In this paper, we deal with the sequencing and routing problem of order pickers in conventional multi-parallel-aisle warehouse systems. For this NP-hard Steiner travelling salesman problem (TSP), exact algorithms only exist for warehouses with at most three cross aisles, while for other warehouse types literature provides a selection of dedicated construction heuristics. We evaluate to what extent reformulating and solving the problem as a classical TSP leads to performance improvements compared to existing dedicated heuristics. We report average savings in route distance of up to 47% when using the LKH (Lin-Kernighan-Helsgaun) TSP heuristic. Additionally, we examine if combining problem-specific solution concepts from dedicated heuristics with high-quality local search features could be useful. Lastly, we verify whether the sophistication of 'state-of-the-art' local search heuristics is necessary for routing order pickers in warehouses, or whether a subset of features suffices to generate high-quality solutions.
- Order picking