The value of information sharing for platform-based collaborative vehicle routing

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Cooperation is important in order to find efficient vehicle routing solutions for the growing transportation market. Increasingly, platforms emerge as facilitators for this kind of collaborative transportation. However, individual actors connected to a platform might refuse to share (parts of) their information due to reasons of competition. Though the need for realistic information sharing models is widely acknowledged by transportation researchers and practitioners, the precise value of such information is mostly unknown. We investigate the quality of solutions that can be obtained when different types and levels of carrier data are available. We consider an auction-based Multi-Agent System to solve large-scale, dynamic pickup and delivery problems, and vary whether carriers’ positions or route plans are available, and whether carriers are fully cooperative or more competitive in placing their bids by sharing or hiding their marginal costs. In total, we evaluate 9 different information sharing policies. The availability of vehicle position and route plan information turns out to be important for decreasing total route costs, and sharing marginal costs has a positive impact on service level. We provide detailed insights into trade-offs of carriers’ confidentiality concerns and a range of system performance objectives (service level, travel costs, and carrier profits) under different circumstances (various numbers of auctions, penalties for rejected orders, emission or congestion fees, and different problem characteristics). Based on these results, platform providers can stimulate sharing of certain information to improve the total system efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102011
Number of pages39
JournalTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Collaborative transportation
  • Collaborative vehicle routing
  • Dynamic pickup and delivery problem
  • Information sharing
  • Logistics
  • Multi-agent system
  • Platform-based transportation


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