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Delivery Route Optimization 101

Explore how delivery route optimization software enhances e-commerce and food delivery services by improving efficiency, reducing costs, and ensuring customer satisfaction through advanced planning tools and technology.

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The Impact of Route Optimization on Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

You’ll want to ensure optimum productivity in any situation where you handle a fleet of delivery vehicles.

You will make incremental profits while ensuring that all of your customers are happy with various delivery choices by continuously improving your delivery activity.

Even if you’ve been doing e-commerce deliveries for decades or providing food delivery to your customers’ homes, you can still use new technology to boost efficiency and lower costs.

We’ll go over everything you need to know about delivery route optimization and how it can benefit your daily operations in this guide. The demand for delivery services will continue to rise, and the technology stack you choose will likely determine how well you can support your current customers while scaling quickly.

Table of Contents

  • The Basics of Route Optimization
  • How to use Delivery Route Optimization to Improve Your Business
  • Which Route Planning Software Is the Best?
  • Choosing the Right Route Planning Software for Your Company
  • Which Route Planning Software Is the Best?
  • How Do You Make a Delivery Route More Efficient?
  • Is it Possible for Google Maps to Optimize a Route?
  • What Methods do Delivery Drivers Use to Map out their Routes?
  • Take Advantage of Delivery Route Optimization Software

The Basics of Route Optimization

You’re already familiar with mobile routing software if you’ve ever used a GPS device or the navigation on your smartphone. Instead of allowing you to select a single route for a single journey, delivery route optimizer software allows you to schedule multi-stop delivery routes for any number of drivers. This helps you to arrange everyone’s job while meticulously preparing every mile you’ll be driving.

In today’s hyper-connected world, you’ll want to go with a solution that reduces the administrative burden while also assisting you in improving efficiencies over time. Historical data can help you make better decisions in the future and refine the delivery scheduling workflows over time. Orders can come in at any time, and changing your distribution routes in real time may be the difference between your optimization strategy and that of your competitors.

What is Route Optimization?

When making several stops on a drive, you’ll want to consider time vs. distance as well as order priority. The use of systems that generate optimized routes is ideal. However, before the internet and Software as a Service (SaaS) became commonplace, implementing these solutions was expensive and required specialized GIS software designed primarily for government agencies.

The majority of businesses will start with Google Maps and schedule their deliveries manually. You’ll probably be able to set several stops for every particular region and monitor your driver during the journey if you have any advanced skills. Without having to spend hours planning a new path, a route optimizer will help you plan your trips quickly and adapt to the inevitable changes that will inevitably occur.

How Delivery Route Optimization Software Works

Path planners in distribution and delivery companies strive to minimize time on the track, save money on fuel, and increase customer loyalty. Fuel costs continue to be one of the most significant expenditures for distribution firms, accounting for more than 20% of total expenses (according to the American Transportation Research Institute).

For multi-stop deliveries, route optimization software shuffles your destinations to find the most efficient way. There are approximately 40 million potential routes if you have eleven stops on a single journey. When you’re in charge of a large fleet, you’ll need an app to help you find the best distribution routes and save money on gas.

Is Google Maps capable of optimizing delivery routes?

Google Maps is great for avoiding traffic and finding the shortest path to a particular location. Multi-stop route optimization, on the other hand, is a difficult problem to solve. Though Google Maps is great for personal journeys, it lacks the features needed to help you manage a fleet of deliveries.

A better choice on what tools to use is a delivery-scheduling app designed specifically to help maximize the delivery routes. Using just Google Maps to solve the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) will not help you increase your efficiencies.

Why Route Optimization is Important

Today’s consumers have higher expectations of businesses. Reduced time, more frequent deliveries, and better visibility into your expected delivery time are some of the market factors driving route optimization. Customers want to know where you are and when you will be delivering their packages or food.

Furthermore, fluctuating fuel prices and urban limits in some metropolitan areas add to the difficulty of your operations. Route optimization tools will assist you in successfully navigating all of these obstacles.

How to use Delivery Route Optimization to Improve Your Business

Routes that are optimized help you save time and money. You will make the most of your drivers and ensure that you reach your customers in less time, every time. Manually managing your route planning will take a lot of time and effort, and you won’t be nearly as effective as a software solution that is designed to solve the problem for you.

A route-planning algorithm will determine the most effective distribution routes based on what you know (address and type of goods) and what you’ll want to know (congestion, average speed). Other variables can be included in the equation depending on which app you use.

What are the Most Important Advantages of Using a Route Planning Tool?

Organizations that use route planning apps are likely looking to reduce operating costs and increase distribution management performance.

The following are some of the most important advantages of route optimization software:

  • Better driver utilization: One of the main advantages is that you can get to every stop on time without having to hire additional drivers. You may be able to reduce the size of your delivery fleet by considering vehicle capability and the number of drivers required.
  • Fuel and repair costs are reduced: The shortest path consumes less fuel and reduces the distance traveled between stops. Fewer miles mean less maintenance, which helps you save money on car costs.
  • Improved customer loyalty: Your main problem is always getting your deliveries to customers on time. Customers are happier when routes are optimized. Route optimization apps with live monitoring keep your customers informed with updated time windows and enable you to react quickly to issues. Can provide real-time updates and SMS alerts. Customer satisfaction can be improved by sending delivery alerts.
  • On-going Improvement: You will continue to enhance the distribution processes by using built-in reporting features. Continuously refining the deliveries with the most up-to-date details would result in the greatest possible savings over time.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Another advantage is that you can lower your carbon footprint and increase the eco-friendliness of your deliveries. You may develop practices such as delivering heavy goods first or looking for backhaul opportunities to increase your productivity and help the environment on any ride.

Is it possible for route optimizers to add more value?

The right app will help distribution companies and their operations gain more value. Before making a final decision about whether or not to open a new warehouse or site, consider the effect on your deliveries. Integrating route optimization software with your ordering systems will provide you with more information and improve your customer service.

You can also compare your scheduled activities to data produced in real time by the app. You will use this data to prevent problems in the future and make better business decisions.

How do delivery drivers use to map out their routes

Drivers spend a lot of time on the track, relying on their years of experience to find the most efficient route. The more experience a driver has, the better he or she will be at determining the most efficient route for each journey. Inexperienced drivers, on the other hand, would need any assistance you can provide in order to prevent costly errors or lengthy travel times. It costs you money any time a driver sits in traffic or has to wait for someone to arrive at a spot.

Rather than hiring seasoned drivers who know their way around a particular geographic area like the back of their hand, a route optimizer would ensure that everyone is productive from the start. Your driver debriefings can also be used to exchange details with the rest of the team and enhance delivery preparation for upcoming trips.

Choosing the Right Route Planning Software for Your Company

You should think about all of the features before deciding which route optimizer app to use in your business. Your approach should make multi-stop route delivery planning simple while still providing measurable results from the start.

Consider the following features when reviewing a route planner:

  • Simple address input: Getting the correct address should never be a guessing game. To avoid making any mistakes, think about how quickly and easily you can set up your various locations with smart-lookup features. Do you need to import your orders regularly? Or is your route planner integrated directly with your orders like EasyRoutes does with Shopify?
  • Smart location lookup: In addition to capturing the address, your solution should also suggest the appropriate address as you type, based on your current location.
  • Reusability: If you run the same routes on a regular basis, the app should allow you to easily save and repeat them.

Other features to look for include route customization, bulk address import, and fast driver assignment. Other things to think about before making a decision are the ease with which you can share contacts, the ability to generate comprehensive reports, and multi-device support.

Calculating ROI for Return on Investment

Because of the design of distribution operations, you can see results within the first year (or even within the first quarter, in some cases). Some of your savings will be visible right away, while others will take longer. You may have chosen a route planning approach for the cost savings, but the ROI will proceed with some less obvious benefits.

When it comes time to evaluate your operations, you can monitor driver KPIs and make sure everyone understands what you expect from them on each journey. You’ll have happier drivers, field service staff, and more happy customers if everybody is on the same page. Customers know when to expect their orders, and you’ll be able to make more deliveries every day, which is better for your bottom line.

Which Route Planning Software Is the Best?

Many of the same features are present in most applications and routing solutions on the market. As a result, when deciding which software to use, you should think about ease of use and price. Simple scalability, maximum versatility, and consistent precision are all features of the best route planning solutions. Many of these resources, such as EasyRoutes, Routific, Optimoroute, and Route4Me, can fulfill your business needs. We suggest that you try out a few different options. These are appropriate for a large delivery fleet of trucks and vans, while others are appropriate for a food delivery service.

Considering EasyRoutes as the Route Planner for Your Business

EasyRoutes has all of the features you’ll need for any size business. You can concentrate on important tasks that help develop your company with instant access to your orders, fast route sharing, and a hassle-free route optimizer engine.

Our multi-stop route planner works on any browser-enabled internet-connected smartphone. EasyRoutes will help you cut costs and gain new insights into your distribution operations, allowing you to find new ways to increase productivity. To stay ahead of the competition, you’ll need a delivery scheduler app that can assist you at every stage of the process.

  • Easy route optimization: Once you’ve entered your addresses, EasyRoutes can generate the best route for each expected destination in seconds.
  • Proof of Delivery: Proof of delivery helps drivers to save photographs of their visits to different places on their routes in the routing program. This proof of delivery is saved in the app and then exported to a list of outputs for dispatchers and administrators to review.
  • Support for multiple devices: You can schedule and optimize routes on a desktop and then delegate your trips to drivers on every major operating system, including mobile devices like iPads and smartphones.
  • Outstanding customer support: Keeping your customers satisfied needs a well-oiled operation that consistently meets their standards. Upper Route Planner’s support team continues to incorporate best-in-class functionality that your customers have come to expect.

How do you make a delivery route more efficient?

Businesses need distribution route planning tools – or vehicle routing solutions – to optimize a delivery route. This program will take a list of addresses and generate the most efficient path or route. In most cases, the route with the least amount of travel time will be chosen. This will enable drivers to increase delivery speed, boost customer satisfaction, and meet delivery deadlines.

Is it Possible for Google Maps to Optimize a Route?

Unfortunately, Google Maps is not a routing optimization tool. It can only provide an effective route between two stops, making it unsuitable for last-mile distribution services or resolving vehicle routing issues. You can’t refine routes in navigation apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps.

What methods do delivery drivers use to map out their routes?

A list of stops will usually be entered into a routing or last-mile delivery app by the drivers. After that, the program can generate routes in minutes that are tailored for driving time. A driver who “guesstimates” or “estimates” the best stops will waste a significant amount of time.

Take Advantage of Delivery Route Optimization Software

In your delivery services market, implementing a route optimization solution will increase operational efficiencies and help you keep your customers satisfied. With so many choices, you’ll want to think about how well your app will serve every aspect of your distribution and fulfillment services.

EasyRoutes incorporates all of the latest features for route optimization while remaining lightweight and simple to use. When you consider the money you’ll save by reducing the amount of time you spend on each journey, manually planning your routes isn’t a viable option. If your company expands, you’ll need to add more tools, such as route optimization, to ensure that your dispatch team can keep up with demand.

Start using EasyRoutes today to see how it can benefit your business.

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 Shopify merchants 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.

"I just did today's delivery route in 6 MINUTES!! This was taking up an hour of our time before (using a professional delivery system but it wasn't integrated with Shopify)."
The Prep House
Meal delivery in Australia 🇦🇺
Designed to make deliveries easy