What is a multi-drop route planner? 

Multi-drop route planning is the process of planning the best route for a driver to make more than two deliveries to various locations. A vehicle routing software solution automates the process for you by collecting and analysing thousands of data points to determine the best route for multiple deliveries.

The vehicle routing software system should be able to plan, redirect or reschedule trips without compromising safety, environmental and business obligations. There are many checkpoints, such as the number of distribution centres, warehouses or residential areas a driver must visit, so resource availability and driver safety must be taken into consideration.

How does multi-drop route planning work? 

The vehicle routing software monitors all vehicle movements while taking into consideration the delivery timetables. There should be a team or individual to ensure the system has scheduled and assigned routes accordingly. This includes looking at distances, travel time and fuel consumption.

Once this is all set, the vehicle routing software uses data to choose the best vehicle and driver for the loads being delivered. It connects dots based not only on the route the vehicle takes but also the client’s orders to bring them closer together. By using algorithms, it also calculates the time to cover a certain distance under conditions such as driver hours regulations and weather conditions. Furthermore, many multi-drop route planning systems allow drivers to communicate with fleet managers and clients in real- time for updated ETAs or other status updates.

How does multi-drop route planning help your business? 

Multi-drop route planning helps you boost efficiency, keep fuel costs to a minimum, automate safety and stay compliant with driver hours regulations. It helps increase the efficiency of your fleet by automating all these tedious but important tasks.

By optimising for the best route for multiple deliveries, it factors in fuel consumption. This helps drivers stay on the course without making unnecessary trips and saves fuel. It helps you stay compliant by calculating driver hours and notifying you before there is a risk of a breach.

Tips for using multi-drop route planner

Using a multi-drop route planner helps you to plan the best route for trips with more than two various locations. However, without proper use you will never achieve optimal results. With the tips below you will get the most out of the multi-drop route planner.

1.    Assign stops based on importance

If you have urgent or high-priority jobs, use these as the starting point for multi-drop route planning. This will allow you to give your key clients the time and attention they deserve, leading to higher customer satisfaction and lower stress levels for your drivers.

2.    Group destinations to reduce unnecessary kilometres

Clustering trips that are in the same area will save you time and fuel. Instead of driving back and forth across multiple neighbourhoods or towns, your drivers can focus on driving within one zone. They’ll be more productive over a shorter distance, meaning less fuel consumption and a lower carbon footprint.

3.    Be flexible with driving routes

Sometimes things change at the last minute. Whether it’s an emergency or a late cancellation, you should be able to fill any gaps in your driving schedule or rearrange your route. WEBFLEET can adjust for real-time factors such as weather, traffic or car accidents to improve efficiency for your entire fleet.

4.    Collect useful data to improve routes

There are many data points that can be tracked to improve multi-drop route planning for your drivers. For example, you can keep tabs on whether specific areas are easier to drive through on a particular day or at a certain time of day. By tracking how a given route is performing, you can keep optimising routes.

 

Multi-drop route planning software 

A fleet management solution like WEBFLEET offers fleet managers a well-organised multi-drop route planning software. Besides the benefits mentioned above, it also ensures resources are used efficiently, high levels of customer service are maintained and optimal working conditions are provided for drivers and employees.

For more information on how a fleet management solution can help optimise your multi-drop route planning, visit our route optimisation page.

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