Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Alper E. Murat

Second Advisor

Ratna Babu Chinnam


Advent of real-time information broadcasting technologies, growth in demand for air-cargo, and increased congestion and variability on air-road network, are the main forces compelling today's air-freight forwarders to improve their operational decision-making to be more competitive and responsive to needs of customers. This research studies the air-cargo transportation on both road (short-haul) and air (long haul) network from the perspective of a mid-size freight forwarder.

We develop a routing algorithm for congestion avoidance on air-network based on historical data and introduce an innovative approach to incorporate real-time information to enable dynamic routing of cargo on a stochastic air-network. In the road network, we introduce a new class of pickup and delivery problems to carry out the customer load pickups, fleet management, cargo-to-flight assignments, and airport deliveries in a multiple airport region under alternative access airport policy.

The main contributions of this research to the air-cargo literature are the study of the value of real-time information and introduction of the concept of dynamic air-cargo routing. In addition, this is the first study that provides an operational framework to implement the alternative access airport policy. This research also contributes to operations research and logistics literature by introducing a new class of pickup and deliveries with time-sensitive and pair-dependent cost structure. It also contributes an innovative algorithm based on successive subproblem solving for Lagrangian decomposed mixed integer programming that shows to be efficient in obtaining near optimal solutions in reasonable time.

The performances of the algorithms presented in this research are tested through experimental and real-world case studies. The results demonstrate that dynamic routing with real-time information can dramatically improve delivery reliability and reduce expected cost on the air-network. Moreover, they confirm that alternative access airport policy can greatly enhance a forwarder's options and reduce the operational and service costs while improving the service levels.