5 of the Best Delivery Route Planning & Optimization Solutions in 2023

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By FarEye | October 18, 2022

In today's fast-paced environment, businesses across multiple sectors are relying on efficient and reliable delivery services more than ever. 

This post looks at how five specific delivery planning solutions help to make this process simpler. From route optimization to route monitoring and proof of delivery, these solutions provide cutting-edge features that cover the entire delivery supply chain successfully. 

Customers will be kept informed with updates along the way, while route plans can be customized according to individual needs. 

Without these delivery planning platforms, there's never been an easier way to keep track of all your deliveries in a safe and effective manner.

Routing software has revolutionized the delivery business model! With optimized routes, businesses save money on fuel costs, labor costs, and increase their capacity to deliver more items faster than ever before. Not only does this mean increased profits for your company, but it also means an enhanced customer experience with timely delivery of packages and goods.

You'll have less time spent out on the road by your team and as a result, happier customers. The use of routing software makes all the difference in improving efficiency and cost savings in any delivery business.

Delivery route planners are becoming increasingly sophisticated and have become an essential part of courier businesses hoping to maximize their profits.

The type delivery routing tool you use will vary depending on task specifics such as the number of stops you’re completing, what type of items or parcels you’re delivering and whether the delivery is being made by a single person or a larger team.

Furthermore, the size of the parcels being delivered and the capacity of the vehicle transporting them will also need to be taken into account when selecting which route planning software is most appropriate.

Route optimization technology can often gauge what routes are most efficient and cost effective in every situation - ensuring that your courier business never misses out on a profit opportunity.

We understand that our customers want to make sure they are getting the most out of their delivery route optimization solutions.

That is why we have developed five core capabilities that focus on improving the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and agility of route optimization plans as below

  • Route optimization: This includes optimization of multi-stop routes, routes of multi-drivers in an efficient manner

  • Route monitoring: This includes a comprehensive look at vehicle routes with an increased focus on transparency and efficiency. This enables us to reduce costs, save time and optimize resources.

  • Customer updates: Keeping customers up to date with the estimated arrival time of their package by providing timely updates through email or text message. This enables customers to stay on top of delivery progress and better plan ahead for when the package arrives.

  • Proof of delivery: Getting customer’s signature while delivering the shipment or capturing the photo of the delivered package.

  • Delivery constraints: This includes planning a route by considering various delivery factors such as vehicle capacity, delivery time windows, vehicle size, package size & type.etc

In this post, we'll examine five different delivery route planning solutions to learn how they can benefit both drivers and dispatchers while potentially slashing operational costs.

1. FarEye

FarEye is a complete last mile delivery suite and our route optimization module is  built with robust features. FarEye’s efficient route optimization software can be tailored to fit anyone’s needs. After months of research and development, it became clear that the most promising customer base were professional delivery drivers. 

With their unique needs in mind, we shifted our focus to build a product that is both intuitive and fast. We leveraged modern technologies and utilized user feedback to craft a platform that can solve your biggest problem of how to make a delivery route for delivery teams around the world.

Streamlining your delivery operations has never been easier thanks to FarEye. You can streamline your workload and ensure routes are optimized for a fraction of the cost of traditional route-planning solutions. 

With our routing software for delivery drivers, you can create optimal routes in a few simple steps, assign them to drivers, monitor route progress in real time, send automated messages to notify customers of estimated delivery times, collect digital proof of delivery signatures, and customize your routing preferences such as start/end points, stops per driver duration and more. FarEye is the natural choice when it comes to making efficiency gains across your entire fleet.

Route optimization

If you're planning a route, FarEye makes it easy! Our auto-complete address feature allows for fast and simple input of your stops. Alternatively, for large routes, you can even upload your stops via a CSV or Excel file. No matter how you enter the data, our powerful route optimization feature will arrange them to provide the most efficient order possible.

FarEye can simulate thousands of route combinations in only a few minutes to find the best optimised route possible. This significantly reduces delivery times compared to using map services such as Google Maps or Waze, which lack these capabilities. For the best results, use FarEye as a delivery routing software for optimizing routes before inputting them into your navigation system of choice so you can depend on getting your package to its destination with the most time efficiency possible.

FarEye is designed to create a delivery route in full-loop so that drivers always end up back where they started. This feature is especially well-suited for customers who are delivering from their warehouses and businesses, ensuring efficiency throughout the entire process.

A great example of FarEye’s optimization algorithm:

After beginning at Ramsey Forty Foot and moving on to Stop Two, it actually suggests skipping Stop One and then completing it on the return route. At first this might seem counter-intuitive, yet through its advanced calculations it can determine that this is the quickest and most effective path.

The number of stops on any given route is not the only factor to consider when planning trips for drivers. As many know, there are several other considerations that should be taken into account when formulating a driver's plan. Time sensitive deliveries, for example, need to prioritize package delivery by a set arrival time and so this needs to be factored into how long each stop takes and how best to most efficiently reach the goal.

Similarly, vehicle capacity places constraints on where the driver can go meaning that if the maximum holds true then extra trips may need to be planned from their origin point (the warehouse) in order to fully deliver all packages. All in all, there is far more that goes into FarEye planning than just two-stop routes!

Route monitoring

FarEye’s route monitoring features offer an exciting way to stay up-to-date with a driver’s progress. This is much more beneficial than traditional GPS tracking updates which simply provide a specific geographic location as they cannot provide context around why the driver's location may have changed. For example, if a driver needs to re-optimize their route to avoid an accident, then FarEye will show the new expected stops along the route, whether that be the third or the fourth.

If a customer asks dispatch about their shipment, then dispatch doesn’t need to call the driver to get the status update and inform the customer again.

Instead, they can zoom in on the driver to get the driver location, where they are headed and quote ETA for the customer.

Customer updates

FarEye’s delivery updates offer the perfect solution for businesses looking to keep their customers in the know about when to expect their package. What’s more, these updates give customers peace of mind knowing that their order is on its way. Not only does this reduce labor from your side as you won’t be fielding as many calls, but they also minimize the risk of failed deliveries. This, in turn, helps improve route efficiency which benefits everyone in the end.

Once a driver starts their route, recipients are provided with an accurate estimated time of arrival (via text or email) by the FarEye’s driver routing software so they can plan their day accordingly. This means that if something unexpected should occur while the driver is en route, customers will receive an update through the provided link which informs them of any changes in their ETA. So now no more worries about waiting all day for a delayed driver--customers will simply get an updated notification saying when their order is expected.

The customer journey is thoughtfully designed for maximum convenience, so that their package is delivered quickly and efficiently.

With a simple click of the provided link, customers can access the web tracking page to instantly see every stage of their package's progress.

What's more, they can also leave instructions or notes for the driver, making sure their delivery goes exactly as planned.

If a delivery window is needed, customers receive a final text with an exact delivery time too!

After the package is delivered, the web tracking page updates automatically - meaning no more waiting around wondering when the delivery will arrive.

Proof of delivery

Whether you are delivering food, groceries, packages or any other type of shipment, it is essential to know when and where something has been delivered. That's where proof of delivery will come into picture

With FarEye’s ability to collect customer signatures and take photos as additional verification, drivers can confidently mark the stop and provide proof of delivery.

Drivers can provide proof of delivery in a variety of ways by collecting the customer's signature, indicating package was left in a mailbox, or providing photographic evidence when leaving in a safe place.

This is especially important for dispatch teams that need access to quick notes or updates in case a customer calls with questions about their item. Therefore, depending on the type of delivery and customer demands, using proof of delivery technology like FarEye is an ideal way to keep an organized record of your shipments

2. Routific

Routific is paving the way for advanced delivery optimization software with their powerful platform. Their specialized technology provides businesses with a solution to monitor, update customers, and manage delivery proof. For drivers, this platform allows them to quickly input start and stop destinations in order to calculate the most efficient routes saving both time and money. On top of this, businesses get to stay updated on their driver's locations in real-time with what they call Live Tracking. 

Route optimization

Route optimization can save businesses a lot of time and money. Not only can they ensure that deliveries and pickups get to their destination in the most time-efficient way, but they can also make sure that the highest priority stops are serviced as quickly as possible. With Routific, it's easy to adjust an existing route on the fly and how to route deliveries for either time or distance - so you know that all your deliveries have been taken care of.

Route monitoring

Route monitoring is essential for keeping any delivery service efficient and accurate. This is why Routific offers a unique service called Live Tracking which allows users to follow their driver’s progress in real time, keeping tabs on all of the stops along the route. This includes not only when a stop was completed, but also if it was skipped altogether. 

Visual aids help make this service understandable and easy to use, as they depict green boxes for completed stops or red boxes for skipped ones and displays when something was late or off schedule with the yellow box. 

Driver performance can be assessed using the data available through Live Tracking, ensuring that customers get their orders on time every time without fail.

Customer updates

Keeping customers up-to-date is a great way to ensure that they are able to plan their day and also feel included in the process of delivery. With Routific, you have the unique ability to keep your customers in the loop whenever required with either email or SMS notifications. This is a fantastic tool for building strong relationships and trust with clients. 

Furthermore, if you opt for email notifications, it is recommended that you ensure the emails come from an account which is regularly monitored as customers can respond directly to any communication sent out – resulting in efficient customer service.

Notifications are of 4 types as below:

1. Planned Delivery

The power of planned delivery is seen in the customer notifications. Through a single dashboard, you can update and inform customers so they know when to expect their product or service. Your team will plan out a route, which includes a one-hour buffer, and send a notification as to when it could arrive. That window may slightly change throughout the day though depending on how quickly the driver can deliver each stop. So, customers don't have to worry about delays or surprise visits. They get up-to-date information that allows for planning their day accordingly instead of endlessly waiting for their product or service to arrive.

2. Out-for-delivery

Out-for-delivery notifications help customers keep track of their package throughout the delivery process, ensuring that they can be waiting at their doorstep when the package arrives. Receiving this confirmation means that the item is almost there and provides assurance to the customer that it won't take too long for the package to arrive. For those who may want to track their delivery even closer, some companies allow customers to track their packages within 30 minutes from final destination. This system helps give customers peace of mind and makes them feel in control of the delivery experience.

3. After delivery

After the items have been delivered and the driver confirms completion on the Routific app, a notification is sent out to the customer. This final notification allows them to be aware of their delivery status and, if necessary, offers them a template to inform them that their delivery has been skipped for an unexpected reason. In this way, customers are kept in the loop and prepared for any changes that may occur in their deliveries.

4. Canceled delivery

Whenever a delivery fails to take place, Dispatch immediately steps in and takes responsibility by canceling the delivery. This process involves them re-scheduling the route and notifying the customer that their delivery has been canceled. All Dispatch teams must then collaborate with drivers so that these deliveries can be re-published for any other customers who may have placed orders at that time.

Proof of delivery

Many times customers turn the other way once they receive their package and don't want to talk to the driver.

Having a proof of delivery is not only important for the customer, but it's also invaluable for the business since it will help them track progress and make sure that everything is going according to plan.

Routific’s feature of collecting signatures makes taking a record of every delivery stop much easier than paper-based methods, saving time and money.

Unfortunately, at this time it does not include any type of photo option, making it hard for drivers if their packages have to be discreetly delivered without customers' direct acknowledgment.

3. RouteXL

RouteXL can be a useful tool for businesses and individuals alike that need to make multiple stops in one route. It allows you to optimize your trip by finding the most efficient way to get from point A to point B, taking into account all of your stops in between.

Unfortunately, RouteXL is missing a lot of features that other optimized route services offer, like customer updates and proof of delivery capabilities. However, it does have one major advantage – its free!

Route optimization

RouteXL makes it easy to optimize routes with 20 stops or fewer, so you can find the quickest paths between multiple destinations without wasting your precious time.

All you have to do is enter the addresses (or import them with a spreadsheet) and let RouteXL handle the rest.

However, many times addresses can be wrong, out of date, or incomplete. To counter this problem, delivery route planning solutions like RouteXL uses two types of geocoding - free and premium - that send addresses to services like Bing, Here, Mapbox, MapQuest, Nominatim, Photon or Google's premium API if requested. This way you'll make sure that your route calculations are accurate and get the most bang for your buck!

Distributing routes to your drivers is essential for successful route optimization.

With RouteXL, you have the ability to distribute routes using whatever medium best meets your needs.

  • Print routes offline: For offline methods, you can print out a physical copy of the route and distribute it to drivers in the morning before they start.

  • Via email: If your drivers are technologically savvy, you can also send routes via email which can easily be opened by any browser.

  • Fulfillment dialog: Alternatively, if email isn't an option, RouteXL comes with its own fulfillment dialog for smartphones which will open up the route with all relevant details for each stop, such as scheduled arrival times and delivery options.

  • Webfleet: The last option is Webfleet integration which allows delivery drivers or fleets using TomTom Pro devices to access the optimized route on their GPS device.

4. Route4Me

Route4Me stands out in the delivery route planning market due to its broad suite of features and add-ons. These features have become increasingly popular among techs, larger delivery operations, and other businesses who need to maximize their efficiency.

The marketplace catalog allows for customization of the in-app feature sets, meaning that users can tailor their experience to perfectly fit the needs of their business or operation.

Also included in the package are features like route optimization and route monitoring, as well as customer updates and proof of delivery.

Route optimization

Route4Me provides users with an efficient and convenient way to maximize their routes.

With the ability to customize for different types of businesses and number of personnel, Route4Me's pricing tiers are flexible enough to help many businesses.

Even those with strict requirements such as avoiding highways or tolls can use the route optimization engine without trouble.

In addition, once a route is published, dispatch agents benefit from being able to move customers around and make changes that would be more difficult if routes were planned manually.

Route monitoring

Route monitoring with Route4Me gives dispatch the power to ensure they have accurate and up-to-date insights into their drivers activities.

With Route4Me, they can get a detailed overview of each driver's movements, as well as immediately spot when an employee might be taking a detour or ignoring orders.

How to map out a delivery route:

By monitoring routes in real time, it becomes easier to compare predicted travel times versus actual travel times and figure out where drivers began to deviate from the expected path.

Furthermore, route analysis helps you plan for far more efficient delivery strategies and improve your drivers’ performance.

Customer updates

Route4Me's geofencing capabilities provide businesses with advanced ways to keep customers updated on their delivery status. By establishing parameters around the customer's location, notifications will automatically be sent to let them know when the driver is close.

Customers can adjust the distance for these notifications, for example getting a notification five miles or 15 minutes away from the driver.

Notifications like these offer a great way to proactively keep your customers updated and satisfied throughout their delivery experience.

Proof of delivery

Route4Me offers convenient proof of delivery solutions for its users. With the smartphone app, drivers can quickly capture signatures on their mobile devices and have them appear automatically on each corresponding stop.

The signatures are listed as events in the system’s activity feed and can be accompanied with media such as photographs.

This makes it easier than ever to ensure deliveries have been completed in a timely manner and that customer information is secure.

5. OptimoRoute

OptimoRoute is the best route optimization app for companies that require reliable route optimization, route monitoring, and customer updates.

Companies who use OptimoRoute can rest assured that their shipments are tracked in real-time and their real-time route planner will always keep customers informed of the most accurate arrival times.

Unfortunately, there is one limitation to OptimoRoute - it doesn't offer proof-of-delivery, meaning that companies must continue relying on traditional methods to obtain signatures or other documents proving receipt of shipment at its destination.

Route optimization

Route optimization can be a challenge, especially for long routes with multiple stops. But with OptimoRoute, it's an incredible time saver.

Choose from plans offering up to 750+ stops and you can customize the route to factor in travel duration, driver work times and vehicle load capacity.

The routes are easily uploadable to Garmin TomTom or Navigon GPS devices making it even easier to find your way around quickly and conveniently.

Route monitoring

Route monitoring is an invaluable tool for any business or enterprise. With real-time data and timely route updates, OptimoRoute keeps you up to date with your team on the road - from delivery status to live driver locations.

Instead of relying solely on phone calls or text messages, Live ETA will tell you how the route is moving along through interactive maps, easy-to-read updates and more information at a glance.

This feature allows you to manage the fleet and keep customers informed quickly and accurately, reducing stress between employees and improving overall efficiency.

Customer updates

Keeping your customers up-to-date with the most current information is a must.

OptimoRoute can help you do just that! With its customizable messaging capability you have options to send an email, text message or no notifications at all to your customers.

Each message comes with a URL which links directly to an order tracking page where customers can view current Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETAs) for their deliveries.

This helps reduce customer stress and confusion about the status of their orders, so there's one less worry for you and your staff.

Free options for delivery route planning

If you’re looking to save money on route planning and don’t mind sacrificing a little convenience, you may find yourself considering some free options.

However, it’s important to recognize the limitations these tools come with. Google Maps, for example, can be used for basic mapping and routing, but additional features such as optimization and mile tracking are simply not available, making the manual process both tedious and inefficient.

Free delivery route planning solutions are significantly limited and are best for small businesses or scenarios with just a few stops.

Google Maps can provide manual optimization but MapQuest’s route planner has greater capabilities.

It allows users to avoid toll roads and highways while also providing optimizations, though it has its own limits.

Users can optimize the delivery route up to 26 destinations, but after that point there are no options to receive customer updates, monitor the route, have proof of delivery, or use an app.

Businesses who value convenience may be best suited using this service as a short-term solution before upgrading to more specialized software that do the heavy lifting for them when managing multiple drivers and multiple destinations.

The best delivery route planning solutions: Conclusion

As we discussed above, a good delivery route planning solution means not just a multi-stop delivery route optimization. There are many other crucial considerations to be taken into account.

Aside from route optimization for multiple stops, you'll want to take into account aspects such as toll roads, highways and seasonal roads when designing your routes.

Making sure vehicles have ample capacity is also important, as well as prioritizing deliveries that need attention before the rest or that must be delivered by an exact time frame.

Having route monitoring capabilities as well as proof of delivery and customer updates also helps ensure efficient and effective operations. But with the multitude of solutions out there it's hard to find one that fits your specific needs - luckily this list can serve as a great guide in making your pick!

Managing a team of drivers can be difficult, but with the help of FarEye, it doesn't have to be. FarEye is an innovative software program that simplifies route management and tracking, saving time and money for driver teams. The software allows you to easily keep track of your drivers in real-time, meaning no more manual data entry or expensive hardware. FarEye works with almost any GPS system and its user-friendly interface requires minimal training and set up. 

Start making your driver team's lives easier while improving efficiency - you won't regret it!

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