Optimized route planning has become central to a successful shipping strategy. Businesses must figure out how to ship efficiently and cost effectively with every package. By 2027, the same-day delivery market is expected to reach 26.4 billion U.S. dollars. To be successful in this fast-paced market, businesses need to be able to deliver shipments more efficiently, which requires optimized route planning.
What is Route Planning Optimization?
Route planning optimization is a method that businesses use to create the most efficient routes. It helps to determine the least costly and time-consuming route. When route planning is done manually, it can be time-consuming and leave room for error. Route planning software calculates the best routes in seconds, maximizing the number of deliveries each driver can make.
Key Takeaways About Route Planning:
- Route optimization does not work without current data.
- Real-time data and driver interaction optimizes route planning.
- Route planning can help long-term with time, money, and resources as well as keep your business ahead of the competition.
Route optimization allows companies to plan around drivers’ schedules, drivers’ availability, total stops, and regulatory requirements. Route optimization is about finding the most efficient delivery path considering all factors. Complex route guidance is a strategy that can be changed based on customer service and financial goals. Maximizing revenue from route optimization requires a comprehensive strategy.
Tips to Optimize Route Planning
The following are eight ways to optimize the route planning strategy:
- Optimize Vehicle Capacity and Loading. The focus of increasing productivity centers around how vehicles are used. The time spent pre-loading, driving, being idle, and loading and unloading are all factors that affect vehicle utilization. In order to ensure consistent on-time delivery, changes should be implemented based on these factors. For example, in order to maximize the capacity of the vehicle, the storage space available for each vehicle should be noted before assigning loads to the driver.
- Route Visualization. Visualization is an important feature for drivers. Route planning software takes delivery routes and turns them into a virtual map who drivers are able to see exactly were the stops are and real-time conditions along the way. Variables such as traffic, time, and location are considered to map out the most efficient routes and re-route them automatically with real-time updates. This alleviates the burden of route planning for delivery drivers.
- Avoid Road Delays. Customers who have shipments that miss the expected delivery window may not come back to you for repeat business. In order to mitigate delays, a business should have a plan in place for bad weather, accidents, road construction, and other major roadblocks. To plan for unusual circumstances, route planning calculates the best route using real-time data, which is translated to the driver. Delivery drivers are able to focus on delivering their goods rather than avoiding road issues.
- Monitor Drivers’ Availability. Dispatchers need to know where drivers are at all times and when they will be available in order to accurately schedule deliveries. Proper route planning allocates tasks to drivers using sophisticated algorithms to ensure they are taking the best routes. This also allows for more consistent capacity planning as well as last-mile deliveries. Dispatchers are able to make adjustments to improve the management of the fleet.
- Cut Costs. Last mile delivery processes account for up to 53% of the total cost of shipping. Some of this expense is due to poorly optimized delivery routes. Route planning and optimization can cut costs to maximize profits. Route planning can save fuel on every delivery as well as decrease idle time due to unexpected road conditions.
- Improve Customer Communication. It can be challenging to keep up with customer demands for the most up-to-date information. Customer communication can be managed through automation, however. This ensures that customers receive the information they need to. Route management software provide customers updated information regarding their shipments.
- Monitor Performance. The planning of shipments means tracking delivery operations to make improvements to make sure they are operating optimally. In order to monitor performance, every shipper should be monitoring KPI’s like
- Service times
- On-time rates
- Successful deliveries
- Idle time
- Customer satisfaction
The KPI’s can be used to categorize the data by driver, day, week, and hour of the day to identify where weaknesses are occurring in the delivery process.
- Minimize Missed Deliveries. When shipments are delivered to the wrong place, it costs time and money and can create dissatisfaction among your customer base. An incorrect deliver can entail tracking down the package, replacing it, and delivering the new one, which can be time consuming and costly. A re-delivery due to an error means that even more time and money are spent on the same shipment, with no additional revenue. Technology can be used to minimize these errors with ETA notifications to the customer as well as electronic evidence of the delivery.
Verizeal for Optimal Route Planning
Optimized route planning is a must for any business that wants to gain a competitive advantage and cut costs. Verizeal complements your business’s route planning strategy by providing full visibility using IoT devices to track shipments. This means better monitoring, automated alerts as to any issues and location status, and information to help make the best decisions regarding your shipments.