Top 6 Apps for Planning Multiple Routes in 2024
By Komal Puri | August 31, 2023
Are you feeling overwhelmed by daily route planning? Are you finding the limitations of Excel spreadsheets and Google Maps frustrating? If so, it's time to explore a robust route planner capable of managing the complexities of planning multiple stops and routes effortlessly.
In this review, we evaluated 10 different multiple route planner apps. We assessed their user-friendliness, route quality, and their ability to handle multiple routes. Additionally, we considered their user ratings on the Capterra review site and pricing.
Our top picks for route planners include:
FarEye: Great for Medium, Large and Enterprise sized delivery businesses
Routific: Ideal for medium-sized local delivery businesses.
Circuit for Teams: Perfect for small businesses with simple routing requirements.
Onfleet: Excellent for mid-market and enterprise needs.
OptimoRoute: Best suited for field sales and service businesses.
Route4Me: Offers maximum flexibility for various routing needs.
In the second tier, we have:
Optimize your dispatch process with FarEye Route optimization software and reduce manual dispatch time by up to 30%. Efficiently plan routes and assign orders while considering factors like vehicle capacity, traffic conditions, service areas and hours, driver preferences, and familiarity with the area. FarEye's geosmart technology transforms non-standard addresses into smart codes, helping drivers locate delivery points quicker. Utilize AI-driven Smart Suggestions to streamline administrative tasks and ensure drivers focus more on delivering and less on sorting or driving.
Fareye's delivery route optimization solutions technology transforms the way you strategize and carry out your deliveries. By creating the most efficient and cost-effective routes, we guarantee that your drivers consistently reach their destinations punctually. Our system strategically organizes stops, maximizing productivity while minimizing delays.
Maintain the integrity of your scheduled deliveries while integrating same-day orders into next-day deliveries using hybrid routing technology. Strategize your routes by considering a variety of constraints. Provide convenience, flexibility, and options to customers without compromising driver productivity and operational expenses.
Unleash the Power of Speed and Precision
We understand the need for speed in today's fast-paced world. FarEye's route optimization takes into account dynamic constraints, enabling swift decision-making. From geocoding (converting addresses into latitude and longitude) to considering vehicle capacities, traffic conditions, serviceable areas, and delivery/pickup time windows, our solution delivers unrivaled speed and precision.
Routific offers user-friendly and robust route optimization software tailored primarily for small to medium-sized local delivery businesses. However, it's also utilized by sales teams and service providers such as landscapers or maintenance companies who benefit from its multi-stop route planning capabilities.
Key features of Routific include:
Drag-and-drop functionality for reordering stops and editing routes.
One-click dispatch for drivers.
Automated customer notifications.
Timeline view to track daily progress.
The platform optimizes routes for both efficiency (shortest distance) and driver satisfaction, addressing concerns such as driver retention by offering flexible break delivery route scheduling, stop reassignment between drivers, and real-time route updates.
Routific boasts in-house customer support operated by dedicated human staff.
Route quality: In testing, Routific's routes were found to be up to 15% shorter than those of competitors, with minimal overlap and criss-crossing between routes.
User ratings stand at an impressive 4.9 based on over 110 reviews.
Pricing starts at $49 per vehicle per month, with an option for GPS tracking and proof of delivery features at $59 per vehicle per month. Automated customer notifications via email or SMS are available for an additional $19 per vehicle per month. Per-stop pricing options are also offered.
3. Circuit for Teams
Circuit initially gained popularity as a standalone route planner app for single drivers, receiving positive reviews in both the iOS and Android app stores. Recently, they've broadened their scope with Circuit for Teams, catering to multi-stop route planning and dispatch for multiple vehicles.
Their browser-based application is remarkably user-friendly, making it suitable for small businesses where individuals often juggle multiple responsibilities, including route planning, dispatch, and delivery management. However, during testing, we observed numerous tangled and messy routes, and the inability to edit routes or view comprehensive distance and time metrics detracts from its appeal for route managers overseeing multiple routes and vehicles simultaneously.
Route quality: In terms of route quality, Circuit lacks daily route length visibility, necessitating manual calculation of individual route lengths. In our assessments, routes were found to be 15% longer than those generated by Routific, and notably messier. Additionally, route editing before dispatch is not supported.
User ratings stand at a commendable 4.8 based on over 90 reviews.
Pricing begins at $100 per month for three drivers, or $200 per month for five drivers, including customer notifications and proof of delivery options. Driver analytics are incorporated into the $500 per month pro plan, which accommodates up to 10 drivers.
Onfleet positions itself as a comprehensive toolkit for last-mile delivery services. It offers a wide array of features expected in delivery management software, along with an automatic driver assignment feature that particularly suits on-demand courier businesses. Notably, it includes a live chat option within the driver app, which both dispatchers and drivers appreciate.
While route optimization was initially available as a paid add-on in 2016, it has now become a standard feature across all pricing tiers. However, the route planning functions are notably challenging to navigate. The interface presents only a collection of pins without actual route displays, lacking color coding to differentiate between routes. This, coupled with the absence of metrics, rendered it difficult for us to assess the quality of Onfleet's routes. The lack of a timeline view further complicates real-time progress monitoring for dispatchers.
Onfleet offers a more extensive feature set compared to Routific or Circuit, including barcode scanning. However, its steep learning curve and high cost position it more favorably for mid-market to enterprise-level companies.
Route quality: Regarding route quality, Onfleet does not provide data on route length or indicate actual routes, making evaluation impossible.
User ratings currently stand at 4.7 based on over 80 reviews.
Pricing starts at $500 per month for up to 2,000 delivery or pickup tasks. The $1,150 per month plan includes 2,500 tasks, API access, and barcode scanning capabilities.
OptimoRoute stands out as a robust delivery routing system offering extensive flexibility and control to tailor routes according to your specific requirements. However, mastering its functionalities may require a learning curve.
The platform allows for the setup of individual driver profiles, incorporating shift schedules with breaks and overtime, start/end locations, skills (applicable in the field service industry), vehicle types, preferred service areas, and even customizable cost and speed settings. Moreover, users can establish multiple capacity constraints such as weight and volume. Similar to Routific, OptimoRoute lacks barcode scanning or order-taking capabilities.
While our testing was limited due to OptimoRoute's free trial restriction of 250 stops, the route optimization process proved to be swift. However, we observed significant route overlap and encountered challenges in route editing.
In terms of route quality, we noted numerous instances of overlapping and criss-crossing routes.
User ratings currently stand at 4.6 based on over 150 reviews.
Pricing options begin at $35 per vehicle per month for a full year commitment, with a limit of 700 orders. Alternatively, users can opt for a $44 per month plan, which includes up to 1,000 orders, real-time tracking, and proof of delivery features. Custom pricing is available for more complex requirements.
Route4Me stands as one of the original route planning and delivery optimization software, offering a well-established marketplace of add-on features for customization according to user needs. For instance, users can enhance their experience with support for curbside pickup, avoidance of left or right turns, or allocation of stops to specific time windows.
We found some aspects of Route4Me to be peculiar. The platform automatically optimizes routes to use the fewest possible vehicles, and unfortunately, this setting cannot be adjusted. This setup can create awkward scenarios for businesses with their own fleet and drivers, potentially resulting in one driver sitting idle while another works overtime. Additionally, we observed that Route4Me's ETA estimations are often unrealistic. For instance, in one route section where both Routific and Google Maps estimated a travel time of 18-19 minutes, Route4Me estimated just 10 minutes. Such consistently underestimated journey times can lead to numerous late deliveries and ultimately result in a poor customer experience. As a result, we found ourselves needing to invest significant extra effort to ensure that routes were realistic and ready for dispatch.
In terms of route quality, Route4Me generally produces slightly shorter routes than Routific, albeit with a notable prevalence of overlapping routes resembling spaghetti.
User ratings currently stand at 4.5 based on over 380 reviews.
Pricing starts at $319 per month to include route optimization, with additional features such as customer notifications and delivery time windows available as add-ons, increasing the overall cost. For example, adding time windows incurs an extra $79 per month. Notably, there are no proof of delivery features included in the pricing structure.
Second Tier, multiple route planning apps
While these apps didn't make our list of top delivery route planning software, they could still be suitable for certain users. For instance:
Micro businesses or charities
Those with a limited number of stops to make
Individuals who don't require multiple routes
Those seeking a free route planner app
MapQuest is a simple yet efficient route planning application that offers free service for up to 26 stops. It provides quick and easy basic route optimization functionalities, though lacks additional delivery management features such as driver app dispatch, customer notifications, or tracking. After optimizing your route, you can print out directions or send them via SMS or email. However, we encountered issues with the share option, as it rejected our mobile phone number as invalid and the email failed to arrive, making it unreliable.
MapQuest relies on advertisements for funding, so users who find intrusive advertising bothersome may not find it suitable.
Assessing route quality is challenging due to the 60-stop limit, and only one route can be optimized at a time.
User ratings on Capterra are unavailable.
Pricing: Free service is available but limited to 26 stops.
RoadWarrior, much like Circuit, primarily serves as a mobile route planner app and recently incorporated a "teams" feature targeting dispatchers. It boasts moderately positive reviews and is favored by courier drivers for its capability to upload a Fedex manifest directly.
Although we didn't conduct a direct test of RoadWarrior due to the requirement of providing credit card details before signing up for the free trial, feedback from other reviews suggests it is most suitable for solo drivers.
User ratings stand at 4.5 based on over 50 reviews.
Cost: Starting from $14.99 per month.
RouteXL is among the earliest route optimization applications available, and its age is apparent in its interface, which feels somewhat outdated and cumbersome. It's limited to optimizing one route at a time, thus missing out on the advantages of multi-vehicle optimization. Nevertheless, for single-vehicle businesses with a small number of stops, RouteXL may be worth considering. Additionally, it offers a genuinely free route planner app, allowing up to 20 stops per day.
Assessing route quality is challenging due to the 20-stop limit, and only one route can be optimized at a time.
User ratings are currently at 3.5 based on 2 reviews.
Pricing: Free service is available for up to 20 stops, or starting from €35 EUR/month (approximately $40) for a 100-stop package.
Speedy Route is a basic route optimizer software suitable for straightforward scenarios like planning short road trips. The web application boasts an attractive and user-friendly interface, and optimization processes are relatively fast (it's free for up to 10 stops). However, the app lacks features such as dispatching routes to drivers directly; instead, routes must be exported to a spreadsheet file or printed out. Additionally, there are no supplementary features like customer notifications, tracking, or proof of delivery. If simple optimization is all you need, Speedy Route could be worth considering.
Assessing route quality is impossible due to the 10-stop limit.
User ratings currently stand at 3.8 based on 6 reviews.
Pricing starts at $69 per month for 5 drivers and up to 500 stops.
Upper is a newer route planner app known for its user-friendly interface and web-based route optimization tool capable of handling up to 500 addresses. However, it lacks distinctive features that set it apart from competitors: it's slower and offers fewer features compared to Routific at a similar price point, less intuitive than Circuit, and falls short in matching the feature set of Onfleet or OptimoRoute. Nonetheless, if you appreciate the interface and find it effective for your needs, there's no reason not to consider Upper.
Route quality often results in spaghetti routes with extensive overlap and criss-crossing.
User ratings are currently at 5.0 based on 3 reviews.
Pricing starts at $100 per month for up to three drivers, or $200 per month for up to 5 drivers.
What's the distinction between route planning and route optimization?
Do you require a route planner app or a route optimization app? Understanding the difference is essential. In essence, route planning encompasses the entirety of delivery operations, starting from gathering orders and addresses, through optimizing routes, inspecting and adjusting those routes, dispatching them to drivers, and ultimately communicating estimated times of arrival (ETAs) to customers. On the other hand, route optimization focuses on refining the route to identify the most efficient and cost-effective sequence of stops for executing the plan.
Route optimization addresses the challenge of creating efficient multi-stop routes, which can be exceedingly difficult. Experienced drivers may know the best routes within their cities for navigating from one point to another. However, as more stops are added, devising an efficient sequence becomes increasingly complex. With 20 or more stops, there could be hundreds or even thousands of potentially acceptable routes—so how does one determine the optimal choice? Route optimization algorithms have the capability to assess billions of possibilities to derive the most efficient routes. This process demands significant computing power, which is why route optimization has only become accessible to small and medium-sized businesses in the past decade or so.
The Advantages of Route Optimization
The primary benefits of route optimization revolve around efficiency gains:
Route Optimization: Quickly identify the fastest routes for multiple vehicles.
Dispatch Management: Streamline dispatching to driver mobile apps (available on both Android and iPhone) with one-click functionality, and enable real-time tracking throughout the day.
Customer Management: Send notifications to customers regarding estimated times of arrival (ETAs) and completed deliveries.
Real-Time Tracking, coupled with analytics on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, simplifies both driver and fleet management.
How We Conducted Testing for Delivery Route Planners in This Review
We rigorously tested all the apps listed in free trial mode, employing 250-700 stops for each trial, depending on the trial limitations. This method provides a fair representation of the workload typically encountered by small to medium-sized delivery businesses in a single day.
Each app in our selection includes the following key features:
Route Optimization: Quickly identifying the fastest routes for multiple vehicles.
Dispatch Management: Facilitating one-click dispatch to driver mobile apps (available on either Android or iPhone) and enabling real-time tracking throughout the day.
Customer Management: Sending notifications to customers regarding estimated times of arrival (ETAs) and completed deliveries.
It's important to note that a route planner differs from a navigation app; hence, none of the apps provide driving directions. Instead, they offer drivers the option to utilize Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze for actual turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic updates.
While these features are standard across all the delivery route planners we tested, we focused on distinguishing features that set one route planning solution apart from another:
Ease of Use: Assessing how easy it is to get started and effectively utilize the software.
Speed: Evaluating the time required to prepare routes for dispatch.
Route Efficiency: Determining the total length of all optimized routes. Shorter driving distances translate to lower fuel costs and wage bills, making route efficiency a crucial metric.
Route Acceptability: Considering whether the generated routes are logical and acceptable to dispatchers and delivery drivers.
User Ratings: Taking into account ratings on Capterra, an independent software review site owned by Gartner.
What makes route acceptability a vital aspect of route optimization?
Route acceptability is a crucial aspect of route optimization because a good route goes beyond mere mathematical efficiency. Delivery drivers must navigate these routes in the real world, and they strongly dislike "spaghetti routes" characterized by overlapping and criss-crossing paths. Even if the algorithm deems a route efficient, it may appear wasteful and nonsensical to human observers. Witnessing another driver from the same company entering an area just vacated can lead to doubts about the route's efficiency.
This mismatch between mathematical efficiency and common sense can erode drivers' trust in delivery routing software. This may result in grumbling among drivers or, in the worst-case scenario, individuals overriding the system and planning their own routes. That's why, at FarEye, as we refine our algorithms, we prioritize creating cleanly clustered routes that align with high driver acceptability. It's about incorporating driver intelligence into artificial intelligence.
Komal Puri is a seasoned professional in the logistics and supply chain industry. As the Senior Director of Marketing and a subject matter expert at FarEye, she has been instrumental in shaping the industry narrative for the past decade. Her expertise and insights have earned her numerous awards and recognition. Komal’s writings reflect her deep understanding of the industry, offering valuable insights and thought leadership.