Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Avinash Unnikrishnan.


The competitive nature in the trucking industry has forced trucking firms to develop innovative solutions to improve their operational efficiency and decrease marginal costs. There is also a great need to reduce deadheading miles of heavy trucks to help reduce the amount of air pollutants they emit. One way carriers and shippers are attempting to accomplish these goals is through various collaborative operational strategies. This work focuses on developing multiple collaboration frameworks and formulating optimization models for each framework that demonstrates the operations and reveals the potential cost savings of each framework.;The first collaboration framework focuses on how a medium level shipper or carrier can introduce collaboration in their operations by fulfilling a collaborative carrier's or shipper's delivery requests on its backhaul route. Two optimization models are developed to route the carrier of interest's backhaul routes and select collaborative shipments to fulfill; one is formulated as an integer program and the other is formulated as a mixed integer program. Two solution methodologies, a greedy heuristic and tabu search, are used to solve the two problems, and numerical analysis is performed with a real world freight network. Numerical analysis on a real world freight network reveals that the percentage of cost savings for backhaul routes can be as high as 27%.;The second collaboration framework focuses on a group of shippers that collaborate their operations and form cycles between their long-haul shipping lanes. If the shippers provide the bundled lanes, as loops, to a common carrier they can realize cost savings from the carrier. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer program and forms least cost loops between the shipping lanes. A tabu search heuristic is used to solve the second collaboration framework and results using a real freight network reveal collaborative network costs savings between 7% to 12%. Three cost allocation mechanisms are proposed for the problem to distribute the costs to the shippers involved in the collaboration and computational results are provided for each of the allocation mechanisms.