Timely delivery is crucial to winning and retaining customer trust. This becomes extremely crucial as last mile deliveries comprise about 53% of the total transportation and shipping costs. With a robust delivery route optimization system, businesses can reduce delivery timelines for increased customer satisfaction.
Route optimization involves finding cost and time-efficient routes between two points. The best delivery route depends on various factors such as traffic, road conditions, driver expertise, and vehicle type. A delivery route optimization software enables riders to complete the allocated deliveries in shorter periods. Moreover, the system also eliminates the hassle of manual delivery routing with automated multi-stop planning features.
In this write-up, we explore delivery route optimization at length, discuss the various challenges in delivery route optimization, and how smart route optimization software can overcome these challenges.
Delivery route optimization can be defined as the process of finding the most efficient and optimal route that saves time, cost, and fuel during delivery fulfillment. It reduces delivery turnaround time all the while ensuring that the deliveries are allocated and orchestrated in a highly efficient manner.
The route optimization tools enable the successful completion of orders in an uninterrupted manner by considering the factors such as driver’s proximity, schedule, traffic congestion, and fleet capacity. The solution uses complex algorithms and analyzes historical data via Machine Learning to identify traffic patterns and contingencies for planning the best routes.
Optimizing routes manually can be a hassle, especially when there are large volumes of orders and multiple destinations involved. Business efficiency and scalability take a definite hit in manual planning scenarios.
Timely and efficient deliveries stem from well-planned delivery schedules. However, manually optimizing the routes is neither efficient nor scalable. With evolving consumer expectations, delivering the products on time with uncompromised quality is key to delivering a delightful customer experience.
Mentioned below are some of the core challenges in manual route optimization:
Constraints and roadblocks in deliveries are hard to anticipate. Businesses have to consider various factors like fleet capacity, driver availability, and traffic to predict any anomalies in the journey. However, manual routing does not provide a real-time view of the process, and real-time road conditions, such as traffic congestion, can significantly compromise product quality delivery timelines.
Manual routing lacks monitoring, which means that the route planners are not able to track the fleets effectively and remain unwary of their deviation from the suggested route.
The traditional approach of manual routing follows the pen and paper approach of planning deliveries and lacks predictive visibility. As a result, the delivery efficiency is often poor.
The unstructured and outdated logistics and transportation affect the delivery efficiencies as well as customer satisfaction.
Since there is no access to information regarding real-time fleet movement, traffic, and weather conditions, manually planning routes often results in a delay in deliveries.
Drivers often are presented with multiple route options, and being unable to choose the optimal route leads to longer delivery time windows. In addition, manual route optimization follows longer delivery routes, resulting in increased fuel consumption.
A significant roadblock in manual route optimization is the lack of predictive analysis to identify en-route constraints. Businesses do not have real-time visibility in manual routing and are not notified in case of human errors, resulting in reduced efficiency.
Completing multi-stop deliveries is a challenge in manual route optimization. Mismanagement of bulk orders also affects the quality of items being delivered and customer satisfaction.
The traditional approach of manual route optimization cannot keep up with the pace of the evolving consumer demands, and an increase in human errors affects the business bottom line. Manual route optimization can be a painstaking process, especially when it comes to tracking and updating dynamic situations arising in the delivery process.
Next, we discuss how smart Delivery Route Optimization software can overcome these challenges and steer deliveries towards efficiency.
While completing deliveries, it becomes imperative for companies to have real-time fleet visibility for seamless and effortless monitoring, management, and tracking of assets on the road.
Smart delivery route optimization platforms offer real-time tracking, route planning, route optimization, customer portal, etc., for better control over the delivery fulfillment.
Some of the excellent features of delivery route optimization software are shared below.
Delivery route optimization software supports scheduling by allowing the managers to add multiple stops in one journey. Riders can view and map the entire driving route rather than individual journey segments from one location to another.
Additionally, drivers’ productivity and performance are tracked in real-time to gain quick insights into success rates, number of delayed deliveries, etc.
Through the dynamic re-routing feature of route optimization, riders can be easily notified of any congestion and provided with alternate routes.
Further, with a smart route optimization solution, drivers can optimize the route in real-time if deliveries take longer than anticipated. Additionally, if other riders in the neighborhood are experiencing a cancellation, they will be rerouted to another order to ensure an uninterrupted flow of deliveries.
With predictive visibility features, route optimization solutions ensure that delivery ETAs don’t get affected by Adhoc issues, such as traffic, rains, etc. Real-time updates on order movement and driver movement are directly visible to the managers and can also be configured to be seen by the customers.
As the customers can see the dynamic ETAs, they can ensure that they are present at the time of delivery. The managers can also check whether a rider is deviating from a system-generated route or not.
A significant feature of using delivery route optimization is seamlessly managing and streamlining bulk delivery orders. The managers can add delivery locations, allocate orders, and plan delivery routes dynamically at scale.
This streamlines the delivery flow and helps reduce cost, enabling the riders to cover maximum delivery touchpoints in minimal time.
The delivery route optimization platform provides a unified dashboard for logistics stakeholders to ensure seamless collaboration and transparency in the movement of goods. Both the management as well as the delivery executives get real-time updates regarding any changes in the delivery progress.
Delivery route optimization software determines the adequate number of drivers required to complete deliveries within the stipulated time. Further, customers get access to accurate real-time updates about the estimated delivery times and the driver’s location.
Additionally, the smart platforms for delivery route optimization can be customized to use fewer u-turns, maximize vehicle capacity, asset use optimization, etc.
Delivery route optimization platforms come with smart features and functionalities, such as automated alerts and communication for the customers. So, the customers get the exact information about the shipment status, such as dynamic ETAs.
The customers can track their orders in real-time and ensure that they are present to take the delivery. The platforms can be configured such that the delivery is marked complete only when the customer shares an OTP or digitally signs the delivery completion.
Such precise control over the delivery process ensures that customer delight is never compromised.
Delivery route optimization platforms increase the delivery efficiency in various forms:
All these factors improve resource utilization and reduce the consumption of fuel. As traffic congestion and real-time road conditions are also considered, the drivers can save time and fuel by leveraging the dynamic routing capabilities of the software.
By automating route planning, human errors are minimized, helping businesses gain greater control over the logistics and delivery operations.
There is no manual element involved in routing, route planning, order allocation, asset management, etc. Further, the managers can monitor, manage, track and control the delivery operations right from the integrated dashboards.
Thus, the delivery operations become highly efficient, and manual errors or process redundancies no longer disrupt the operations.
Drivers taking longer breaks than usual and ineffective time management inevitably affects the business bottom line. With vehicle tracking capabilities and geocoding features, riders are effectively monitored in real-time. Moreover, any modifications or changes in the route are adjusted with both parties being notified on the go.
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Now boost your delivery planning and deliver an exceptional customer experience with Shipsy. Our innovative routing solutions come with an intelligent load planning feature to accurately plan delivery bulk based on constraints. The platform helps businesses minimize leasing and delivery time with in-built algorithms that analyze, evaluate, and allocate consignments to the right vehicle.
With Shipsy by your side, experience increased transparency into your delivery operations, deliver more in a single trip and get access to a host of advantages:
For more information and to get started with Shipsy’s route optimization solution, please get in touch with our experts and schedule a demo today!