Tips to Optimize Your Route Planning

Here are seven remarkable delivery route planning tips to optimize your route planning effectively:

Tip 1: Optimize Vehicle Capacity, Utilization, and Loading

You will need to create a comprehensive strategy to maximize revenue from route optimization. You can focus on increasing overall operational productivity by optimizing vehicle utilization, capacity, and loading.

To optimize vehicle utilization, determine time spent on:

  • The road
  • Idle time
  • Pre-loading and awaiting departure time
  • Loading and unloading time
  • Maintenance repair time
  • Delayed delivery time

You need to implement changes based on these parameters to ensure on-time delivery.

Before assigning tasks to your driver team, assess the storage space available for each vehicle in your fleet to optimize vehicle capacity. This will assist you in making the best use of your automobile.

When loading the deliverables, ensure that your delivery drivers can organize the packages according to the efficient delivery route to optimize vehicle loading. This package sorting and positioning allows them to locate the package in the vehicle ready and reduce time spent at each stop.


Tip 2: Monitor Drivers’ Availability and Requirements by Location

Accurate scheduling is the foundation of driver coordination and delivery management. Dispatchers must know which drivers are available at a specific particular time. Using one of the best route planning tools for delivery drivers allows you to manage your drivers’ time better.

You can plan and allocate tasks to drivers using the robust and sophisticated route planning functionality and guarantee they are taking the right routes. Such planning enables on-time last-mile deliveries during peak hours.

Using such a technology, dispatchers can also make adjustments with improved flexibility and management control. They could just switch routes or re-optimize delivery schedules. It also streamlines deliveries during busy hours based on the availability of drivers.

Such route changes are automatically updated in the driver’s smartphone application, providing instant access to the information they want for their ride.

To efficiently plan a route, you must consider the start and endpoints.

For instance, if you have many pick-up locations, you can set the beginning point for the delivery drivers.

 Furthermore, you can set their endpoints appropriately if you want drivers to finish their itinerary at a specific location, such as their residential address or operations center, you can set their endpoints appropriately.


Tip 3: Increase Cross-Fleet Productivity

Understanding how your fleet operates is essential for optimizing and maintaining workforce efficiency. Planning multi-stop routes for a team of delivery drivers is challenging and time-consuming. Factors such as fleet size, traffic conditions, and delivery windows make manual route planning  even more complex.

In such circumstances, route planning software designed to boost the number of successful deliveries is the solution. It automates the planning of the most efficient delivery routes while keeping your entire team of delivery drivers in mind.

When you use efficient route optimization software, you gain instant access to data and can effortlessly accommodate cross-fleet. Your management will be able to keep records of all the drivers and vehicle data and access them as needed.


Tip 4: Minimize Mis-Deliveries and Re-Deliveries

To improve the efficiency of your delivery operations, you must take steps to prevent shipments from being redelivered or delivered to incorrect locations. Such re-delivery entails more effort, and money is spent on the same load, with no additional revenue. This also leads to an increase in the costs of delivery operations.

Mis-deliveries, on the other hand, necessitates locating the parcel, replacing it if it has incurred any damage or gone missing, and delivering the replacement item. It is nothing but time-consuming and expensive, and it sucks away your profits.

The global same-day delivery industry is expected to hit $8.4 billion USD in 2021. This market is expected to reach 26.4 billion US dollars by 2027.

Mis-delivery and re-delivery issues can be avoided by using delivery route planning software. Your drivers will receive specific driving directions and ETA for every location, and your customers will receive notification alerts of the delivery ETA of their shipments.

Drivers will have access to electronic proof of delivery options  such as photo capture and e-signature, proving successful contactless deliveries.


Tip 5: Maintain Consistent Customer Communication

Many organizations in the logistics industry find it challenging to keep their customers notified about their delivery ETA. Route management software provides you and your clients with real-time updates on the status of your delivery drivers, ensuring that delivery times are always accurate.

Customer communication can be managed with automation. This will guarantee that your customers receive the information they require to plan their day-to-day activities. It will also minimize incoming phone calls to your customer support.

Such alerts can be sent to the customer’s contact by email notifications or SMS, relieving customer support personnel to handle more complex customer issues, if any exist.


Tip 6: Automate Importing the Data

Manual data entry is a constant and significant roadblock for your fleet managers. Updating work orders, expenditure details, and other similar data manually into spreadsheets is a waste of energy and time. It also does not provide you with an accurate reflection of your business processes.

On the other hand, a route management system can import excel files, saving you a lot of time and effort. You can closely check your business processes and performance with its personalized dashboard and robust reporting tools.


Tip 7: Avoid Delays

You must optimize delivery time to increase customer retention. Customers who have their shipments delivered late are less likely to use the services from the same company again in the future.

As a logical response, you must have contingency plans in place to avoid delays  caused by:

  • Bad weather
  • Curfews
  • Lockdowns (due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Traffic jams
  • Major blockages, and detours
  • Construction of roads
  • Accidents

To accommodate such unpredictable circumstances, a route planning, and optimization system’s technology can help manage routes in real-time.

It also gives your driver driving directions that are up-to-date. Delivery drivers can focus on fulfilling their deliveries rather than determining the best path to avoid such disasters.

On second thought, if you consider planning and optimizing your routes manually, it is going to be severely challenging. It is difficult to plan and optimize routes manually when heavy workloads and many delivery drivers and destinations are involved.

When things are done manually, factors such as productivity, scalability, reliability, and flexibility of your supply chain are jeopardized.

On the other hand, route optimization software improves the efficiency of delivery operations while fulfilling desired customer service expectations. This productivity enhancement can result in reduced delivery expenses or higher delivery capacity.

Route planning and optimization that is more advanced can maximize earnings. They can analyze more delivery variables than humans, resulting in a more efficient route and increased customer satisfaction.

If you are interested in learning how TimeLinx PSM can make your field service team more efficient, click here.

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About TimeLinx
TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.