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Cloud

Distribution

You will learn the basics of a distribution use case on cloud.

Distribution overview

Distribution is a type of routing problem that’s applicable to use cases such as food service, package distribution, and home goods delivery. In typical distribution scenarios:

  • Requests or stops only include dropoffs

  • Routes are often scheduled in advance and fixed

  • Vehicles start and end at the same location (e.g., warehouse, depot, etc.)

  • Vehicles can end anywhere

This tutorial provides a sample JSON input file to serve as a starting point. You can use it directly in the Nextmv Cloud console or with the Nextmv Cloud API.

Distribution defaults

The defaults for a distribution scenario often include defining start location, shift start and end, speed, and stop duration. Specific properties applied to the stops and vehicles override default settings. Learn more about input schema defaults.

"defaults": {
    "vehicles": {
        "start": {
            "lon": -96.659222,
            "lat": 33.122746
        },
        "shift_start": "2021-06-10T07:00:00-6:00",
        "shift_end": "2021-06-10T15:00:00-6:00",
        "speed": 12
    },
    "stops": {
        "stop_duration": 300
    }
}
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Field nameNotes
startStarting position representing a depot or warehouse
shift_startTime that a vehicle shift begins
shift_endTime that a vehicle shift ends
speedAverage speed in meters per second
stop_durationEstimated amount of time in seconds to service a stop

Distribution vehicles

Most distribution scenarios typically start with values defined for vehicle id and capacity. Latitude and longitude can be defined for an end location. If one isn’t provided, the vehicle ends its route at the last stop.

"vehicles": [
    {
        "id": "Alice",
        "capacity": 200
    },
    {
        "id": "Bob",
        "capacity": 250
    },
    ...
]
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Field nameNotes
idName or identifier for a given vehicle
capacityAvailable vehicle space for arbitrary entities (e.g., maximum weight, volume, etc. of a given vehicle)

Distribution stops

Most distribution scenarios typically start with values for stop id, position, and quantity. The quantity value in this case is always negative, in that it will reduce the capacity of a vehicle when a stop is assigned.

"stops": [
    {
        "id": "order-1",
        "position": {
            "lon": -96.71038245222624,
            "lat": 33.20580830033956
        },
        "quantity": -27
    },
    {
        "id": "order-2",
        "position": {
            "lon": -96.65613745932127,
            "lat": 33.2259142720506
        },
        "quantity": -30
    },
    {
        "id": "order-3",
        "position": {
            "lon": -96.63759803136642,
            "lat": 33.21528740544529
        },
        "quantity": -36
    },
    ...
]
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Field nameNotes
idName or identifier for a given stop
positionCoordinates for a given stop
quantityArbitrary entities (e.g., the weight, volume, etc. of a given stop) for transport

Distribution next steps

The Nextmv Cloud API is extremely flexible. There are many ways you can configure the input file to represent more complex business logic using penalties, time windows, and compatibility attributes.

Sample distribution input data

The following is a complete sample of input data you can use with the Nextmv Cloud console or Nextmv Cloud API to get started with a basic distribution scenario.

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