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Role of Route Planning Software in Faster Delivery and Efficient Logistics

What is Route Planning?

Route Planning has a common occurrence in Supply-Chain and Logistics Management. Logistics companies use Route Planning to pre-define the route that needs to be taken from source point to delivery point and all the stops in between that are taken by a vehicle during its trip. Companies primarily like to do route planning to choose the most cost-efficient and fastest available route. The rising cost of fuel and transport makes it very critical that the most efficient route is to be chosen at all times, as, in logistics, ‘every kilometre matters’.

How does Route Planning software work?

Route Planning Softwares uses Data, Satellite Navigation Technology and electronic maps to presents real-time route mapping

Route Planning Softwares are technology or computation solutions that help users to do Route Optimization (RO) by factoring in all the changes, real-time events, traffic and other elements that can affect a vehicle’s delivery time are considered for transport management system.

Advanced Route Optimizations (ARO)

A more advanced route planning software also takes into account vehicle statistics like load, engine status, mileage, average speed, vehicle status as well as details of the last recorded trip to provide the most accurate and reliable route plan by factoring in various details related to the routes as well as the vehicle carrying the goods.

A popular Route Planner

Google Maps & Navigation are one of the most widely used software for manual route planning

The most common example of Route Optimization software is Google Maps & Navigation. Using GPS and satellite data, Google Maps & Navigation provides real-time route optimization to its user.

So what’s so special about Google Maps & Navigation? Well, it’s a piece of art with one of the fast TAT. All a user has to do is input in their current location and destination. Once done, the software calculates the best possible route for the user factoring in all the details and differential factors like traffic, congestion, construction work, etc for all available route. The route with the shorted delivery time selected by default. The software also provides the user with alternate available routes to choose from.

Real-Time Route Optimization (RO)

Apart from that, when a user is treading on the route provided by Google Maps & Navigation software, it continues to monitor routes and all other factors related to it. In case of any changes or, if the driver went off-route, the software reoptimizes the current route the vehicle is on and makes changes to the TATs and route.

Navigation applications like Google Maps & Navigation are great for personal usage when one would like to have turn by turn directions and route information. But when it comes to commercial transportation which includes short and long duration transportations, Route Planning and Optimizations needs to be done by specialized GPS Vehicle Tracking

Route Planning in India

Route Planning for logistics operations is one of the most challenging tasks in the supply chain in India

Route Planning is extremely important for logistics companies operating in a country like India, which has some of the most unpredictable routes and terrains which makes it very difficult for Fleet Managers to manually predict the most cost-effective route.

Certain road transportation problems are very unique to India. Fleet Managers unanimously agree that operating in India means being vulnerable to certain unwanted challenges which are not in the scope of manual route planning by Fleet Managers.

  • Unchartered local Construction Work on roads can be a huge roadblock that would require complete rerouting.
  • Local or Regional events like a festival, marriage celebration, protests, political and social rallies can force vehicles to choose alternate routes.
  • Unpredictable diversions within city limits cannot be accounted for by non-local Fleet Managers.
  • Landslides and other natural calamities can often hinder routes in mountain or hilly areas.
  • Traffic conditions can be unpredictable. Even the most experienced Fleet Managers struggle to correctly analyse and account for traffic delays for on-route vehicles in their fleet.

The aforementioned problems can greatly impact the vehicle TATs, in the case of time-sensitive goods like medical supplies, food items and other related goods, it becomes challenging to plan and navigate the route manually. Apart from that, there are also cases of local administration and police restrict entry and movement of trucks carrying goods for an unknown duration of time. These are major roadblocks that can completely hamper logistics operations and cause unmitigated delays.

How are advanced Route Planning and Route Optimization Softwares benefitting logistics operators pan-India?

Manual Route Planning is done by Route Planners who have to sit through hours to research the most efficient route for their fleet. In smaller operations, Fleet Managers are themselves burdened with the responsibility for the route planning. In large operations, where a large number of fleets are involved, manual route planning would require a team of route planners which incur a lot of cost to the company. Additionally, these Route Planners essential depend on their research and Google Maps to plan routes and are not exactly making the most of the technology and providing industry or sector-specific route plans.

Shift from manual to automated Route Planning & Scheduling Softwares

Logistics operators and companies can therefore shift to Route Planning & Scheduling Softwares which provide Route Optimizations based on past trips and vehicle & trips details. Route Planning & Scheduling software for Logistics Transport Operation and Management is designed to provide Route Optimizations that are unique to Logistics Operations.

Route Planning and Optimization Software for Logistics Operations

A specialized Route Planning Software has all the basic features that should be expected from a Route Planning software designed for Logistics Industry. Features like Route Planning, Delivery TAT, Expense Calculation, Driver Settlement, etc while providing the fundamental information the estimated time to reach along with the shortest possible route from an origin location to destination

  • It saves money on tolls by providing an efficient route that has minimum possible tolls in between.
  • It saves travelling time as you go through the most efficient route.
  • It provides real-time visibility of the fleet with live Vehicle GPS tracking.
  • It monitors vehicle driving regularly that improves the vehicle’s life and saves money.
  • It reduces route planning and scheduling time.
  • It reduces fuel costs as the fleet travels via the most fuel-efficient route.

Choosing the right Route Planning & Scheduling Solution

The right Route Planning & Scheduling System provides the user with a holistic set of information

Choosing the right Route Planning & Scheduling solution for your company is not rocket science, it’s rather simple. A route planning system needs to achieve two goals:

1) Bring the over-all Operating Cost for the company down substantially

2) Increase the over-all efficiency of the entire Fleet

If a Route Planning & Scheduling software can do these two things for your business, they are worth investing in.

Must-have features of Route Planning Software

Lastly, a Route Planning & Vehicle Tracking System needs to provide a few essential services and features for your operation.

  • Trip Data Storage & Insights to improve the overall Route Optimization system for a particular Fleet.
  • A dashboard to summarize all the essential information like a current vehicle on the road, on-time deliveries, late deliveries, scheduled, upcoming, and other details regarding route planning and scheduling for the entire fleet.
  • Easy-to-use application for all mobile platforms for the Driver and Fleet Manager to complete their tasks and provide insights.
  • Provides Cost, Duration and Route for all possible routes while the route planning system is active.

Apart from these, the correct Route Planning Software should not burn through your budget and offer a perfect blend of cost-cutting and efficiency.

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