How do you optimise a delivery route?

29 Dec 2021
How do you optimise a delivery route

You can optimise your delivery route by using automated route planning software that takes route information (location and number of stops etc.), traffic data, customer timeframe requirements, and more, into account, to generate the best route possible, and send it right to your driver’s handheld device.

This will mean your drivers work along a well-calculated route, optimising their time on the road, their fuel, and saving admin time in the office. It also means your business will be able to serve more customers and generate more revenue.

What is route optimisation?

Route optimisation is all about determining the most efficient itinerary, in terms of both time and cost, for your vehicle fleet to complete their assignments.

There are a lot of factors that come into play here, including traffic, road conditions, number of stops, location of stops, vehicle capacity, driver availability, customer expectations and more. When planning routes manually, this is a lot to calculate and is a drain on your staff’s time.

Route optimisation ensures that your multi-drop route plans are time-efficient, cost-effective and meet customer time window preferences on time, every time. Using an automated system to generate your routes reduces administration time across your business particularly when you are, presumably, managing multiple routes.

This advanced route planning cannot be done with consumer routing technology like Google Maps or Waze.

What can I do to optimise my delivery route?

Upload your stops into a route planner

Upload your job information into a planner and then you can either manually map a route using a drag & drop functionality, or automatically generate multi-drop routes. Depending on the platform you’re using, this can be done by inputting stops into the app/browser, or uploading larger routes via a CSV/Excel file.

Monitor and manage in real-time

Route monitoring features allow you to see where a specific driver is along their route, in real-time. Not only that but you’ll also be able to see the progress of the route, including which parcels have been delivered and if the order of their stops has been changed, for example, if they had to take a different route to avoid an accident and stops 6-10 will now take place after stops 11-13.

What this means is, should a customer call your service desk for an update, the operator will be able to see on-screen the exact details and tell the customer then, instead of having to contact the driver and call the customer back. Or, if the customer were to be tracking their delivery on the app or in a browser, they could see where their delivery is.

Speaking of customer contact, route planning software can automatically message your customers, typically via text message or email, to let them know the ETA of their order. This often also includes a link to track their shipment which may include a more up-to-date ETA (accounting for diversions and delays).

Review performance

You can use the data collected from your drivers’ routes to identify where improvements can be made, for example combining two routes into one larger route with a larger vehicle, or knowing that a certain area (e.g. a city centre) requires more time for drivers to deliver packages at certain times of the day, so fewer packages are given to that driver, or customers in that area are offered the option to pay an additional fee for delivery in that time slot.

Why is it important?

Route optimisation is important to any business that has vehicle fleets on the road, whether they are for delivery, collection, or perhaps for visiting clients, e.g. an engineer servicing boilers.

The improvements in time and fuel efficiency are obvious benefits, as well as the transparency with customers, with them now being able to “self-serve” in some respects.

Route optimisation, by way of route planning software, allows your vehicle fleet to do their job quickly and more efficiently, and puts less strain on admin staff back at base, for an overall boost to company operations and profit.

Podfather Route Optimisation solutions

Find out more about our route optimisation solutions or get in touch with one of the team.