Information needs for increasing log transport efficiency
Three methods of dispatching trucks to loggers were tested using a log transport simulation model: random allocation, fixed assignment of trucks to loggers, and dispatch based on knowledge of the current status of trucks and loggers within the system. This 'informed' dispatch algorithm attempted to minimize the difference in time between when a logger would use up available empty trailers and when a new empty would arrive. Simulations modeled a situation in which trucking capacity was limited relative to logger production capacity. The fixed assignment of trucks to loggers produced the highest amount of delivered wood, followed closely by the inf~nned dispatch method. The difference seemed to be a result of the fixed assignment method favoring loggers close to mills over those further removed, while the informed method dispatched trucks more evenly among loggers regardless of transport distance. Results also demonstrated the need to balance trucking capacity with logging production to maximize the amount of delivered wood.