Ants inspire route-optimisation software

  • August 22, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

The way ants carry food back to their nests was the inspiration for Turkish ecommerce platform Hepsiburada in the design of its multi-vehicle route-optimisation technology.

Added to its HepsiJet delivery service, it covers orders from all categories across Turkey with flexible delivery options

Developed by HepsiJet’s engineering team, the multi-vehicle route optimisation allows users to access the delivery management system using mobile or web-site applications to have orders delivered within a time interval determined by the buyer; this is supported by an optimisation module. If there is more than one type of delivery vehicle at the point of receiving the order, the shipments are grouped according to priority and the vehicle types in line with the limits of the destinations.

This system has recently been registered by TurkPatent.

This system creates a model according to the priority of the shipments and distance matrix between the delivery and receiving points of the orders. The system also allows adding special parameters to the route time in exceptional cases, allowing manual intervention when necessary, and viewing the created route plan via mobile and web applications.

It increases efficiency in delivery processes of cargo orders by taking into account possible problems and critical constraints.

In this innovation, HepsiJet engineering team was inspired by the natural instinct of ant colonies carrying food to their nests. The location of the distribution centre and the vehicle information are included in the planning in addition to the shipment information. All shipping information for the delivery point is then analysed and the vehicle information, order information and delivery address set are used as constraints on route planning.

A multi-vehicle distribution scenario is achieved by calculating the delivery costs of each possible route and making a single route to all locations in the set of delivery addresses. With the addition of the total delivery volume to this plan, the entire delivery process is handled end-to-end efficiently, with the optimal number of vehicles used from the available vehicles.