Shortest vs Fastest Route: What’s Best for Your Delivery Business?

What is the Shortest Route?

Shortest route is a route that takes the least distance to get covered. If you are looking forward to cutting down on fuel costs, you should prefer following the shortest route.


What is the Fastest Route?

Fastest route is a route that takes the least time to get covered. If you want to cover the distance as fast as possible, you should prefer following the fastest route.

No matter what service you offer, delivery, pickup, or field service, finding the best route can have a significant impact on your productivity and profitability. Finding the best route includes routes that reduce your travel time, lower your fuel costs, and improve overall efficiency.

There are two types of routes: The shortest route and the fastest route

Choosing one depends on your business model and its requirements. In this blog, we will go deeper into the concept of shortest Vs. fastest route, followed by their difference, which one to choose, and a solution to find them. Whether you’re a small business owner or a large corporation, this blog will help you improve your route planning process and achieve your goals.

Learn what is route analysis and how it helps your business.

What’s the Difference Between the Shortest and Fastest Route?

Now, as we know the meanings of the shortest and the fastest routes, let’s discover the differences between the two.

Shortest Route Fastest Route
Covers the least distance between two points Covers the distance between two points in least time
Typically requires less fuel due to covering a shorter distance May require more fuel due to taking longer routes or driving at faster speeds
They are comparatively cheaper as fuel consumption is less They are comparatively costlier as fuel consumption is more
Ideal for businesses like transportation, courier, and logistics Ideal for businesses like medical courier, food delivery, and on-demand grocery delivery

Shortest Vs. Fastest Route: Which One is Ideal for Your Business?

There are no predefined guidelines for choosing the ideal route for your business. It solely depends on your business model, its specific needs, and priorities.

If your business involves delivery or logistics, then the shortest route can be the perfect fit. Route monitoring helps delivery businesses in achieving this goal. The reason is, the aim of the delivery or logistics business is to carry out deliveries at the least distance, resulting in less fuel consumption and more profitability.

Similarly, if your business involves emergency services such as medical courier, then it’ll require the fastest route or quickest route as the aim of the medical courier business is to deliver packages as fast as possible, irrespective of distance or fuel consumption.

In many cases, there may be situations where the need for the shortest and fastest routes overlap. In such cases, you have to consider other factors such as fuel availability, driver availability, number of stops, traffic patterns, and stop priorities.

Parallely, technology plays a crucial role in planning routes. With route optimization software, you can plan the shortest or fastest route considering these factors, solving the dilemma of choosing one route.

By choosing the optimal route for your business, you can save time, reduce fuel costs, increase profitability, and reach more stops, which can help drive growth and success.

If you are looking for a powerful route optimization software that enables you to save time and fuel costs by planning shortest or faster routes, check out Upper Route Planner.

Simplify and automate your route planning process to stay ahead of your competitors. Watch the below-given video to get a step-by-step guide on route planning.

How to Create the Shortest Route with Google Maps?

To find the shortest route on Google Maps, follow these steps:

  1. Start by opening the Google Maps app on your mobile device or by visiting the Google Maps website:
  2. Click on the “Directions” button, typically represented by a blue arrow.
  3. Set your starting location by entering it in the search bar or allowing Google Maps to use your current location.
  4. Add multiple stops or waypoints by clicking on “Add stop” in the app or “Add Destination” on the website.
  5. Google Maps will suggest a route based on the order of your entered stops. This might not always be the shortest, so review the route and its estimated time of arrival (ETA).
  6. Google Maps does not automatically optimize for the shortest route. You need to manually rearrange the stops by clicking on “Edit Stops” and dragging and dropping them into a new order.
  7. Once you’ve optimized your route, start your journey by clicking the start button in the Google Maps app.

Find Shortest or Fastest Routes in Less Than a Minute on Upper 

As we now know, using a route optimization software makes your route planning process easier, it’s time to figure out which route optimization software suits best for your business. Before opting for a route optimization software, it is important to have in-depth knowledge about its features, user-friendliness, and applications.

When talking about one such software that stands out considering all the above-mentioned factors, there is no other than Upper Route Planner, which offers the benefits of route management. Upper is a route planning and optimization software, curated specially for multi-stop deliveries, pick ups, and field service businesses.

Upper optimizes routes considering factors like number of stops, available drivers, vehicle type, time window, and stop priorities.

After all, having a reliable routing software for planning a fastest or shortest route is a breeze. This is where Upper helps you the most planning the most efficient route using Upper, follow the below-given steps.

Step-1: Login to Upper Crew and click on “+ Create Route Plan”

Step-2: Then, click on “Advanced Settings” to change default settings of your route plan

Step-3: Now, find “Optimize for” and select “Distance” if you want to plan the shortest route or select “Time” if you want to plan the fastest route.

Step-4: Once done, click on “Save” to apply the modified settings.

Step-5: Then, click on “Add Stops” or “Add a Stop (With Details)” to include stop details manually. Or directly import a CSV or Excel file from your system by clicking on “Upload File” to avoid adding stops manually.

Step-6: Once you are done adding stops, click on “Next” to assign a driver for the route.

Step-7: Select driver/s and click on “Optimize and Assign Routes” to move further.

Step-8: Within a few seconds, your shortest/fastest route will be ready and you can share it to the assigned drivers by clicking on “Share URL” or “Share to Driver App Now”.

Practice No More Manual Methods to Plan Shortest or Fastest Routes

Try Upper Route Planner and automate your route planning process saving time, reducing fuel costs, and increasing overall productivity.


The significant difference between the shortest route and the fastest route is that the shortest route is the one that covers the least amount of distance, whereas the fastest route is the one that takes the least amount of time to reach the destination.

No, both the fastest route and the shortest route are different. In the fastest route, the aim is to reach the destination as fast as possible irrespective of distance or fuel consumption. While in the shortest route, the aim is to take a route that covers the least distance irrespective of time.

The decision between the fastest and shortest route depends on your businesses’ requirements and constraints. The fastest route would be useful if time is the most important factor. The shortest route will be preferable if saving money on fuel or minimizing vehicle wear and tear is more important. In cases where there’s a need to strike a balance between both, using a route planning tool is preferred because it provides a variety of route possibilities along with expected travel times and distances.

The benefits of the shortest route include reduced fuel consumption, reduced vehicle wear and tear, improved productivity, and reduced carbon footprint.

The benefits of the fastest route include reduced travel time, improved customer satisfaction, increased productivity, and reduced labor costs.


Choosing the shortest and the fastest route can be a difficult task for businesses as both have their individual benefits. So, depending on your business requirements, you can select one. Ultimately, the ideal route depends on a range of factors, including the type of business, the type of delivery, and the specific circumstances of each trip.

Businesses can streamline this decision-making process by using route planning software like Upper Route Planner, which considers every relevant factor and offers the best routes. Businesses can save time, cut costs, and improve their bottom line by adopting a reliable route planning software.

To maintain maximum efficiency and profitability, it’s essential for businesses to regularly evaluate and optimize their delivery routes. Businesses can streamline their operations, increase customer satisfaction, and stay ahead of the competition using the right tools and strategies in place.

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.