There are currently more than 250,000 couriers and delivery companies operating across the United States. This means that if you run a final mile delivery company your competition is fierce.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, your company has to offer great delivery times and reliable services. Reducing your delivery miles can help to do this and will save you a lot of money on fuel. This is where route optimization can help!
Route optimization software plans final mile delivery routes for your fleet and updates these in real-time for your drivers. So how can this help you to reduce delivery miles on a regular basis? Read on to find out more!
1. Route Optimization Helps You Organize Last-Mile Delivery Collections Efficiently
A lot of final mile companies think carefully about planning their routes from depots to each final mile delivery location. However, they do not always factor in journey time and mileage to the depots themselves. This can waste a lot of fuel.
Real-time visibility allows you to see where each of your vehicles is at any given time. This means that you can use nearby vehicles to reduce mileage when collecting deliveries from depots or customers.
You could even use one vehicle to collect all of your deliveries in one go. They can then distribute these to the rest of your fleet along their last-mile delivery route. So you won’t have multiple vehicles making the same trip and clocking up unnecessary mileage.
2. Route Optimization Finds You the Fastest Routes
When it comes to efficiency, planning the fastest routes to each of your drop-off locations also helps to reduce mileage.
To do this you need to consider:
- Your delivery collection point
- Each drop-off location that a vehicle needs to reach
- The best order to visit these locations in to reduce mileage
You will need to calculate the distance between every last-mile delivery drop-off location on a route to determine which route is the fastest. This involves processing a lot of data in one go. Route optimization software is able to process large quantities of data quickly for you. From this, it can generate a route that reduces mileage and cost. This is usually based on a distance matrix algorithm which gets your drivers around as efficiently as possible.
3. Real-Time Visibility Helps You Update Routes
Of course, planning is important to efficiency but a lot can change once your last-mile delivery drivers are out on the road. Traffic, road closures, and accidents can all affect your fleet’s last-mile delivery routes. This can make it hard for your drivers to stick to routes that reduce delivery miles.
Staying up to date on these changes and adapting routes requires a large body of staff. Optimization software can monitor your driver’s routes and respond to any changes quickly.
This will help to keep your drivers moving and reduce delivery miles. It also means that you can send updated customer alerts on their delivery times quickly and accurately when you need to.
4. You Can Use Your Drivers and Vehicles Efficiently
If you have a lot of vehicles in your fleet it can be difficult to decide how many to use for last-mile final mile delivery journeys.
Using multiple drivers means that you can serve the maximum number of customers. This can also be helpful in cities where you have to navigate complex one-way systems. However, in a small area, multiple vehicles could quickly clock up unnecessary mileage.Route optimization software will calculate the optimum number of drivers to use for your last-mile delivery routes. It can do this quickly by calculating different route options and comparing them to see which is the most mileage efficient. So you can make informed decisions about how to use the vehicles in your fleet in order to reduce delivery miles.
5. Route Optimization Helps Your Drivers Navigate Efficiently
Route optimization also makes it easier for your drivers to navigate new routes.
Your system will provide clear, GPS-compatible routes in advance. So your drivers can familiarize themselves with these. Real-time visibility also helps you to spot if drivers are struggling with their routes so that you can check in with them.
This helps to keep your drivers safe and on schedule. It also reduces the number of navigational mistakes that they make along the way. This means that your drivers won’t clock up extra mileage by taking wrong turns or getting lost so you can reduce delivery miles.
6. Customer Alerts Allow You to Update Routes in Real-Time
The customers that you are delivering to can also have an impact on your driver’s route.
For example, a customer may receive a delivery time and realize that they are not going to be in. In that case, they might have the option to reschedule the delivery for another day.
If you receive customer alerts about a cancelled delivery, your route optimization software will update this in a matter of minutes. They will eliminate the stop from your driver’s route and find a new, efficient route to their next drop-off location.
Your system will also automatically update this for your driver while they are on the road. This means that your drivers won’t waste time and fuel visiting unnecessary drop-off locations.
7. Vehicle Tracking Prevents Idling
Long last-mile delivery routes are not the only things that increase fuel consumption in your final mile delivery fleet. Idling occurs when vehicles are parked but the engine remains running.
Leaving the engine on during a drop-off or collection can make a driver’s job feel quicker but, over an hour, it can waste up to half a gallon of fuel.
Route optimization and real-time visibility programs make it easy for you to track drivers and identify anyone who is idling. This means that you can speak to drivers who are wasting fuel and reduce your fuel costs.
Reduce Your Company’s Delivery Miles With Route Optimization Now
As you can see, route optimization has a lot of benefits for final mile delivery companies.
This helps you to use your fleet as efficiently as possible and saves you money. It also means that you can provide accurate customer alerts to improve customer satisfaction. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a route optimization demo now to find out exactly how it can help your company.