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EasyRoutes 101: Route Optimization & Route Options

Learn more about route optimization and how EasyRoutes works behind-the-scenes to ensure your delivery routes are as smooth and efficient as possible; plus all the details on EasyRoutes' various Route Options and how each impacts your planned delivery routes.

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Welcome to EasyRoutes 101! This article will outline the concept of route optimization, and all the ways EasyRoutes allows you to modify optimization parameters when creating or editing routes. These parameters, or Route Options, are summarized in the Route Options box directly below the map when on the Orders page, or when viewing any route. Click any active Route Option from this box to jump to its configuration panel, or click the "Add/Edit Options" button below the map to access all Route Options.

What is Route Optimization?

Route optimization is the process of determining the most efficient route for a vehicle to take between multiple destinations. This method goes beyond merely finding the shortest path; it also considers factors such as the number of stops, traffic conditions, vehicle capacity, and driver schedules. The goal is to reduce driving time and fuel consumption, thereby saving costs and increasing productivity.

This concept is especially crucial in logistics and delivery services where timely and cost-effective delivery is key to customer satisfaction and business success. Modern route optimization uses sophisticated algorithms and real-time data to adapt routes on the fly, accommodating changes such as road closures or delivery priority shifts. This dynamic approach ensures that businesses can respond to the unpredictable nature of road travel and customer demands efficiently.

Read on to find out more information about all the Route Options you can enable with EasyRoutes to influence how your generated routes will be optimized. Click the title of any option below for full details on how to configure each for maximum route efficiency.

Available Route Options

🚗 How many routes?

How many routes would you like to generate after you select your orders? EasyRoutes' How many routes? option provides flexibility for splitting orders between multiple routes, planning the minimum number of routes possible to complete all deliveries, or planning routes that will be auto-assigned to one or more of your active drivers.

This Route Option is enabled at all times, and will default to creating a single, unassigned route until configured further.

🏁 Start/End Locations

EasyRoutes' Start/End Locations option lets you select the starting and ending location for your routes. Choose your Start location from a list of addresses or shops configured in your account, or manually input a new address to act as your route's starting point. Configure your route's End location from using the last stop in route, looping back to the route's start location, or manually input a new address to conclude your route.

⏱️ Time per stop

How much time to spend at each stop? EasyRoutes' Time per stop option allows you to specify the amount of time (in minutes) a driver will generally spend at each stop - these stop times will be used to by the route optimization engine to estimate how long it will take to complete any generated route. When used in combination with Route Scheduling to generate route ETAs, this allows you to add the appropriate amount of time a driver will need to drop off an order before heading to their next stop, helping to keep them on schedule for their entire run.

🗓️ Route scheduling

Set the scheduled start date and time for the routes you create. EasyRoutes allows you to schedule a single route or a route group for a date and time in the future for when you want the route to leave your starting location for deliveries. By setting a date and time, EasyRoutes can add Estimated Times of Arrival (ETAs) to each stop, which can then be shared with all customers on a route so they know exactly when to expect their deliveries.

⚖️ Balance routes

EasyRoutes' Balance routes option will split selected stops between multiple routes, attempting to generate routes that will take the same amount of time to complete. Balanced routes may contain different numbers of total stops as the goal of this feature is to match total route duration between generated routes. This Route Option must be enabled before creating routes; it will not be available to enable unless How many routes? is also configured to generate two or more routes at once.

Max route duration

EasyRoutes' Max route duration option places a limit on the total amount of time each generated route should take, including all driving time and any additional Time per stop, if enabled. Max route duration can be increased in one hour increments up to a maximum of 24 hours.

📍 Max stops per route

EasyRoutes' Max stops per route option places a limit on the total number of stops a generated route can contain, before creating another route to contain any stops above the limit. Configuring this feature is one way to enable the Minimize drivers function of the How many routes? option mentioned above. Max stops per route can be increased one stop at a time, up to a maximum of 100 stops

🛍️ Max items per route

EasyRoutes Max items per route option places a limit on the total number of items or total item weight a generated route can contain, before creating another route to contain any stops above the limit. Max items per route can be increased one item at a time up to a maximum of 5000 items, or when configuring by item weight, can be increased 1kg at a time up to a maximum of 100000kg.

💸 Avoid tolls

EasyRoutes' Avoid tolls option will attempt to generate routes that do not require navigating on any toll roads, highways or bridges. Depending on local geography and availability of toll roads, this feature may increase route drive times, but will ensure no additional tolls are required to complete the route.

↩️ Avoid u-turns

EasyRoutes' Avoid u-turns option will attempt to generate routes that do not require drivers to make any u-turns, instead providing navigation to continue straight after stops. This feature may increase route drive times, but can help ensure a smoother driving and navigation experience, especially in dense urban delivery areas.

Driver Breaks

With EasyRoutes' Driver Breaks Route Option, you can schedule blocks of time for your drivers to take a break between delivery stops. Schedule one or more breaks for a route at any time within the route's schedule, for as long as is necessary. In order to include driver breaks in a route, Route scheduling must also be enabled for the route, and contain a scheduled start time.

Driver Tasks

EasyRoutes' Driver tasks option allows route planners to assign tasks and reminders of additional steps that drivers must complete before starting a route, completing a delivery stop, and/or marking a route as complete. Whether collecting COD payment, picking up a returnable container, or logging route mileage, Driver Tasks provides complete flexibility to assign any type of task or reminder to your drivers throughout their routes.

How to add/remove route options on the Orders page

  • Click the Add/edit options button below the map view (this will open the Route Options page):
  • To enable an additional route option, click the Enable button on that route option.
  • The route option box may display additional settings to configure.
  • To disable an additional route option, click the Disable button on that route option.
  • Make your changes and click the Save button to return to your orders dashboard.

How to add/remove route options when viewing a group or route

  • Click the Additional Actions (three dots icon) button inside the same box as your active route options, and select Edit route options:
  • To enable an additional route option, click the Enable button on that route option.
  • The route option box may display additional settings to configure.
  • To disable an additional route option, click the Disable button on that route option.
  • Make your changes and click the Save button to return to your group or route.

How to bookmark route options

Bookmark your favourite route options to access the settings you use most even faster on your orders page or when viewing routes:

  • Click the Add/Edit Options button (this will open the Route Options page).
  • To bookmark a route option click the star icon to "fill it in".
  • To remove a bookmark, click the star icon again.
  • Click the Save button to return to your orders dashboard.

Further information

Still have questions about how to configure EasyRoutes' route optimization parameters to make your delivery routes as efficient as possible? Click the title of any Route Option listed above for full details on how each works. You can also search the EasyRoutes support portal for answers to any EasyRoutes-related questions, or reach out to the Roundtrip support team if we can help with any other inquiries or concerns. Happy delivering!


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.

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