Whether you’re a well-established manufacturer, retailer, or distributor, your drivers and trucks consume a high percentage of operating expenses. Moreover, efficiency gains in fleet performance can offer six to seven-figure savings directly to your bottom line while boosting delivery service in the procedure. The key to availing such perks is route optimization, typically ensuring your fleet functions at the highest efficiency daily. Route Management Optimization is a term utilized primarily by fleet managers, but one whose influence reverberates powerfully throughout a distribution business, from the dispatch area to the board area.
What is Meant By Route Optimization?
Route optimization is basically the procedure of deciding the most efficient route for a vehicle to opt for according to a bunch of stops and all the outside factors that directly affect the journey. The process is quite complex compared to simile finding the shortest path between two points. In fact, it requires to include all relevant aspects, like the number and location of all the necessary stops as the route along with time windows for deliveries.
Moreover, it’s a computer-aided procedure that can realistically reduce fleet operating costs up to 10 to 30% and considerably increase customer satisfaction by accurately meeting ETA requirements. On the contrary, the software employs the power of advanced digital technology, weather conditions, historical traffic data, and scenario modeling, which leads to a much better-planned route. Furthermore, it allows you, your drivers, and other team members to recognize the quickest and most economical route to an end destination even with several stop-points in between, finishing work orders within the deadline.
Importance of Technologies in Route Management Optimization
When it comes to a business that produces homemade dairy items, small and medium-sized companies have the possibility to scale up. It will allow them to deliver to local shops, cafes, diners, and restaurants, ultimately developing into regional delivery. Then there are no longer 6 to 10 stops every day but a minimum of 45 to 55 per vehicle.
So, when planning routes for these deliveries, it isn’t sufficient to barely specify the destinations. For example, dairy items should be well-maintained and transported as fragile products at a certain temperature. Most advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) can stop a driver’s route from turning to a stressful journey by considering traffic jams, weather conditions, and other aspects when handling a route. Generally, reliable route management can either enhance the entire logistics process or sabotage order fulfillment by delivery delays and spoilage of transported goods. Moreover, advanced route management technologies let a company to:
- Select the most appropriate or closest driver for a specific route.
- Avoid crossing lanes when turning left
- Consider the number of intersections and turns throughout the route.
- Record traffic jams according to the time of the day.
Technologies to Use for Route Management Optimization
Typically, modernization in route management optimization consists of solutions that surpass conventional automation. So, to enhance the entire fulfillment of logistics orders, IoT devices, artificial intelligence technologies, and big data analytics are being introduced into advanced logistics devices.
Big Data Analysis: Most services in which big data analysis is employed are competent in gathering and processing a massive amount of information. Then accordingly, predict and create connections between events in long logistic chains. Moreover, with the assistance of big data analysis, route optimization algorithms are well-optimized to adequately anticipate the speed with which consumers place orders on a certain day and market trends. Correct information regarding the weather, order trends, and economic status are collected to anticipate future orders and develop an algorithm for order processing. Besides, big data can also be utilized to decide the most appropriate vehicle speed and the amount of fuel required.
IoT: These devices normally connect the digital and physical worlds. Moreover, they offer impressive assistance in tracking vehicles, decreasing fuel rates, credits to route management optimization, full control driving through traffic control systems, notifying clients regarding the status of cargo being transported, and finding suitable parking areas. For example, when it comes to transporting dairy items and various other perishable commodities, IoT technology lets you install a special tracker to gather ultra-modern details regarding the temperature and humidity within a container.
Blockchain Technology: Such technology in logistics ensures the precision and truthfulness of records on performance, service history, and multiple other vehicle metrics. In fact, all data is noted in a distributed ledger record of various transactions. It reflects who exactly transferred to whom, when, and what amount of assets. Hence, it’s known as a block, and as this block isn’t deleted or altered, it guarantees transparency of all procedures.
Artificial Intelligence: These solutions allow you to analyze existing routes, recognize any sort of barriers during the road trip planning process, and choose the ideal route, lessening warehouse and shipping expenses. Moreover, AI-powered data processing devices assist in seizing the information on moving items in real-time and correctly evaluating delivery times.
Functions of Route Management Optimization Software
Generally, solutions that logically plan routes and consequently maximize logistics competence are becoming more and more complicated. Furthermore, it allows various businesses to select transportation management services that accurately fit their diverse requirements. Hence, check out some vital software functionality to seek when selecting or creating a route management optimization solution:
- Vigorous Route Planning
When order data changes during the delivery process, the advanced technologies within a route management optimization solution should be able to alter the existing route and build a new route for the driver.
- Real-time Traffic Analysis
A rough approximate time of arrival function based on dynamic real-time data allows to save logistics expenses and guarantee on-time delivery.
- Bypassing Limitations in the Delivery of Items in Various Categories
Sending two different kinds of goods like electronics and perishable items, is typically not possible without software that considers vehicle limitations like containers with temperature controllers and unique fasteners for delicate goods. Moreover, with such data, route management can be enhanced and well-optimized.
- Exact Geocoding
Nearly all route management optimization software includes a geocoder, which allocates coordinates to records with physical or IP addresses. However, it’s worth focusing on the accuracy of changing latitude and longitude coordinates to specific points on the map. In fact, understanding equivocal addresses and local context remarkably influence entire route management optimization.
Routes Available on the Google Maps Platform
Recently, the cloud-based Google Maps Platform has earned a reliable reputation and is now utilized by top-tier logistics firms such as FedEx for logistics automation. Moreover, Google Maps are used to allow location awareness and route planning in Re-turnz, a special solution for reverse logistics. Most importantly, routes are one of three major products available in the Google Maps Platform. It includes multiple APIs that allow you to construct and optimize routes according to traffic details:
- The Directions API
It’s basically utilized for creating the distinguished route between locations by multiple transportation modes. Moreover, this device can also create multi-stop trips, considering traffic, the number of turns, and limitations you put in (for example, avoid highways, tolls, and ferries).
- The Roads API
Firstly, it recognizes the most preferred road a vehicle travels on by tracing various GPS coordinates. Next up, it returns the nearest road segment for every point and details regarding speed limits on every road segment.
- The Distance Matrix API
It basically returns the travel distance (in imperial or metric units) and travel time as calculated by the Directions API.
Therefore, Google employs a pay-as-you-go pricing model, and the price for every API prominently depends on the number of monthly queries.
Benefits of Route Management Optimization
Here are some commonly known benefits of employing new technologies for route management optimization:
- Lessen Costs
Generally, route management software employing AI and data analysis can considerably decrease travel times, and in turn, it essentially reduces logistics costs. There are two prime factors that technology can reduce costs: fuel consumption and needed maintenance as an aspect of time on the road.
- Decide the most Efficient & Appropriate Routes
Advanced algorithms consider various external features like construction and road repairs, traffic jams, and weather conditions. Doing so helps them optimize the best route for the driver to deliver the items without getting any obstacles during the road journey.
- Boost Drivers’ Efficiency
You can easily designate the time saved to other business tasks by letting complex tasks to algorithms. As well-optimized route management means drivers spend way less time on the road per order, overall logistics productivity is boosted as drivers easily fulfill more orders.
- Restrict the Carbon Footprint of your Fleet
If you reduce some miles traveled by drivers between two orders, it further decreases the carbon footprint. In fact, the dioxide emissions saved are easy to determine. For most companies, employing low-emissions vehicles and well-organized route management optimization software will provide features to go beyond their original plan. Moreover, there is software that considers constraints of low-emissions vehicles in constructing routes and increasing their use.
- Save At Least 20% on Vehicles & Miles
Normally, route management optimization software flattens daily miles traveled by a fleet of vehicles. Thus, using reliable route building software can save about 20% reach, and sequencing routes also becomes easy. On the other hand, creating routes from a cloud of points and without any software is certainly challenging or rather complex.
- Enhanced Customer Experience
Today, ‘our driver is stuck in traffic’ is no longer an acceptable excuse to placate a customer who is triggered by your inefficiency to adhere to delivery timelines. That’s why to assist in avoiding such delays, a reliable route optimization solution scans traffic situations constantly, to recommend the ideal route. Furthermore, if a vehicle breaks down, the software utilizes GPS tracking to help recognize drivers who are closeby. It allows you to assign the task to the new drive and re-optimize the route to ensure the order reaches the destination on time. Hence, when your on-time arrival rate grows, more customers will be interested in your business or brand.
Hence, the utilization of route management optimization software is basically the right way for any business/company to make on-time deliveries or offer punctual services and reduce expenses. Moreover, advanced delivery fleet management systems can assist in quick fleet tracking and service calls on time, even when rescheduling. Some businesses exhibit a keen interest in opting for route planning or management optimization systems as they are easy to use and sufficient for small or startup companies. In fact, huge businesses prefer to create personalized routing software, while small ones that only require optimizing routes opt for apps.