• Jozef Štefunko Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications, University of Žilina
  • Radovan Madleňák Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications, University of Žilina
Keywords: postal network, allocation models, uncapacitated fixed-charge facility location, heuristic algorithms


Availability and reliability of mail distribution services depends primarily on a network of postal operators. Choosing the appropriate layout of a network is key to maintaining quality while generating the lowest possible costs. This article focuses on creation of a postal network, based on an allocation model of an uncapacitated fixed-charge facility that considers road networks in the Slovak republic. A basic analysis of infrastructure is followed by incorporating service demands, and building and transport costs, in the chosen allocation model. Both construction and subsequent improvement heuristic algorithms are used to determine the number and location of postal sorting centers. The results are compared to find the lowest cost-generating solution. Even the best solution from available methods could be deemed sub-optimal as one does not know how close or how far the solution is from optimal. By varying the input variables, supported by a thorough analysis and consideration of future development of the transport network, one can improve efficiency in postal network operations.


Černý, J., & Kluvánek, P. (1991). Základy matematickej teórie dopravy [Basics of mathematical theory of transport]. Bratislava, Slovakia: Veda.

Čorejová, T., Achimský, K., Fitzová, M., & Kajánek, B. (1995). Projektovanie sietí v pošte I. [Designing networks in postal industry I.]. Žilina, Slovakia: Edičné stredisko [Series Centre] VŠDS. 11-16.

Cornuejols, G., Nemhauser, G. L., & Wolsey, L. A. (1990). The Uncapacitated Facility Location Problem. Discrete Location Theory. Chapter 3. New York, USA: Wiley. 119-171.

Daskin, M. S. (2013): Network and discrete location: Models, algorithms and applications (Second ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. 235-260.

Dresner, Z., & Hamacher, H. W. (2002). Facility Location; Applications and theory. Berlin, Germany: Springer. 81-107.

Garey, M. R., & Johnson, D. S. (1979). Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness. New York, USA: W. H. Freeman and Co.

Janáček, J. (2006). Optimalizace na dopravních sítích [Optimization on transport networks] Žilina, Slovakia: EDIS.

Madleňák, R. (2005). Algoritmy vhodné pre optimalizáciu najvyššej úrovne poštovej prepravnej siete [Algorithms suitable for optimization of highest level of postal transport network]. Doprava a Spoje, 1(1) [Transport and Communications, 1(1)]. Retrieved March 4, 2016, from

Madleňák, R., & Štefunko, J (2015). Allocation of postal network facilities, based on existing road infrastructure. Central Bohemia University International Conference Proceedings 2015 Innovations in Science and Education. Prague, Czech Republic: CBU. 75-81.

Maranzana, F. E. (1964). On the Location of Supply Points to Minimize Transport Costs. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 15. 261–270. DOI:10.1057/jors.1964.47

Teitz, M. B, & Bart, P. (1968). Heuristic methods for estimating generalized vertex median of a weighted graph. Operations research, 16. Maryland, USA: INFORMS. 955-961. Retrieved from

Universal Postal Union (2015). Global and regional estimates. Retrieved from: p_language=AN&p_choice=BROWSE