numerous deliveries to be made and numerous trucks to coordinate.

Overall, it is evident that finding the best solutions for the issues raised by SDVRP requires careful thought and expertise.

Benefits of Solving SDVRP 

Solving the Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem can provide several benefits, including:

  1. Reduced transportation costs: The SDVRP problem can be solved by optimizing delivery routes, which can save a lot of money by cutting down on the distance traveled and the number of vehicles needed for deliveries. This reduces fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
  2. Better resource allocation: By solving the SDVRP problem deliveries may be made more efficiently by allocating resources like drivers and trucks, which improves resource utilization. Additionally, the company can lessen its carbon footprint by reducing the number of vehicles needed for delivery.
  3. Increased productivity:  Overall productivity can be raised by spending less time traveling and more time delivering items. Additionally, the business can cut down on the time needed for planning and scheduling deliveries by using technology and real-time data to optimize routes.
  4. Improved customer satisfaction: Delivery route optimization can increase delivery effectiveness and speed, which will increase customer satisfaction. When things are delivered more swiftly and precisely, customers are more likely to be satisfied with the service, which encourages repeat business and good word-of-mouth.

Therefore, resolving the SDVRP issue can give businesses a competitive edge and benefit them in the long run.

Examples of Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem 

Here are some instances of the SDVRP issue in real-world scenarios:

  • A courier service must use a variety of delivery vehicles to deliver packages to various areas within a city. To ensure that all products are delivered on time, the company must reduce the overall distance traveled by the vans.
  • A waste management business is supposed to pick up waste from various locations throughout a metropolis. To cut down on travel time and the negative effects on the environment, the company must optimize the collection routes.


To sum up, the Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem (SDVRP) is a difficult problem that necessitates the optimization of numerous variables and constraints to determine the best delivery route. 

Despite the complexity of the issue, there are several advantages to solving the SDVRP. The SDVRP is also becoming more applicable in today’s business environment due to the growing demand for efficient and affordable transportation.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.