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The ABCs of Routing: Why You Need Routing Software Now

The ABCs of Routing: Why You Need Routing Software Now


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The ABCs of Routing: Why You Need Routing Software Now

Nov 30, 2021

Jim Endres
Truck driving on road

In the not-so-distant past, dispatchers planning routes for their fleet had to use pen and paper, maps, whiteboards, and customer history to build daily routes. Some fleets still use these methods; but while the manual process of route planning might work, it is not the most efficient way. Look at it like this. If you want to grow your transport business, you need to invest in it—with the best people, the best equipment, and the best tools.

While your team’s knowledge of the customers and the roads may be formidable, nobody is capable of the mind-boggling permutations that routing software can calculate. To put it in plain numbers, a ten-stop route adds up to a possible 3,628,800 different routes.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, route planning software, also called route optimization software, works like this. Using advanced algorithms, the software plans the sequence of stops your drivers follow. The software creates efficient, achievable routes for an entire fleet, all while factoring in your business’s specific constraints. How does this affect your dispatchers? It reduces tedious hours of planning to mere minutes. Think about what you can achieve with that extra time.

If you’ve been waiting for a good reason to buy routing software, we have three. Check out the ABCs of routing below.

A:  Amplify Customer Service

The “Amazonization” phenomenon has changed delivery operations forever. The term refers to the massive disruption that has occurred throughout the retail and distribution space. For transport companies, this means that you must offer visibility into tracking deliveries and constant communication should any delays or exceptions occur. In addition, your delivery times must now meet or exceed the lightning-fast delivery standards that the retail giant has set. If you are still using manual processes to plan your routes, you’ll never get there.

To retain your current customers and gain new ones, you need route planning software. Routing software will immediately boost your service benchmarks, which means that you won’t have to lower prices to stay competitive.

You know that using the right vehicle for each delivery is the key to an efficient operation. You don’t want to have to reschedule a delivery because your semi couldn’t fit at the location. You don’t want to miss a service opportunity because one of your customers needs after-hours delivery. With routing software, you’ll have the right trucks in the right locations at the right time because you can add in factors like capacity to a route. And if one of your clients wants later deliveries, you can manage those requests without impacting your current commitments. You have the option of tailoring the delivery service to meet any customer specifications.

Your customers will get automated communications all along the way, which saves your customer service team endless hours. They won’t have to field tons of incoming calls inquiring about order status—instead, they can concentrate on more pertinent customer issues. Routing software instantly amplifies your service levels because more accurate routing leads to an enhanced ability to accurately predict arrival times. With Aptean’s routing and scheduling software, you’ll be confident in your ability to keep your promises.

B:  Boost Sustainability

We know that one of the biggest challenges of running a transport business is keeping costs low while maintaining efficiency. But how can you do that in the face of growing traffic congestion in urban areas, compounded with ever-tightening emissions restrictions? In a perfect world, you’d have well-planned routes with minimal mileage, nominal fuel usage, and driver shifts well within the Hours of Service (HoS) standards. Well, welcome to perfection, kids.

Aptean’s route optimization software is powered by sophisticated algorithms that will ensure that your daily routing plans meet any criteria you set, including:

  • Planning based on delivery volumes

  • Planning based on traffic flow during busy times of day

  • Planning based on road closures and accidents

  • Planning based on truck capacity

So, what does this mean for a busy transport company that is trying to meet sustainability objectives? Routing software cuts down daily drive time. Less drive time means less emissions. It’s a win-win.

In general, routing software saves fleets about 30% each day in route mileage alone. While 30% doesn’t sound like much, fewer miles driven means less fuel consumed. It means you minimize empty miles and daily wear-and-tear on your vehicles. Fewer miles means that your drivers can end their shifts on time. And you know what all of that adds up to? Cleaner fleet operations and more money in your pocket.

C: Crush Costs

If we told you that we could save your fleet operation 30% in costs immediately, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?

Routing and scheduling software can help you grow your profits within months of implementation. That’s a fantastic ROI, wouldn’t you agree? Advanced routing software helps you make smart decisions about optimizing your resources and saving money. Let’s break it down.

  • Reduced maintenance and fuel costs. As we mentioned above, routing software shaves off an average of 10-30% of daily miles driven. For private fleets, the average annual cost per mile of your trucks is $2.90. According to the NPTC, if you have a twenty-truck fleet, your drivers will log an average of some 1.2 million miles this year. If you can reduce those miles by the above-mentioned 10%, you can save about $300,000. Maintaining strict HoS standards will also help you avoid compliance fines, which can be costly at about $7,000 per incident.

  • Reduced driver hours. Driver wages are the biggest outlay for any transport company. By using intelligent routing planning software, you’ll know that your drivers are taking the most efficient routes. Routing software uses computer algorithms to calculate how to make the maximum number of deliveries, using the minimum time and miles driven. The average fleet has most drivers pushing the maximum allotted HoS hours, at 70 per week. If you can reduce these hours by even a modest 10%, this reduces weekly driver costs by almost $60,000.

  • Reduced insurance premiums. By integrating your routing software with in-cab telematics, you’ll know when your drivers speed or brake harshly and controlling reckless driving incidents will enhance driver safety. Many insurance companies offer generous discounts—sometimes up to 40%—for fleets that meet certain safety scores. Safer drivers and fewer insurance claims lead to big savings for you.

For your office staff, you’ll eliminate incoming order enquiries and reduce planning time, which means that your administrative staff can concentrate on helping you grow your business. Routing and scheduling software helps you crush costs across your operation. And think about this—all these savings will last throughout the life of the product, so year-over-year the savings will be extensive.

Don't take our word for it. Read the following success stories from actual customers:

Do you want to find out how much money you can save with our purpose-built routing and scheduling software, Aptean Routing & Scheduling? Talk with one of our routing software experts today.

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