A Quick Guide to Delivery Route Optimization

A Quick Guide to Delivery Route Optimization
Featured image credit: one photo/Shutterstock.com

Fleet owners and business managers no longer plan routes manually using a map. While this traditional route planning used to be effective, still doing it in this way will make your business less competitive. So, if you want to maximize your time, money, and manpower, it’s time to switch to a route optimization software.

But, what exactly is delivery route optimization and how will your business benefit from it? Today, we answer the common questions about route optimization.

What is Delivery Route Optimization?

Planning routes manually is time-consuming and the routes you plan with pen and paper are often inaccurate. Even using regular route planners won’t help you as much. These mapping providers are also time-consuming and they’re built to get people from point A to point B. So, they are unfit for use in businesses that need fast and efficient routes for multiple drivers and stops.

This is why you need delivery optimization software which will help you simply find the most cost-effective way to visit a set of addresses.

The principle of delivery route optimization goes all the way back to 1959, when the first delivery route optimization algorithm was written by an American mathematical scientist, George Dantzig, in his paper The Truck Dispatching Problems. Now, food delivery services, courier companies, and all kinds of businesses use such algorithms to solve problems like consuming too much gas or inefficient drivers.

So, route optimisation software helps you solve such business problems by giving you efficient routes and letting you visit more customers each day. In this way, you make more money.

How Do You Optimize Routes?

Before you can optimize routes, you first need to have a list of addresses ready. Luckily, Route4Me lets you add those addresses in several ways. So, you can:

  • Manually enter the addresses to the interactive map
  • Copy and paste the addresses
  • Upload a scanned file
  • Import data from a Google spreadsheet
  • Upload a file using a spreadsheet

Let’s say you choose to upload a spreadsheet file. You can do this by first naming the route and then selecting a schedule (the start date and time as well as the service time per stop). You can also set up other parameters, such as Sharing, Distance, Optimization, Avoidance Zones, Directions, Turn Restrictions, and User.

Also, in the Optimization field, you can choose from:

  • Single Driver Route which creates a single route with the total number of stops you need
  • Multiple Drivers Route which lets the system decide the most optimal setting
  • Disable Optimization

Afterwards, you can continue uploading the file. The software will then ask you to review the addresses. If the system can’t find a specific address, a red dot will be shown alongside the data. If the system found a close match, it’ll mark the dot in yellow. Those that matched up perfectly with real addresses will be marked in green.

The system will even show a weather notification if there will be any changes to the weather within the areas of your routes. For example, if a storm is anticipated, the system will suggest increasing the service and travel time durations for greater accuracy. However, you still have the choice of whether you want to accept or modify the setting or skip it.

Once you’re done, the software will take you to the map. In the Map Settings section, you can change what the map shows you by ticking the boxes next to the following options:

  • Traffic
  • Current Weather
  • Address Book
  • Territories
  • Avoidance Zones
  • Geofences
  • Driving Directions
  • Activity Feed
  • Driving Lines
  • Original Route
  • Route Notes
  • ETAs

Thereafter, the route will be created for you with all the stops in the correct and most efficient sequence.

How Does Route4Me Lower Your Operations Cost?

If you use well-optimized routes, using route optimization software, you’ll know that your drivers are being efficient because they’ll visit more addresses daily than they used to with manual planning.

Also, Route4Me provides you with well-optimized routes so that your drivers won’t consume extra gas or time on the road so long as they are sticking to the provided routes. This is because Route4Me automatically stores your stops in the optimal sequence. So, you don’t have to figure out which address to visit first. The software does it all for you.

Have you ever tried using a trip planner? If so, what features do you like most? If not, how do you think your business would benefit from a route planner? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.