Hub location problems are widely studied in the area of location theory, where they involve locating the hub facilities and designing the hub networks. In this paper, we present a new and robust solution based on a genetic search framework for the uncapacitated single allocation hub location problem (USAHLP). To present its effectiveness, we compare the solutions of our GA-based method with the best solutions presented in the literature by considering various problem sizes of the CAB data set and the AP data set. The experimental work demonstrates that even for larger problems the results of our method significantly surpass those of the related work with respect to both solution quality and the CPU time to obtain a solution. Specifically, the results from our method match the optimal solutions found in the literature for all test cases generated from the CAB data set with significantly less running time than the related work. For the AP data set, our solutions match the best solutions of the reference study with an average of 8 times less running time than the reference study. Its performance, robustness and substantially low computational effort justify the potential of our method for solving larger problem sizes. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.