Design and analysis of AGV-based cross-docking operations using analytical models

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6 Scopus citations


Cross-docking is important for logistics because it reduces inventory, lead-times, and shipments. However, dynamic imbalances between supply and demand usually results in some inventory being warehoused in cross-docks. Therefore, flexible automation using robots, such as automated guided vehicles (AGV), can be used to improve performance of cross-docking, a trend in industry. This paper focuses on mathematical modeling of cross-docking operations when packages are moved in AGVs. A model based on Mean Value Analysis (MVA) is developed for determining the number of AGVs and estimating the service rate. This service rate is used as a parameter in a fork/join queuing model to characterize the performance of cross-docks in which outbound trucks get their packages directly from in-bound trucks as well as warehouses by estimating the queue lengths and mean sojourn times. The efficacy of the combined MVA and fork/join analytical models is verified using a discrete-event simulation as a case study, which shows that the models are largely in agreement in a test range with difference of 28% at the lowest throughput tested. Future study could use advances in sensors and Industry 4.0 for estimating parameters in the proposed models and improve performance and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-449
Number of pages22
JournalProduction and Manufacturing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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