Route optimization plans transportation routes that provide the best delivery service at the lowest cost while maximizing vehicle capacity and driver time.
What is route optimization?
Route optimization in freight transportation plans the best routes to complete pickups and deliveries across multiple destinations. Route planning and optimization are used by transportation service providers that make many stops during a single day, most commonly last mile delivery services, white-glove service providers, and less-than-truckload carriers.
Depending on the business needs, delivery route optimization can be focused on factors such as:
- Fastest delivery, fewest stops, and/or fewest miles.
- Delivery time windows, driver schedules, and traffic/weather conditions.
- Vehicle capacity, type, and location.
Delivery route optimization completed manually may require a review of millions of possibilities, a process executed in seconds using robotic process automation. Route planning and optimization software rapidly produce the best delivery routes based on diverse parameters.
What is route optimization software?
Transportation route optimization software plans the sequence of stops a delivery driver follows to create routes that more closely align with the organization’s goals of reducing costs and improving delivery service. Typically, an optimized route plan limits time and fuel consumption while protecting delivery service quality and efficiency.
Dynamic Route Optimization
Dynamic route optimization adjusts transportation routes automatically, based on real-time information, to maintain the driver’s or the fleet’s ability to meet service goals. Street-level optimization adapts routes in real-time based on conditions such as mechanical issues, traffic congestion, or inclement weather.
An important piece of dynamic route optimization is dynamic rerouting, ensuring freight pickups or deliveries are assigned to the best driver. Routes are adjusted and communicated to accommodate the changes with minimal impact and limited human intervention.
Why Route Optimization Software?
Route planning and optimization using transportation route optimization software can yield significant benefits for fleet owners and operators.
- Reduce fuel costs with routes optimized to limit distance, idle time, and stops.
- Improve the experience for end consumers through real-time ETA updates.
- Increase productivity for drivers who run optimal routes and avoid delays.
- Eliminate time-consuming manual route planning and dispatcher intervention.
Delivery route optimization software achieves benefits in private fleets and across carrier networks.
How MercuryGate Technology Supports Route Optimization
Routing technology integrated into Mercury Gate TMS helps fleet managers:
- Use automation to reduce route planning from several hours to a few minutes.
- Expand services and improve driver productivity.
- Respond more quickly to exceptions.
Within a shipper’s transportation carrier network, route optimization software provides additional management support:
- Streamline workflows and communications with one system of record.
- Standardize processes to improve record keeping.
- Access deeper performance insights with one normalized data set.
MercuryGate TMS supports route optimization by automating and streamlining exception management from the first mile to the last mile delivery. This includes communication with stakeholders during any necessary change in route, delivery ETAs, appointment updates, new deliveries, or pickups. MercuryGate creates a centralized transportation management platform for all shipment data to be collected and disbursed.