Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Last-Mile Delivery Considering Backhauls

Ahram Jeon, Joohang Kang, Byungil Choi, Nakyung Kim, Joonyup Eun, Taesu Cheong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles for delivery service has been drawing attention in the logistics industry. Since commercial unmanned aerial vehicles have fundamental limitations on payloads and battery capacities, hybrid ground vehicle and unmanned aerial vehicle models have been actively investigated as practical solutions. However, these studies have focused on linehaul (delivery) demands, excluding a large number of backhaul (pickup) demands. If we consider both demands at the same time, an empty unmanned aerial vehicle that finished linehaul service can be immediately used to serve a backhaul customer. In this study, we investigate the differences that arise by considering backhauls as an additional element of the routing problem. A mixed integer linear programming model is developed, and a heuristic is constructed to solve large-scale problems. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our model, we compare it to existing models using a real-world example. Our solution is also evaluated based on experiments employing a large number of randomly generated datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9449931
Pages (from-to)85017-85033
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant by the Korean Government through Ministry of Science and ICT under Grant No. 2020R1F1A1075832.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • Drone
  • flying sidekick traveling salesman problem
  • heuristic
  • mixed integer linear programming
  • unmanned aerial vehicle
  • vehicle routing problem with backhauls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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