As we know, last mile delivery relates to the final phase in the delivery process. To be very specific, last mile delivery is the very final step in the movement of goods from a warehouse facility to the final destination or end-user. One of the most crucial phases in the transportation and delivery of goods, every business makes sure that the last mile delivery gets carried out with maximum efficiency. Particularly with a focus on route optimization while keeping the cost at a minimum. However, it is the most expensive and time-consuming phase in the entire logistics process if not planned thoughtfully. What makes it even more difficult is the bottlenecks faced during the delivery in urban and rural areas.
The urban areas with a large population and busy locations call for short drives characterised by traffic blocks that delivery drivers have to cope with. In rural areas, delivery drivers have to take long drives with two delivery points far apart. Combined with ambiguous and unclear addresses, mediocre logistics infrastructure, convoluted geographical locations, it further makes the last mile delivery expensive and time-consuming. In short, both urban and rural delivery pose challenges while emphasising the relevance of a route optimization software in place.
Wonder how logistics companies implement last mile delivery successfully? Logistics companies plan their transportation routes and follow schedules to provide for the ever-increasing demands of customers. But have you ever thought about the real driving force behind the successful last mile delivery? Well, we shall come straight to the point! It’s a better route planner or route optimisation software that helps logistics companies to undertake optimised route planning. It encompasses several processes such as planning pickups, identification of routes, scheduled deliveries, estimated arrival time (ETA) and so forth. Route optimization refers to the assessment of the most appropriate delivery route for freight at a low cost.
Route optimization is the game-changer, regardless of the locations- be it rural or urban areas, route optimisation software brings many advantages. In general, route optimisation has the following benefits.
The following factors are taken into consideration while developing an optimised route plan. An ideal delivery route planner reviews several elements such as categorisation of orders based on volume, address, postcodes, order types, addresses, and finally assigning it to the delivery driver to ensure successful last mile logistics to hand over a group of orders.
Generally, apart from the above considerations, a delivery route optimizer software looks into the historical traffic data, hours of service of the driver, delivery time windows, estimated time of arrival (ETA) restrictions on the road, notifications and alerts for developing an optimised route plan.
Here are some of the most significant effects of dynamic route optimisation on last mile delivery services.
1. Improves Productivity
The Route optimisation software optimises scheduled and on-demand deliveries through shipment clustering based on the locations with reduced overlaps after checking the delivery time windows. Route optimisation software analyses traffic conditions at a particular time and creates routes based on them. By reducing human interventions, the dynamic route optimisation software uses the most relevant inputs to arrive at the optimal routes comprehensively. Most fleet route optimization software applications provide fleet management, vehicle load estimation, customer details and order import, API integration, analytics and reporting. Evidently, to improve profitability and productivity.
2. Orderly and Systematic Last Mile Service
Once the shipment data gets sent to the dynamic route optimization software, it is easy to derive the route plan within minutes based on the number of shipments, types of vehicles and delivery window times. During route planning, shipping companies assign delivery drivers for the fast movement of goods/parcels to start with the last mile logistics. While the drivers set out for product delivery, they can access the shortest route from their handheld devices for a wide range of delivery locations. The dynamic route optimisation software reduces any disparities in the distribution of shipments. You can rest assured that there are hardly any human interventions in the most critical steps in the shipping process.
3. Enhanced Capacity Utilisation
With the use of dynamic route optimisation software, capacity utilisation increased considerably. As pointed out earlier, it helps delivery drivers to move maximum shipments in a single trip based on vehicle type and delivery time windows. Further, increase capacity utilisation implies reduced cost, and thus it helps in taking great control in the market by way of reduced shipping rates. The software allocates each order to a particular vehicle and derives a suitable delivery sequence depicting the shortest possible route for that vehicle. It translates to reduced miles travelled and time taken, which further cut down the cost of shipping, making companies more competitive. In all cases, advanced route optimization techniques consider traffic conditions as well. Traffic gets predicted for a particular time of the day, concerning a location in the city, route direction, day of the week and many more significant parameters. Hence, any delays attributed to traffic conditions are averted all the time while using route optimisation software.
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