Delivery route planning & delivery route optimization software: 21 things to know about them


By FarEye | October 18, 2022

Deliveries form a major part of any retail business making embracing delivery route planning software critical for logistics stakeholders. Delivery experience is directly linked to your customer experience, and slow or incorrect deliveries can lead your customers to abandon ship, turning to businesses that offer faster and accurate deliveries.

However, ensuring seamless delivery route optimization through traditional methods, in the face of increasing order volumes is a challenging task, unless you are aided by intelligent software.

Statistics also back this statement – stressing on the dual benefits of reduced costs and accurate and swift deliveries, by implementing a customized delivery planning software. According to a report, the use of logistics management systems for delivery executions can boost your freight savings by up to 8%.

If you are considering a delivery truck routing software for optimizing your deliveries and costs, below are 21 things to know that will help you make an informed decision. But before that, to understand each of these points better, let’s quickly tell you about route optimization.

What is delivery route optimization?

Delivery route optimization can be defined as the process by which delivery or logistics stakeholders constantly improve a given route that connects to disparate locations. In other words it means discovering the most efficient route to travel from point A to point B and optimizing the same route by considering critical factors like traffic congestions, number of stops, one-ways, weather, and more. Delivery route optimization play a critical role when it comes to reducing delivery turnaround-time and ensuring same-day and one-hour deliveries.

1. What is delivery route planning?

Delivery route planning is defined as the process of selecting best possible route that includes maximum delivery points while avoiding any high-traffic areas. In other words, it is finding the most efficient and economical route between A and B.

Imagine you are a third-party delivery provider and manage deliveries for five food vendors in your vicinity. Being Saturday, it is an especially busy day, and you have to send out multiple orders in a limited period with limited drivers. What do you do?

It is here the food delivery route planner will come in handy by showing the best routes for all deliveries from your vendors.

2. Conventional challenges in planning of delivery route

Are you aware that up to 22% of vehicle crashes happen due to bad weather? Or that 3.8 million gallons of fuel are wasted each day, with the average American driver spending over 16 minutes idling their vehicle every day?

Poor weather forecasting, traffic delays, driver idling time, no-entry time windows — these are just a few of the factors that must be considered for routing to choose the fastest, safest and fuel-efficient routes — instead of the shortest route between any given points. Software for route planning can be of immense help when it comes to creating routes considering these factors.

Unfortunately, humans have limitations and conventional route planning using Google Maps or pen and paper cannot meet these challenges. Here are some common challenges with regards to using traditional route planning methods.

1.It’s expensive and heavily dependent on manual intervention

2.Scaling delivery operations becomes a major challenge

3.Lack of real-time visibility of delivery fleet makes it difficult to track operations

4.It has limitations of analyzing data

5.Poor engagement of delivery executives resulting in poor productivity

On the other hand, an intelligent delivery route planner can sieve through historical data and also take into account real-time weather and traffic updates to plan the most efficient routes for your deliveries.

3. How can a delivery route planner optimize last-mile delivery?

An AI-backed routing and scheduling software can optimize last-mile deliveries through smart work allocation, which saves precious time for your fleet. Shipments are allocated to agents in a logical order to ensure maximum work in minimal time, reducing the burden on your last-mile delivery partners while ensuring accurate deliveries. Such software is also capable of dynamic re-rerouting, which means your delivery partners are notified in time of any upcoming congestion or no-entry windows, with an alternative route they can follow to complete the delivery. Modern delivery management software makes logistics operations transparent for customers. It keeps customers abreast with the delivery proceedings through alerts and notifications.

It empowers delivery partners to collect electronic proof of delivery (ePoD) as an image, signature, or timestamp and feedback for your business.

4. Delivery route planning solution vs. traditional transport management software (TMS)

Traditional TMS has helped the transportation industry optimize deliveries, but it is no longer enough in the face of rising order volumes and evolving customer expectations. To start with, traditional TMS systems lack real-time visibility and collaboration, and are incapable of collating data from multiple sources, such as ERPs, WMS and 3PL systems, leading to confusion and delays.

Advanced routing programs for delivery come equipped with features such as predictive visibility, real-time tracking via digital control towers and geofencing capabilities, as well as a unified platform for all the stakeholders to ensure seamless collaboration and transparency into on-ground movement of goods.

5. Fast food chains, restaurants and delivery route planning app

Sam ordered a delicious pizza while she was chilling with her friends at home. After 40 minutes of ordering, when there was no update, she called the restaurant that informed her that the order had been dispatched 20 minutes ago but they were unable to contact the driver. Frustrated, Sam slammed down the phone and finally received a cold pizza, almost an hour later than she had expected.

Frustrated, she took to social media and convinced many users to stop ordering from the restaurant.

Unfortunately, the restaurant had prepared and dispatched the pizza in time, but they lacked routing capability and also had no system of real-time tracking and communication to keep an eye on their delivery partners throughout the last mile of delivery.

No wonder, they soon invested in software for delivery route planning to efficiently plan their deliveries while enabling real-time order tracking for both restaurant owners and customers. Now, there is no scope of delayed deliveries and customer expectation mismatch, as their smart system ensures proper route allocation, estimates accurate ETAs, and keeps everybody notified in the case of an exception or delay.

6. How can a smart route planner improve fleet management and productivity?

You can improve fleet management and productivity with a routing software for delivery drivers that offers the following benefits:

Automated Route Planning

The shortest route between your warehouse and the recipient’s place may not be the best, as it could be riddled with traffic or other conditions that impact the movement of your vehicles.

A route mapping software, powered by machine learning algorithms, sifts through historical data to suggest the most efficient routes for delivery as opposed to the shortest ones – saving time, as well as fuel costs in most cases.

Real-time Tracking

Save time and gas spent in idling time through real-time updates regarding your vehicle’s location. You can also contact the driver directly to prevent unnecessary delays.

Delivery Route Planner App

A delivery route planner app significantly improves delivery productivity, traceability and management. It helps businesses better analyze delivery performance and accurately benchmark KPIs. If you are thinking how to make a delivery route that are efficient, then modern software is the key.

Dynamic Re-routing

Don’t let the unexpected impede your deliveries. A route planning software considers factors such as resource capacity, customer preferences, and traffic and weather conditions to suggest the most efficient routes for completing your deliveries in real-time. Such a software also acts as a multi-delivery route planner by ensuring highly efficient and optimized routes between disparate delivery drop points.

Intelligent Allocation

Enjoy an automated system that allocates shipments to agents in a logical order to eliminate human error, ensure maximum work in minimal time, and also reduce the burden on your last-mile delivery partners.

Electronic Proof of Delivery

Collect electronic proof of delivery as an image, signature, or timestamp while also collecting feedback for your business.

7. The importance of delivery route optimization

In the above example, imagine handing over the five food packets to a driver with address tags and letting him/her take charge of the deliveries. The poor driver will probably head to the areas he is familiar with, and struggle to find the addresses of the areas he/she isn’t familiar with, leading to unnecessary delays and customer frustration.

However, leveraging a food delivery route optimization software, you can create a plan for your driver to follow that tells him or her the order of deliveries in addition to a fixed route to follow. The process becomes much easier with an advanced delivery route planner that guides your drivers to follow the most efficient route between multiple points. This not only shrinks delivery turn-around-time but also makes operations profitable by reducing miles per delivery.

8. Delivery route optimization software – solving the issues of conventional route planning

A delivery route planner, powered by an advanced delivery route planning app, is a platform that leverages machine learning algorithms, predictive intelligence and information integration to sift through historical data to predict traffic conditions while using real-time location, weather and traffic updates to suggest the most efficient routes for deliveries. Such a platform also enables real-time tracking, seamless communication and automated updates for both the driver and customers.

At FarEye, our routing systems are backed by Machine Learning technology. It can self-learn and correct addresses based on delivery successes and failures in the past.

9. Online grocery sellers and delivery route optimization app

Who doesn’t like fresh vegetables delivered at the doorstep? However, inefficient last mile route optimization and planning and unexpected delays can spoil perishable grocery items, leading to poor customer experience. By implementing a delivery routing, grocery sellers can not only manage their in-house delivery fleet better but also track the deliveries planned by their 3PL partners, ensuring complete visibility and better control.

10. What are the key benefits of using optimization software for delivery routes?

Route planning tools for deliveries can make your logistics operations transparent while ensuring timely and accurate deliveries. Following are the key benefits of implementing routing software for businesses:

  • Efficient route planning
  • Profitable deliveries
  • Shorter delivery turn-around-time
  • Optimized routes
  • Reduced cost per miles
  • Better customer experience
  • Enhanced KPI benchmarking
  • High-levels of SLA adherence
  • Greater productivity
  • Automated work allocation
  • Risk mitigation

11. How does a delivery routing software help logistics stakeholders create a delivery route efficiently?

A delivery routing tool has several benefits for logistics stakeholders:

  • Optimized route planning for faster and accurate deliveries
  • Save money on fuel and labor costs through better routes and lesser dependency on humans
  • Map delivery routes accurately to customer location
  • Real-time visibility into the fleet to keep check on your drivers at all times
  • Customers receive automatic updates regarding their deliveries, which makes it easier to manage expectations
  • Transparent supply chain with full control over your deliveries
  • Predictive intelligence algorithms for maximum safety and efficiency
  • App-based communication with all the stakeholders involved in the process for seamless collaboration
  • Leverage home delivery routing software that makes KPI benchmarking highly accurate and boosts same-day/one-hour home delivery volume

12. Route planning software for e-commerce businesses

Hard-pressed to meet same day delivery expectations set by Amazon, e-commerce businesses are constantly striving to up their game by offering fast and efficient deliveries to customers. However, without an intelligent route planning software, managing the logistics of delivery planning can eat into your time and costs, while also introducing the element of human error. That’s why we offer a plug-n-play route planning system for enterprises that can be integrated with their existing systems to automate the most time-consuming parts of delivery planning. Delivery management software also helps to keep check on every single reverse logistics process, thereby ensuring that costs are optimized and risks are eliminated.

The result? Better logistics, faster and accurate deliveries, lesser delivery costs and great customer experience.

Real-Time Route Tracking

Another critical element of route planning tools is route tracking. This enables logistics stakeholders to track and trace delivery vehicles in real-time and quickly address challenges like unnecessary route diversions, vehicle idling, unprecedented stoppages and more.

13. Route optimization software for manufacturing businesses

For manufacturers with a private delivery fleet, a route optimization software can save hours and thousands of dollars by enabling dispatchers to plan the most efficient routes in just a few clicks. However, routing software is also beneficial for manufacturers working with distributors, as it allows seamless management and collaboration. With a delivery truck routing software, manufacturers can track the delivery progress of all their partners, and also gain access to analytics-based business reports for improved efficiency. Such software is powered by a route optimization app that makes it easy to manage in-plant logistics operations and eliminate chances of traffic congestion within the plant.

14. What are the challenges in deploying routing software?

An advanced routing software will help you manage your fleet, improve productivity and increase SLA adherence, leading to fuel saving, reduction of labor cost and elimination of human error. However, businesses might think that implementing routing management software means replacing existing legacy systems. But that’s not true. Routing programs that fuel modern delivery management software can seamlessly integrate with existing IT platforms like TMS, WMS, ERPs among others and significantly boost system interoperability. So, it makes finding routes that are highly efficient easier as it analyzes data from multiple logistics architectures.

15. Fleet and truck routing software for LTL shipments

Complex delivery systems require advanced planning mechanisms that are usually found in modern truck routing and scheduling software. Less than truckload freight shipping (LTL) refers to the transportation of small freight that does not require the use of an entire trailer. An advanced truck routing tool can optimize capacity planning by enabling you to aggregate deliveries in similar areas so that your trucks are not over or under capacity, while also optimizing time and distance per vehicle.

16. What are the types of delivery routing tools available today?

There are several delivery routing tools available in the market, starting with the Google Optimization Tools (OR Tools), traditional Transport Management Software, cloud-based platforms for route planning, and fully customizable, Artificial-Intelligence backed delivery routing software for small businesses, as well as established ones.

17. Machine learning for smart delivery routing

Advanced delivery driver routing software is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to deliver predictive intelligence while planning routes. Such systems analyze the past performance of a particular route by sieving through historical data to assign the most efficient routes for delivery. Machine learning also empowers such systems to learn on their own and correct addresses based on past delivery experiences.

18. How to choose the right vehicle routing software?

In addition to the capabilities shared in the point above, it is important that your vehicle planning software is scalable, and designed to grow with your business. Besides, choosing a software with machine learning capabilities is important to gain predictive insights, as well as create a self-learning platform that optimizes your delivery routes based on past experiences.

Another consideration is the preference of the on-ground team, which means you need a software partner that is ready to conduct on-ground training and offer seamless support to ensure a smooth transition.

19. How does a routing app for delivery drivers enhance customer experience?

According to stats, up to 61% of consumers want faster deliveries. In addition, 93% of customers wish to stay informed about the location of their shipments and almost the same percentage of consumers blame the retailer for a poor delivery experience.

By leveraging a routing app for delivery drivers enterprises can ensure timely and accurate deliveries with real-time updates and embrace the possibility of accommodating customer preferences in the delivery schedule. A modern logistics software also analyses variables like distance covered, delays, route efficiency, and others, to accurately predict ETAs, which helps in setting realistic expectations for customers that are easily met.

20. Intelligent route planning decoded

Automated route planning, dynamic rerouting, intelligent delivery allocation, real-time updates, and a mobile app to manage your fleet on-the-go — these are just a few of the benefits of intelligent route planning powered by an advanced delivery planning software.

By combining artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, modern delivery planning software such as FarEye use predictive intelligence to optimize routes for efficiency and safety based on historical data. Our system also enables Geofencing, which means managers can set the rules that act as a guide for auto-routing.

21. How can a route mapping software improve logistics visibility?

Lack of visibility into the fleet is one of the most common issues faced by the users of traditional transport management systems. A route mapping software overcomes this problem by integrating predictive visibility to accurately predict ETAs and employ digital control towers to keep track of every shipment at any point in time.

A logistics solution that is powered by digital control towers leverages real-time data from the largest GPS, ELD and telematics network to keep a check on the current status of all your loads moving on the ground. Also, it empowers businesses to get easy alerts for exceptions and escalate tickets in real-time while enabling direct communication with drivers to prevent unnecessary breaks or delays.

Investing in route mapping software could be the game-changer for your business. That’s why it is vital to narrow down your options and work with a partner that treats your success as its own.

Role of Delivery Route Planning App

Delivery route planning software helps enterprises leverage the power of mobility. It’s accompanied by a smart delivery route planning app. This app empowers drivers to boost their productivity, keep a tab on their performance and know in advance the number of tasks/jobs he or she needs to accomplish in a given day. Such an app also helps delivery managers keep track of the whereabouts of delivery executives, quickly gain insights into KPIs like delivery success rates, number of delivery delays and more.

At FarEye, we are dedicated to helping businesses manage their fleet better and ensure seamless collaboration between various stakeholders while building high-visibility into ground-level operations.

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