What is Route Optimization Software?

Route Optimization Software

Route optimization software is designed to help transportation and logistics companies plan the most efficient routes for their fleets of vehicles. The software analyzes parameters like number of stops, location of stops, types of roads, vehicle capacity, driver hours of service, and more to generate route plans that reduce mileage, save on fuel and labor costs, and improve customer service.

How Route Optimization Software Works

Route optimization software works by taking inputs including addresses of stops, volume and weight of deliveries/pickups, number and types of vehicles available, road networks, and other constraints. Advanced algorithms including linear programming, metaheuristics, and machine learning then process this data to produce an optimized routing plan that meets business objectives.

Key inputs provided to route planning software typically include:

  • Addresses/locations of all stops
  • Delivery/pickup volumes, weights, dimensions etc.
  • Vehicle profiles including capacity, height and weight restrictions
  • Driver availability, hours of service, and labor rules
  • Travel time estimates based on time of day, traffic patterns and road types
  • The software will then crunch the data with algorithms designed to minimize miles, reduce costs, balance routes across the fleet, minimize drive and wait times, increase productivity, and improve customer service.

Business rules can also be programmed into the system to further customize route plans to a company’s policies and objectives. Common customizations include limiting individual route duration, avoiding left turns, minimizing unloaded miles, balancing workloads across drivers, reducing emissions and more.

Benefits of Route Optimization Software

Implementing route optimization software can yield impressive savings, efficiency gains, and service improvements:

Reduced Miles Driven

Optimized routing means fewer miles driven to complete the same work. Reduced mileage cuts fuel costs, maintenance costs, depreciation, and more.

Faster Deliveries

Shorter, balanced routes along with route planning tuned for traffic patterns allows for faster average deliveries.

Increased Number of Stops

With each vehicle able to cover more deliveries per shift, a company can support more customers and revenue without adding to their fleet.

Improved Driver Safety & Retention

Shorter route days and avoidance of high risk left turns and night driving improves safety and driver lifestyle.

Reduced Labor Costs

Doing more with fewer miles and resources means drivers and back office staff get more productive. Companies can serve more customers without proportionally increasing staff.

Improved Sustainability

Efficiency gains from route optimization mean burning less fuel and emitting less pollution per delivery. Some systems also allow companies to minimize emissions as a routing objective.

Enhanced Customer Service

Faster and more consistent deliveries improves customer satisfaction and retention. Route optimization also gives companies added flexibility to meet special customer requests.

Providers of Route Optimization Software

Companies like ISI-Technology specialize in route optimization solutions for specific industries like medical transportation and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). Their software is tailored to improve efficiency and compliance for transporting patients to healthcare appointments.

As the above shows, route optimization software delivers major financial, operational and competitive advantages to transportation businesses. The software now uses complex algorithms once available only to major carriers, allowing even small fleets to drive major efficiency gains. When it comes to moving goods and people, optimizing routes pays off.

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