Courier delivery management software

UK Routing Software: Streamline Your Delivery Operations Effectively

Efficient Routing Software Tailored for UK Businesses

Icon product route
Optimize your route planning with FarEye's advanced algorithms and machine learning. Streamline operations with efficient and adaptable routing solutions.
Route
Route product brochure
Download
Solving Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem with Advanced Routing Software
Blog here

By Komal Puri | February 16, 2024

Introduction to Routing Challenges in the UK Region

According to a report, drivers in London spent close to 156 hours in traffic in 2022. While cities are congested, the rural areas of the UK present challenges like restricted road infrastructure and greater distances between two stops.

Benefits of Using Routing Software in the UK

Cost Savings and Fuel Efficiency

Enables businesses to deliver shipments on the most fuel-efficient routes, thus reducing fuel and operational costs.

Time Efficiency and Reduced Delivery Times

Optimal route is the shortest and the most accurate route. This helps in making deliveries faster and circumventing traffic congestions.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Helps enhance customer satisfaction with timely deliveries and real-time updates on shipments.

Compliance with UK Traffic Regulations

Accounts for restricted areas, traffic rules and road closures, saving companies from fines and legal disputes.

Reduction in Carbon Emissions and Environmental Impact

Efficient routes bring down fuel consumption, and therefore lesser carbon emissions.

How to Choose the Right Routing Software for the UK

Compatibility with UK Mapping Systems

Must flawlessly combine with UK-related mapping systems like Ordnance Survey - it’s the key to accurate routing.

Integration with Local Traffic Data Sources

Integrate with local traffic data sources like RAC Traffic News tool or Transport for London - this optimizing routes based on real-time traffic updates.

Among the 23 route planner apps we assessed, here are our top 7 choices:

  • Google Maps: Excellent for individual drivers
  • Mapquest: Ideal for small businesses with up to 26 stops, albeit with ads
  • RAC Route Planner: Great for solo drivers in the UK
  • Maps.me: Perfect for road trips
  • RouteXL: Suitable for small businesses with up to 20 stops
  • Speedy Route: Noted for its user-friendly interface
  • TruckRouter: Tailored truck routing software designed for long-haul trucking in North America only

7 Top Free Route Planner Apps

1. Google Maps: Perfect for individual drivers

  • Price: Free
  • Stop limit: 10
  • Route optimization: No
  • Multiple route planning: No
  • Platform: Web & mobile app
  • Best for: Individual drivers and short trips

Google Maps leads as the premier free route planning software, catering to single delivery drivers seeking efficient routes.

Key Features:

  • Real-time traffic updates to avoid congestion.
  • Timely notifications on road closures and diversions.
  • Seamless usability across Android and Apple devices.
  • Accurate turn-by-turn directions and reliable ETAs.
  • Intuitive mobile application and Street View feature for destination identification.

Limitations:

  • Allows only up to 10 stops, lacks route optimization for multiple stops.
  • Cumbersome process for organizing multiple stops.
  • Recommendation: Google Maps is ideal for routes with 10 stops or fewer.
How to Access Unlimited Stops on Google Maps?

Unfortunately, you can't. However, Google's My Maps allows mapping routes of up to 100 stops or creating routes for multiple vehicles with additional planning.

2. MapQuest: Excellent for small businesses with up to 26 stops

  • Price: Free
  • Stop limit: 26
  • Route optimization: Basic
  • Multiple route planning: No
  • Platform: Web & mobile app
  • Best for: Small businesses

When Google Maps' limitations become apparent, MapQuest emerges as a viable alternative, especially for business purposes.

Key Features:

  • Accommodates up to 26 stops in a single route.
  • Basic route optimization available by selecting the "let us re-order stops" option.
  • Options to optimize routes for either shortest distance or shortest time.
  • Easy uploading of address lists via copy/paste or spreadsheet.
  • Convenient sharing of routes via social media, mobile numbers, or links.
  • Estimates fuel costs for each trip and allows easy printing of maps.

MapQuest does have notable drawbacks. Firstly, to maintain their free service, they display ads, which may be distracting.

Secondly, MapQuest's address interpretation is limited. Incorrectly formatted addresses may be marked as invalid, potentially leading to wasted time and money. While there are dropdown suggestions, some may be inaccurate.

Recommendation: MapQuest is the top free option for businesses with up to 26 stops, assuming precise address formatting and tolerance for ads.

3. RAC Route Planner: Perfect for solo drivers in the UK

  • Price: Free
  • Stop limit: 10
  • Route optimization: No
  • Multiple route planning: No
  • Platform: Web only
  • Best for: Individual drivers in the UK

For solo drivers in the UK, the RAC Route Planner app offers a reliable solution. It enables mapping routes with multiple stops and provides detailed information on traffic and weather conditions.

Additionally, the RAC app can be used for planning routes in Europe. However, users must manually input the exact addresses of each destination. Unlike platforms like Google Maps, the RAC app doesn't offer automatic suggestions as you type.

Recommendation: An excellent choice for individuals in the UK or Europe prioritizing safety and driving conditions.

4. Maps.me: Ideal for Road Trips

  • Purpose: Perfect for road trips, especially in areas with limited mobile service.
  • Cost: Free
  • Stop Limit: Supports up to 10 stops.
  • Route Optimization: Not available.
  • Multiple Route Planning: Not supported.
  • Platform: Available on both Android and iOS devices.

If you're planning routes in remote areas with limited cellular coverage, Maps.me is your solution. Its standout feature is the ability to download unlimited maps to your iPhone or Android device and create unlimited routes. With Maps.me, you can add up to 5 waypoints, explore pit stops, and navigate routes—all without using data.

Maps.me primarily targets tourists planning road trips rather than businesses planning delivery or service routes. For long-haul delivery drivers needing features like fuel and distance tracking, as well as truck stop locations, TruckRouter, a truck route scheduling software, is a better option.

Recommendation: Maps.me is great for recreational travel, especially on roads with poor data reception.

5. RouteXL: Perfect for Small Businesses with Up to 20 Stops

  • Best for: Small businesses with up to 20 stops.
  • Cost: Free to use with an option for a paid subscription.
  • Stop limit: Maximum of 20 stops allowed.
  • Route optimization: Provides basic route optimization.
  • Plan multiple routes: Does not support planning multiple routes.
  • Platform: Accessible via web only.

RouteXL offers a viable alternative to Google Maps for free route planning. Its free version allows up to 20 stops and optimizes routes accordingly. Users can upload stop lists via an Excel spreadsheet and share optimized routes with navigation apps or phones.

One limitation is RouteXL's occasional failure to recognize all addresses accurately. Some stops may be placed incorrectly, requiring users to verify addresses meticulously.

RouteXL can generate routes for one vehicle only. Planning routes for multiple drivers requires separate arrangements, leading to a loss of route optimization benefits.

The interface may seem outdated and sluggish, lacking user-friendliness.

RouteXL offers free usage for up to 20 stops, with paid packages granting access to 100 or 200 stops per day.

Recommendation: RouteXL is a suitable choice for small businesses with a single driver who can dedicate time to address verification.

6. Speedy Route: Best for User-Friendly Experience

  • Best for: Small businesses.
  • Cost: Free with optional paid subscription.
  • Stop limit: Free version allows up to 10 stops; paid plans offer more stops.
  • Route optimization: Professional route optimization provided.
  • Plan multiple routes: Available with paid subscriptions.
  • Platform: Accessible via web only.

Speedy Route is a user-friendly route planning and optimization tool. Its free version allows routing for up to 10 stops, while paid subscriptions support multiple drivers and up to 9,999 stops.

The web application features an intuitive interface. Stops can be added through copy and paste or by uploading a spreadsheet, and users can attach notes to each stop. After optimization, routes can be exported to a spreadsheet or printed. While direct transfer to navigation apps isn't available, users can upload the spreadsheet to another app for navigation.

Recommendation: Speedy Route is a reliable option for small businesses needing optimized routes for multiple vehicles, especially if users are comfortable with the additional steps for navigation.

7. TruckRouter: Ideal for Long-Haul Trucking Across North America

  • Cost: Free
  • Stop limit: Supports up to 5 stops
  • Route optimization: Provides professional-level optimization
  • Plan multiple routes: Not available
  • Platform: Accessible via web only
  • Best for: Long-haul trucking

If you're seeking free truck route planning software tailored for long-distance truck drivers, TruckRouter is an excellent choice. This web-based route planning tool offers specialized features for truck-specific routes:

TruckRouter optimizes routes considering height and weight restrictions, avoiding low bridges and other obstacles.

It provides a list of truck stops and facilities along each route.

The tool calculates estimated trip costs, including fuel expenses and toll roads.

It allows easy printing of itineraries and detailed directions.

Given that long-haul trucks typically make only 1-2 stops per trip, TruckRouter is designed to support a limited number of stops.

TruckRouter is available exclusively in the US, Canada, and Mexico, accessible only via the web platform; it is not available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Recommendation: TruckRouter is the optimal tool for planning long-distance trucking routes across North America, particularly if you prefer planning on a computer and printing out the routes.

Komal puri

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.

Komal Puri
Sr. Director of Marketing | FarEye
Transform your delivery experience today
Book a meeting