A pallet packing CPN optimization approach for distribution center

Miquel Angel Piera, Catya Zuñiga, Miguel Mújica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The pallet packing process is a critical supply chain component for many distribution centers. Most pallet loading optimization tools provide very good solutions when boxes' dimensions are practically quite uniform, which is the case of most production industrial systems, since they are used to work with a reduced number of master boxes. However, there are other systems such as distribution centers characterized by a high diversity of boxes to be fitted altogether in the same pallet. In this paper a Coloured Petri Net model that formalizes the Pallet Loading problem and its optimization by integrating evaluation methods with search methods will be presented. The model developed provides very good results by using certain heuristics that avoids the analysis of the whole search space, simulating only the best scenarios. The proposed approach can be used to integrate warehouse layout configuration, storage policy, distribution policy together with picking policy. As a result of the proposed strategy, considerable savings on transport resource costs can be achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Coloured Petri Nets
  • Constraints
  • Coverability Tree
  • Simulation


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