What is Vehicle Routing Problem with Profits (VRPP)? [Challenges and Limitations]

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What is vehicle routing problem with profits

What is Vehicle Routing Problem with Profits (VRPP)?

Vehicle Routing Problem with Profits (VRPP) is a variation of the classic Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) that includes determining the best possible routes for a fleet of vehicles to take while providing services to a group of clients to maximize the overall profit.

The objective of the VRPP is to increase profit and reduce overall fleet operating costs. The following characteristics define the problem:

  • A group of clients, each with a demand, location, and associated profit.
  • A vehicle fleet, each having a vehicle capacity and operating costs.
  • A collection of depots where the vehicles begin and end their routes.

Challenges and Limitations of VRPP

VRPP is a very complicated vehicle routing and scheduling problem for vehicles, and solving it optimally can take a lot of processing, especially for large problems. The VRPP has some challenges and limitations, including:

  • High level of computational complexity
  • Limited ability to scale up for large problem instances 
  • inability to take into account dynamic changes and real-time data
  • Modeling complex restrictions is challenging
  • Limited capacity to deal with fluctuation and uncertainty
  • Integrating multi-objective optimization targets is challenging
  • Dependence on precise input data
  • Lack of adaptability in routing techniques and limitations
  • Integration problems with existing business software and systems.

Due to these limitations and problems, the VRPP may be difficult to use in some real-world applications, necessitating innovative solutions or alternate optimization strategies.

Techniques for Solving the VRPP

To effectively solve the VRPP, several techniques and methods have been created, ranging from heuristic algorithms to exact optimization methods, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

1. Heuristic Algorithms

Heuristic algorithms are frequently used to solve the VRPP with high complexity using trial-and-error methods. These algorithms are easy to implement and can provide optimal solutions quickly. However, their solutions are not assured to be the best ones and might need further refinement using alternative techniques.

Some popular heuristic algorithms for VRPP include:

  • Clarke and Wright’s Savings Algorithm
  • Genetic Algorithm
  • Sweep Algorithm
  • Simulated Annealing
  • Tabu Search

2. Exact Algorithms

Exact algorithms are techniques that ensure the best answer to optimization issues like the VRPP. These algorithms use complex approaches to search through all potential answers and are based on mathematical formulations of the problem. Exact algorithm can only be utilized for small instances of the problem because they need a lot of processing. 

Some exact algorithms for VRPP include:

  • Branch and Bound Algorithm
  • Integer Linear Programming
  • Dynamic Programming

3. Hybrid Algorithms

Hybrid algorithms utilize the advantages of both heuristic and exact algorithms to produce an optimal  solution that is effective and close to ideal. They often develop initial solutions using heuristics, which are then improved using exact techniques. 

Some popular hybrid algorithms for VRPP include:

  • Ant Colony Optimization
  • Large Neighborhood Search 
  • Particle Swarm Optimization

 4. Metaheuristics

Metaheuristics can offer optimal solutions for complex VRPP and large scale instances but they cannot be relied upon to find the best answers.  They help produce high-quality solutions rapidly and can be easily adapted to different problem constraints and objectives.

Some popular metaheuristics for VRPP include:

  • Iterated Local Search
  • Harmony Search
  • Differential Evolution
  • Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure (GRASP)

VRPP is a difficult problem that necessitates the use of heuristic, exact, hybrid, and metaheuristic algorithms to discover effective solutions to handle more complicated real-world uses. 

Real-world Uses of the VRPP

VRPP has been utilized by several industries, including logistics, transportation, and distribution. Some examples include: 

  • Home delivery services
  • Waste collection
  • Healthcare services routing
  • School bus routing
  • Airline crew scheduling
  • Postal delivery
  • Food delivery services
  • Snowplow routing and scheduling
  • Mobile healthcare clinics 
  • Emergency services
  • Field service scheduling

To sum up, VRPP has a wide range of real-world applications. It can assist firms to enhance their vehicle routing and scheduling operations, which will increase efficiency, lower costs, and provide better customer service.

Future Directions for the VRPP Research

It is anticipated that future research on the VRPP will concentrate on addressing the problem and operational constraints. Some potential areas for future research include:

  • Multi-objective optimization to balance divergent objectives
  • Looking at new VRPP variations and extensions
  • Hybridizing optimization techniques for better solution quality and effectiveness 
  • Strong optimization to deal with ambiguous and changing problem parameters 
  • Using probabilistic models to include uncertainty in the optimization process
  • Creating VRPP solutions that take sustainability factors into account
  • Examining VRPP uses in new industries like autonomous vehicles and urban mobility. 

Overall, VRPP research has a bright future with lots of room for breakthroughs in real-time decision-making, uncertainty modeling, and optimization algorithms. 


Finding the most lucrative set of routes for a fleet of vehicles to travel to serve a group of clients is the goal of VRPP. Future research is anticipated to concentrate on tackling the VRPP’s considerable hurdles and constraints as well as creating more effective algorithms for dealing with the large-scale instances of the problem. 

Overall, firms that rely on transportation and distribution services can significantly increase their efficiency and profitability by solving the VRPP.

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.