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Commercial Vehicle Route Planners: Optimizing Truck Routes

Assessing the essentials of commercial vehicle routing, highlighting the unique challenges and considerations for optimizing delivery routes with six practical tips for efficient truck route planning.

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A map and a list of addresses were used to make deliveries several years ago. When there was no route planning software available, this method was used. Through the advancement of technology and smartphones, we now have access to every detail about distribution, from the customer’s position to the most efficient path to the destination, all in one place – a commercial vehicle route planner.

For truck routing, a commercial vehicle route planner is used. It’s used to plan safe and time-efficient distribution truck routes that help keep profit margins healthy. It reduces mileage and increases customer service by saving money and planning loads based on individual vehicle capabilities.

Table of Contents

  • Commercial Vehicle & Truck Routing 101
  • How Truck Drivers Plan Their Routes
  • Optimizing Your Routes in 2021 – 6 Tips for Efficient Truck Route Planning
  • Final Thoughts

Commercial Vehicle & Truck Routing 101

Commercial vehicle and truck routing, in comparison to other types of routing and optimization, requires more extensive optimization due to factors such as traffic limits, route limitations, and state regulations. For commercial vehicles, normal vehicle optimization can result in inaccurate travel times and dangerous driving directions.

Commercial routes vary from standard routes in terms of lengths and travel times. For effective and accurate trucking routes, you must identify exact truck parking spaces, weigh stations, and rest areas when creating a path for your heavy-duty straight truck.

How Truck Drivers Plan Their Routes

Truck drivers schedule their routes using a variety of approaches. Let’s look at a few of these approaches.

  1. Paper and a pen: Route planning using a pen and paper is one of the most common and cost-effective methods. However, for companies, this approach can be time consuming and can potentially result in a significant financial risk.
  2. Microsoft Excel: This system is a step up from the traditional pen-and-paper method. However, it comes with the same drawbacks and inefficiencies, as well as an increased risk of data loss.
  3. Google Maps: You can only schedule routes for up to ten stops using Google Maps. This limits the number of stops that can be covered by companies.
  4. Route Planner App: Apps that build optimal routes and have built-in navigation and the ability to save routes are available. Small and medium-sized businesses can find it useful.
  5. Enterprise-Grade Software: Enterprise-grade software is costly, but it includes all of the necessary features for successful deliveries, such as navigation, limitless stops, driver monitoring, and so on. Enterprise-grade software is used by the majority of businesses with a large fleet.

Optimizing Your Routes in 2021 – 6 Tips for Efficient Truck Route Planning

#1 Set realistic objectives

Truck drivers can easily cover several addresses with the aid of a good plan. However, it is important that the delivery targets you set for yourself are achievable. When you consider things like traffic, time windows, speed, tolls, and other roadblocks that a driver might encounter on his way to his destination, the delivery targets are reasonable. When you set reasonable expectations, on the other hand, you know what to expect from a specific delivery mission.

#2 Assign deliveries to vehicles based on their capabilities

Depending on the reason for which they were built, different vehicles have different capabilities. Some trucks are designed to transport vehicles, while others are designed to deliver vegetables and fruits. When you delegate deliveries based on a vehicle’s capabilities, you automatically improve the productivity of your truck path. You can save time, money, and effort as a result of this.

#3 Combine pickups and deliveries

By merging pickup and delivery in regular routes, you can better schedule your routes without having to prepare separately for pickup and delivery. You can handle pickups into an existing distribution path using route planning tools like Optimoroute.

#4 Mobile-friendly

Things get much simpler for your drivers when your routing program offers a mobile-friendly view. Your drivers will be able to receive and send real-time information about deliveries, as well as keep track of the schedule and communicate with the dispatch team. Drivers can automate a few of their tasks and concentrate on the road if they have access to a web browser on their computer.

#5 When planning, use a variety of sources

When you have several sources to choose from when planning a path, you can always compare and contrast to see which alternative fits best for you or seems to be more practical. You can, for example, choose software that has one of the best optimization algorithms and allows you to use Google Maps to navigate while driving. You are not dependent on a single source of knowledge when doing so. This increases productivity and comfort while decreasing fuel consumption.

#6 Plan breaks, identify obstacles.

When making plans, it’s important to leave room for uncertainty. If your breaks are predictable, such as lunch breaks, or unpredictable, such as a flat tire, you must prepare for several scenarios of how the delivery will go. You can make your routes more reliable and time-effective by monitoring the forecast, planning breaks, or avoiding obstacles.

Final Thoughts

Route planning for commercial vehicles, also known as truck roads, differs from route planning for personal vehicles. This article discusses the fundamental differences between the two, how truck drivers plan a truck route, and some helpful hints for creating an organized truck that improves efficiency and safety. All of this would be made much easier for you and your company if you use a route planner like EasyRoutes.

Shopify and your store’s orders are effortlessly integrated with EasyRoutes. You won’t have to waste time exporting and importing spreadsheets anymore. Simply pick the orders you want to send, and EasyRoutes will calculate the most cost-effective delivery path.

The EasyRoutes delivery route app was created with simplicity in mind. There’s no need to deal with complicated enterprise route planner apps anymore. Plan routes the easy way, with EasyRoutes.

About Roundtrip

Roundtrip's mission is to equip every business with the software tools they need to deliver products to their customers in a delightful way. Thousands of worldwide choose EasyRoutes to power their local deliveries across dozens of product categories, from meal kits and groceries to coffee, cupcakes, kibble, and so much more. Our easy-to-use route planning and delivery optimization app is certified Built for Shopify, a two-time Shopify staff pick, and the top rated local delivery app on the Shopify App Store.

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