What is Route Optimization Algorithm and Why Does it Matter?

The route optimization software industry can reach $5.07 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 11.4%.

But different software uses route optimization algorithms that deliver quality results for delivery businesses.

Based on these algorithms, you can differentiate between the quality of the route optimization software and choose one based on your delivery business requirements and goals.

Let’s dive deep into the technical aspect of route optimization and understand the nitty-gritty elements of different algorithms used by vendors to help you choose the best software for your business.

What is Route Optimization?

Route optimization is the process of determining the shortest and quickest possible route to reach the desired location. The method gained popularity in the logistics and transport industry. It minimizes the time spent traveling and reduces the cost of the process.

A delivery business can use the route optimization strategy to increase business productivity and ensure that the drivers can access the best possible routes to increase their work efficiency.

You can use two types of route optimization methods: manual or automated.

Using manual processing, you must collect different data sets about the routes followed by your drivers and then predict the best possible routes manually.

Finding the best route is a simulation of multiple scenarios where you can test different routes and analyze them based on different factors like traffic, weather, and ETAs, among others.

  • Manual route optimization

    Completing the route optimization process can take up long working hours and efforts that can cause delivery delays or failures. 

    Many delivery companies hire local delivery drivers who know the local routes and assign them the task of delivering consignments quickly and effectively.

  • Automated route optimization

    But choosing an automated software that can assist you in breaking down the complexities of analyzing different simulations of multiple scenarios and testing different delivery routes within microseconds can simplify your task, right?

    A route optimization algorithm is behind the quick calculations that can solve delivery business issues of manual route optimization and deliver excellent results for your delivery drivers.

    You can remove the guesswork in your route planning and optimization and channel your resources toward core business operations.

But there are multiple types of route optimization algorithms created by different vendors who work on different workflows.

Have a look.

What are the types of Route Optimization Algorithms?

The classification of route optimization algorithms is determined based on the density of stops they can handle.

1. High-density routing algorithm

The route optimization algorithm is ideal for managing stops that have more than 150. The software, based on a high-density routing algorithm, is used in different delivery industries like newspapers, postal deliveries, and waste collection. 

The delivery stops are closer to each other and require to be visited in one go. The algorithms quickly check different route scenarios based on the real-time traffic, weather, and ETA updates and perform different combinations to deliver a highly optimized delivery route for your drivers.

2. Less dense routing algorithm

The less-dense routing algorithm focuses on solving the route optimization problems for 150 or fewer stops. It’s ideal for different industries that have delivery positions at distinct points.

Different courier deliveries, food deliveries, or other delivery businesses can use the software based on the less dense routing algorithm.

The software analyzes the different routes for all the spread-out stops and delivers quality route optimization results. The complexity levels increase in this type of algorithm because the stops can be placed far away, increasing the number of scenarios that need to be tested.

3. Special trip algorithm

The routing algorithm considers that the delivery vehicle will make different interval trips during the delivery process. 

For example, if the delivery vehicle requires 50 stops at far away locations and is expected to stop after five stops, the algorithm will plan out a different trip that includes visiting a filling station or different grocery stores in the process.

The algorithm calculates the average, duration, and multiple other factors that can deliver optimal routes and solve the vehicle routing problems for your business.

Based on your delivery business, you can choose the ideal route optimization solutions offered by different types of routing algorithms.

But why is there an immediate need for professional route optimization software for your delivery business that uses one of the routing algorithms?

Why Do You Need Route Optimization Software?

Different delivery ventures start small using manual route planning and free tools like Google Maps to achieve the desired route optimization solution.

But once the business expands and there’s a need to scale your delivery options, delivery businesses require tools like route optimization software that add value and remove the complexities of handing over 20 stops a day.

Look at a few signs that indicate that you need to try a route optimization software

  • Your team wastes hours planning and dispatching delivery routes.
  • The issues of delayed or failed deliveries are on the rise.
  • Your customers want to know the real-time status of the delivery process.
  • You want to control the driver’s wages and the vehicle fuel expense.
  • Your delivery operations lack efficiency and effectiveness.

Using professional route optimization software, you can achieve an optimal solution for your delivery workflow and focus on handling different complex scenarios like

  • Multiple-stops routing.
  • Planning for driver schedules, delivery time windows, and vehicle capacity.
  • Adjusting routes to use lesser time, fewer vehicles, or minimize the distance traveled.
  • Re-optimizing when the changes are required.

These route optimization software features can help you improve your delivery operations and ensure that you can unlock better business results.

The software is also capable of solving different vehicle route problems. Have a look.

1. Vehicle Routing Problem

When there’s a mention of vehicle routing problems, you can’t ignore the travel salesman problem (TSP).

It’s the genesis of the VRP and was defined 150 years ago. It concerns how a salesman can visit different customers once using the shortest possible path and return to the starting location.

With the evolution of businesses, the TSP has become more complex and is interpreted as VRP.

The VRP was coined in 1959 and is concerned with finding the most optimal routes for the delivery vehicles to achieve the assigned delivery work.

There are different types of VRP that you need to know Vehicle Routing Problem with Pickup and Delivery (VRPPD), Open Vehicle Routing Problem (OVRP), Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (VRPTW), Vehicle Routing Problem with LIFO, and Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem (CVRP).

Different route optimization algorithms can be used to solve these vehicle routing problems and to help your business scale your new business heights.

You can choose the desired route optimization software based on rigorous research and analyzing the software features and your business requirements.

Look at the basic features you must consider while finalizing the right route optimization software.

Tips for Choosing the Right Route Optimization Software

Out of hundreds of route optimization software in the industry, you must be aware of different factors while evaluating your options.

The most important aspects your next route optimization should deliver are:

1. Flexibility

While managing your delivery operations, you can encounter multiple issues that can hinder your delivery process and result in delivery delays or failure. Your route optimization software should be flexible enough to handle different problems and scenarios and deliver optimal routes when required.

The software should provide different functionalities to help you extract the desired results without limitations.

2. Speed

The speed of the software is an important factor that the route optimization software should have. The software should deliver the shortest path to complete the desired delivery within a few clicks.

Once you enter the delivery locations, it should generate cost-effective routes that can be dispatched quickly to the delivery drivers within a few clicks.

The software should solve vehicle routing problems within seconds by performing backend calculations because of the powerful algorithm.

3. Accurate ETAs

Once the software delivers optimal routes, it should provide precise and accurate ETAs to help the delivery driver plan their daily work and deliver productive results. You can share the ETA details with your customers, who can be well-informed about their deliveries.

The accurate ETAs can help you deliver an excellent customer experience to your clients and ensure that you stand out from the rest.

4. Easy-to-use

The software should have a user-friendly and smooth interface that can help you utilize the useful features with finesse. The simplicity of the interface can make it easier for your employees to adapt to the new integrations and deliver quality results quickly.

Your management and on-ground delivery workforce can collaborate on different fronts to bypass the issues in the delivery process and solve routing problems that hinder the delivery workflow.

5. Easy API integration

The software should allow you to interact with other powerful software that can help you streamline your delivery operations.

The routing software should be able to transfer and share the data with accounting software, CRM, Google optimization tools, and other software.

6. Minimal input requirements

The software should require minimal requirements for calculating the optimal route for a specific delivery address. It should have minimal complexities while entering the pickup and delivery locations and offer cost-efficient route planning options.

The software should enable you to assign routes and quickly boost your delivery operation’s productivity.

Once you have analyzed these factors in software, you can make a wise purchase decision to help you create the best routes to minimize fuel costs and handle multiple trips.

But the research and the filtration process can be overwhelming for you, so our team has researched and filtered out the best route optimization software to help you create multiple routes and handle your delivery business requirements.

Upper Route Planner is a leading route planning and optimization software that can help you manage your delivery fleets and employees from a powerful dashboard. 

You get centralized control over the delivery workflows and have the power to update or change the existing business operations. You can deliver a quality customer experience and provide real-time updates about their delivery order.

That’s not it.

It uses a solid route optimization algorithm that helps you stand out.

Use Upper’s Sophisticated Route Optimization Algorithm

Now getting shorter routes is just a click away. Utilize Upper’s delivery route planner and minimize your planning time. Generate your route plan with extra stops up to 500. Try now!


Route optimization can help you find the shortest route based on the delivery location involved in the delivery process. The strategy considers different relevant factors to analyze different scenarios to extract the shortest distance between the current location and the delivery stops. The process removes the guesswork for a courier company that hires a local delivery driver to deliver the goods fast.

You can choose multiple route optimization software in the industry that works on different algorithms, but if you want to filter out one, you won’t find a better option than Upper Route Planner. The route optimization software offers premium features that can help you streamline your delivery operations and ensure that you cover all the delivery points.

The route optimization algorithm delivers planned routes that can help small businesses and larger companies in the delivery segment optimize their delivery performance. Based on the capacity and ability of the route optimization algorithm, you can extract the shortest delivery routes for multiple stops.

How can Upper Help You Resolve VRP?

The software uses a powerful route optimization algorithm that delivers excellent results for scheduling, dispatching, and managing delivery routes.

It solves different vehicle routing problems that can cause hindrance in your delivery operation and help you bypass the manual route optimization process.

It can help your team quickly adapt an automated process for planning and optimizing routes. . The software enables your management and on-ground workforce to collaborate and handle dynamic situations with finesse.

Avail the and better understand the software that can transform your delivery business.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner, a route planning and optimization software. With 28+ years of experience in the technology industry, Rakesh is a subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems. His ultimate goal with Upper Route Planner is to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges and simplify operations such as route planning, scheduling, dispatching, take a proof of delivery, manage drivers, real time tracking, customer notifications and more. He loves sharing his thoughts on eliminating delivery management challenges via blogs.