Route Planning ROI Calculator: Everything You Need to Know

keyKey Takeaways:
  • Implementing automated route planning can significantly improve ROI.
  • Calculating route planning ROI helps businesses make data-driven decisions.
  • Optimized routes lead to cost savings, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and better ROI

Delivery drivers have a strong understanding of the saying ‘Time is Money’ because the speed at which they complete their deliveries directly impacts their earnings. More time they spend planning the daily routes, the fewer deliveries they will do on the following day. 

In 2020, more than 20 billion parcels were delivered in the United States, generating a collective revenue of $171 billion for the industry. This figure would have been impossible to achieve if they just followed manually planned routes.

If you are handling a delivery, pick up, or service business, you must be curious on how planning routes really impacts your sales and return generated. To get this question answered, you should have knowledge about route planning ROI (return on investment) and route planning ROI calculator.

In this blog, we will explore route planning ROI, how to calculate it, and route planning ROI calculator.

So, let’s get started!

What is Route Planning ROI Calculator?

Route planning ROI calculator is a tool developed to calculate the impact of implementing route planning practices in a business.

It provides a systematic approach to quantifying the return on investment achieved through optimizing routes.

By considering various factors, the calculator calculates the percentage of return (profit or loss) occurred.

Route planning ROI calculator helps you make data-driven decisions for your business regarding route optimization investments. It enables you to choose the most suitable route planning solution for your business. With this tool, you can identify opportunities to streamline operations, improve customer service, and enhance overall profitability.

How to Calculate Route Planning ROI?

Calculating route planning ROI is a daunting task as there are many factors to count and consider. You can calculate your ROI in 2 ways, automatically using route planning ROI calculator and manually using formula. Let’s start with the manual method:

Formula to find route planning ROI

Once you implement route planning to your business, it is crucial to keep a track of profit/loss occurring in your business.

To do so, you need accurate data like total investments made to practice route planning and total cost savings achieved after that.

To calculate the Route Planning ROI, use the following formula:

Route Planning ROI (in %) = (Total Cost Savings / Investment in Route Planning) * 100

Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved:

    • Route planning ROI: Divide the total cost savings by the investment in route planning and multiply the result by 100 to get the route planning ROI percentage.
    • Total cost savings: Make a sum of total cost savings you made after implementing route planning. This includes reduced fuel costs, lower labor costs, decreased vehicle maintenance expenses, and any other relevant cost reductions.
    • Investment in route planning: Add up all the investment you made in acquiring and implementing the route planning solution. This includes the cost of software, hardware, training, employee salary, and any ongoing maintenance expenses.

Manual Route Planning ROI VS Automated Route Planning ROI

As we know, route planning can be approached in 2 ways: Manual route planning and Automated route planning. Both the methods have their own set of advantages and limitations, leading to different ROI outcomes. Explaining further:

Manual route planning ROI

Using paper maps, simple spreadsheet tools, or Google Maps, logistics managers or dispatchers plan routes manually for their drivers. This method may be effective for small operations with less number of stops, but as the delivery network becomes more complex, it becomes more difficult and time-consuming.

Manual route planning roi

The ROI for manual route planning is often modest due to several factors. First, human error makes the manual process prone to inefficient routes and greater operational costs. 

Additionally, manual planning might not take into account current traffic information, the climate, or other factors that affect route efficiency. As a result, compared to the automated method, manual route planning typically results in less cost savings.

Automated route planning ROI

On the other hand, automated route planning utilizes cutting-edge software and algorithms to optimize delivery routes considering many factors. These systems can handle large datasets, including delivery locations, delivery time windows, vehicle capacities, and traffic conditions.

They can generate optimized routes quickly while taking into account time constraints, cost efficiency, and shortest distances.

Comparing the automated method to the manual one, the ROI is greater. Businesses can drastically reduce fuel expenses, vehicle wear and tear, and labor costs by minimizing travel distances and reducing idle times.

The capacity to adapt to changes in real-time and dynamically change routes further boosts efficiency, increasing cost savings and increasing customer satisfaction.

What are the Factors to Consider While Calculating Manual Route Planning ROI?

When calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) for manual route planning, several key factors come into play. While manual route planning may not yield as high an ROI as its automated counterpart, understanding these factors helps businesses make informed decisions and identify areas for improvement.

    • Labor costs: Take into account the time and effort spent by logistics managers or dispatchers in manually creating and adjusting routes. Factor in their salaries, benefits, and any other associated labor expenses.
    • Fuel costs: Consider the fuel consumption of vehicles when following the manually planned routes. Longer or less optimized routes can lead to higher fuel expenses, impacting overall profitability.
    • Vehicle maintenance: Manually planned routes may lead to increased wear and tear on vehicles due to longer travel distances or inefficient routing, resulting in higher maintenance and repair costs.
    • Delivery delays: Analyze the impact of manual route planning on delivery delays. Late deliveries can lead to dissatisfied customers and potential penalties for service level agreements.
    • Opportunity costs: Consider the missed opportunities for additional deliveries or service stops due to suboptimal routes. Manual planning may not always account for maximizing the number of stops within a given time frame.
    • Scalability: Evaluate how manual route planning handles an increase in delivery points and demand. As the delivery network grows, manual planning may become impractical or inefficient.
    • Human errors: Human errors in manual route planning, such as incorrect addresses or overlooked traffic patterns, can lead to additional costs and reduced efficiency.
    • Technology investment: Consider any investments in basic route planning tools or map resources used for manual planning.

What are the Factors to Consider While Calculating Automated Route Planning ROI?

When calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) for automated route planning, the following factors play a crucial role in determining its overall impact on the organization:

    • Software costs: Consider the initial investment in acquiring the automated route planning software and any ongoing subscription or licensing fees.
    • Hardware costs: Assess the hardware requirements, such as GPS devices or mobile devices, needed to implement and support the automated solution.
    • Training expenses: Factor in the cost of training employees to effectively use the route planning software and ensure its successful implementation.
    • Data integration: Consider the effort and cost required to integrate the route planning software with existing systems, such as customer databases or order management platforms.
    • Maintenance and updates: Account for any ongoing maintenance costs and software updates necessary to keep the route planning system running optimally.
    • Reduced labor costs: Automated route planning streamlines the process, reducing the time and effort required from logistics managers or dispatchers, leading to potential labor cost savings.
    • Fuel savings: Automated systems optimize routes based on real-time traffic data, leading to reduced travel distances and fuel consumption, resulting in significant cost savings.
    • Vehicle maintenance: Efficient routing helps minimize wear and tear on vehicles, leading to lower maintenance and repair costs.
    • Delivery accuracy: Improved route optimization enhances delivery accuracy and on-time performance, leading to higher customer satisfaction and potential business growth.
    • Real-time adaptability: Consider the system’s ability to adapt to real-time changes, such as traffic incidents or new delivery requests, maximizing cost-saving opportunities.
    • Competitive advantage: Analyze how automated route planning provides a competitive edge by offering faster and more efficient services compared to competitors.

Use Upper’s Automated Route Planning Process for Better ROI

Upper, a route optimization software, can help you with the shortest routes for your multi-stop deliveries. The efficient route planner is capable of finding the optimal routes within seconds. This means you can have maximized cost savings as well as less resources to meet your delivery deadlines. Hence, you can expect an improved ROI in a short period.

Use uppers automated route planning process for better roi

The route planner has in-built advanced features like route scheduling and reports analytics to gain detailed insights into the delivery process. Such things can really help dispatch managers to identify areas of improvement and increase efficiency level as well. As a result, you can achieve better ROI with the improved efficiency.

Optimize Routes, Save Fuel Costs, and Increase Your ROI

Choose the direct way of increasing your ROI. Get Upper, start practicing route optimization, and reach the desired number of stops in less time.


Calculating route planning ROI helps businesses make informed decisions about investing in route optimization strategies. It provides valuable insights into the cost-effectiveness of route planning solutions and their impact on operational efficiency and profitability.

Automated route planning offers higher ROI compared to manual methods due to its ability to optimize routes using real-time data, leading to reduced fuel costs, improved delivery efficiency, and minimized labor expenses.

Factors to consider include software cost, scalability, integration capabilities with existing systems, real-time adaptability, ease of use, and customer support services.


In the competitive landscape of logistics and delivery services, optimizing routes is a game-changer for businesses seeking cost efficiency and improved customer satisfaction. 

The route planning ROI calculator emerges as a vital tool in this pursuit, allowing businesses to quantify the financial impact of route planning strategies. While both manual and automated route planning approaches offer unique benefits, the latter proves to be a clear winner in terms of higher ROI.

By leveraging advanced algorithms and real-time data, businesses can unlock substantial cost savings, enhance operational efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in the market. Embracing automated route planning is not just an investment; it’s a strategic move towards long-term success in the dynamic world of logistics.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.