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Route Planning and Route Optimization – What’s the Difference?

Highlighting the crucial difference between route planning and route optimization for businesses offering last-mile delivery.

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The very final phase of the logistics process is the most important in today’s on-demand industry. Last-mile delivery refers to the route from the warehouse, restaurant, or store to the final destination. How you manage this important function can make or break your company’s success.

When it comes to last-mile delivery difficulties, the terms route planning and route optimization are frequently heard, and the two are typically used interchangeably. However, there’s a big difference between planning and optimizing, and doing one without the other could result in a lot more money spent on delivery. Here’s what you need to know about route optimization vs. route planning.

Table of Contents

  • What is Route Planning?
  • What is Route Optimization?
  • Route Optimization Saves You Time and Money
  • For Route Optimization Software, Use EasyRoutes by Roundtrip

What is Route Planning?

In simple terms, route planning takes a specified list of destinations and arranges them in the most relevant and efficient order possible, with the shortest distance and fastest time as the primary considerations. There are numerous free route planners available (such as Google Maps), but they are unable to manage the complexities of a complex delivery service.

What is Route Optimization?

Route optimization, on the other hand, employs a sophisticated set of algorithms to assess hundreds, if not thousands, of variables in order to determine the best delivery route. To build the best and most effective route, route optimization software considers factors such as driver schedules, vehicle capacity, driver coverage areas, and delivery window times.

You can grow your business from one or two drivers to thousands with the correct route optimization software, and you can enhance productivity while lowering delivery costs – two more critical factors in developing a successful delivery business.

Route Optimization Saves You Time and Money

The most significant disadvantage of last-mile delivery is its high cost. This is due to the fact that it entails sending smaller volumes to more destinations. To counterbalance these greater expenditures, it’s vital to focus on planning and efficiency, and route optimization is the best approach to do so. Here’s a closer look at how route optimization might help you.

Reduces Cost of Transportation

In your logistics cost calculation, fuel and labour are two of the most significant things to consider. That’s because they’re responsible for a significant portion of your total shipping costs. Allowing your driver to spend the entire day on deliveries that should take only a few hours can eat into your profits. And, while a few miles out of the way for a single delivery may not seem like much, when multiplied by several drivers and dozens of deliveries per day, the extra gas money may quickly add up.

Makes Deliveries Faster

Being able to cut delivery time is beneficial not only for increasing productivity, but also for improving customer service. If you can deliver items faster than your competitors, you’ll have a distinct edge, and customers will choose you over them if they know they’ll get what they want sooner.

Helps Grow Your Business

For delivery companies, driver capacity might be a constraint. To invest in more drivers and vehicles, you must have the financial resources to back them up. A better way to approach this is to assess your present productivity. Is it possible to get more done with the resources you have without sacrificing customer service or safety? Route optimization can help you be more productive by allowing you to do more with less effort. This is the key to realizing your full potential for progress.

For Route Optimization Software, Use EasyRoutes by Roundtrip

One of the most significant controllable variables in a last-mile delivery business is effective and efficient driver routing. You’re missing out if you’re still putting together route plans based on the locations of the destinations. Delivery route optimization software can help you account for an infinite number of variables, allowing you to dominate the delivery industry.

EasyRoutes has created delivery route management software that will assist you with all aspects of your delivery business, not just managing your driver’s routes. EasyRoutes provides everything you need to run your business now and in the future, from route creation to packing to dispatching to customer notifications and an even an easy-to-use mobile driver view.

Try EasyRoutes free for 14-days. You’ll love it!

Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store
Get EasyRoutes by Roundtrip on the Shopify App Store

Learn more about EasyRoutes at Roundtrip.ai.

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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