Explained: What is ATD? & Why is it Significant for Your Business? 

keyKey Takeaways:
  • ATD stands for “attempt to deliver,” which refers to a package delivery attempt made by a carrier that was unsuccessful.
  • It is important to understand the meaning of ATD for both shippers and receivers to manage their deliveries efficiently.
  • if your ATD is late compared to the scheduled ETD, you probably have issues with your delivery process, which needs to improve.

Making your customers aware of the exact time duration they can expect to wait can help you boost their user experience. 

But what if your actual time of arrival (ATD) doesn’t match the promised time of delivery or arrival?

The increased delivery time will cause poor customer experience and risk the potential for future business opportunities.

You can strengthen your ATD by improving your delivery operations and achieving your desired business outcomes. 


Let’s understand what is ATD in this blog. 

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What Does ATD Mean?

In different industries and contexts, the term “ATD” stands for 

  • Anthropomorphic test device 
  • Aerospace Technology Division (formerly Aerospace Information Division)
  • Association for talent development (formerly American Society for Training & Development)
  • Advanced technology development
  • Aerosol transmissible disease
  • Advanced technologies demonstration 
  • Architectural technology department 
  • Aquitaine Transmission Distribution (French automotive parts company)

But in distribution, delivery, and field service route planning, ATD stand as the actual time of departure. It is the time your package shipment, food delivery vehicle, or service technician takes to reach the destination in reality.

It impacts the time of arrival for the delivery item or service worker. The slow and inefficient your delivery process, the slower your customers receive the deliveries, and the slower the ATD.

You should ensure your delivery vehicles leave with sufficient time to travel the planned delivery route and arrive at the scheduled time. It can help you maintain the ATD on the schedule based on the estimated ETA.

Once you streamline your ATD for your delivery process, you can increase the customer experience, match the ETA, and ensure client retention.

The difference between ATD and ETD

ATD is the actual time of departure, while ETD stands for the estimated time of delivery, commonly known as the departure time.

Your ETD is calculated ahead of time. It’s time you expect your delivery vehicle to depart on its route and reach the delivery destination. While ETD is an estimate, the ATD is what actually transpires and can only be determined after the process is completed.

With ATD, the estimated time of departure is the most relevant. Your estimated time of departure and the actual time of departure should match exactly to avoid delays for your customers. 

A minute delay in ATD can catch a snowball effect with multiple deliveries and deliver a poor delivery experience for the receivers. You can deliver a poor customer experience if you don’t deliver to your promised time frame.It may irritate the customers and result in angry clients, which your on-ground team has to deal with.

You must ensure optimized and effective delivery operations to match your ATD with ETD and minimize the hassles.

Integrate professional route planners like Upper to remove inefficiencies and human errors.

Provide your delivery team with optimized and shortest delivery routes to ensure your ATD remains on schedule. 

The importance of ATD amplifies if you want to achieve your business targets, stand out from others, and scale your delivery operations to new heights. 

Why is ATD So Important for Your Business?

The importance of ATD for your delivery business is great. But you might have set an unrealistic ETD for your delivery operations to complete, and you can’t match up to your promise. Irrespective of your delivery operations issues, ATD can help you determine and address your logistical challenges.

It can help you analyze whether your delivery workflows are running smoothly or not. You can use the insights to ensure a quality customer experience for your customers. 

If your ATD is late compared to the scheduled ETD, you will have issues with your delivery process, which needs to improve immediately.

Can ATD Optimize Logistics Operations?

The most basic step to improve your delivery operations is to determine if your delivery vehicles are leaving on time or if there is a delay that you need to address.

Observe your ATD and compare it with ETD for better analysis and a clear perspective of your current delivery operations.

Create a solid communication system within your delivery operations to quickly check the updates of your delivery drivers and their real-time locations.

Be proactive about the issues and delays. Also, reset expectations about timeframes with your customers if you feel it’s hard to match your ETD with every delivery.

It can prevent your customers from waiting indefinitely to receive their package or for a technician to show up. It can also help you increase your efficiency and minimize the pressure from your delivery team to complete deliveries within a strict timeframe.

The first step in this process is tracking ATD and paying attention to determine the root causes of your delays. 

ATD for your delivery vehicles can inform different issues of your logistics operations to keep customers updated on ETD and adjust route schedules in real-time as needed.

You can use a professional route planner like Upper to gain insights, adjust routes, and deliver accurate delivery estimates to your customers.

Irrespective of the industry, Upper Route Planner can help you use ATD data to determine the right departure times, optimize routes with better planning, and calculate arrival times.

You can also minimize your operational cost and increase your business efficiency to ensure on-time deliveries for your clients.

Improve Your Delivery Efficiency with Upper

Upper Route Planner is the leading delivery route planning and optimization software to help you improve your delivery efficiency and streamline ATD.

It offers excellent features to help you improve your delivery efficiency.

Schedule departure times

Once you use ATD, determine whether the estimated departure times are calculated correctly. If ATD doesn’t match ETDs, your route planning is inefficient. 

Upper can assist your schedule routes for your multi-stop deliveries with week-long or month-long planning. You can import CSV or Excel files with delivery addresses into the system, and the route planner will create optimized delivery routes for you.

The software will help you minimize delivery management and dispatch hassles so that ATD always matches ETD.

Real-time driver’s location

If ATD is delayed according to the planned departure time, you must update customers about the delay. Nobody likes delays, but don’t avoid communicating the delayed information.

Also, ATD can be earlier than the ETD, meaning your delivery vehicle or service technician can arrive early. Your clients should be updated about the change.

Upper Route Planner can ensure real-time order tracking to maintain transparency. It can help you update the right delivery information to your customers. Your customers can see an accurate ETA based on the ATD, driver insights, and current route conditions provided by Upper.

Quick route planning 

Quick route planning for atd

Use Upper Route Planner to calculate the efficient route for every vehicle and ensure the fastest possible delivery speed. You can optimize ATD and your routes to help each delivery driver accomplish more in a day or shift. 

Upper Route Planner accounts for all variables, like route traffic, estimated time of completion, the proximity of stops, and more, to plan the best routes to get your delivery vehicles to their destinations faster.

Access the 7 days free trial and integrate the software to improve your ATD.


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The Actual Time of Delivery is referred to the time to deliver a package to the destination. It can be different or the same as ETA because ETA is just the estimation, and the delivery process can be hindered because of unfortunate and unavoidable events that can cause a delivery delay.

Yes, you can change ETD during the delivery process using a route planner or other delivery route management tool. The estimated delivery timings can be altered within a few clicks, and you can share the information with the internal team or customers.

Yes. A route planner can help you improve your delivery operations and ensure you match your ATD with the estimated delivery time. Using an optimized and shortest delivery route, your delivery drivers can minimize inefficiencies and maximize output.

Optimize ATD for Better Delivery Performance

56% of customers won’t purchase from you if they feel your delivery was not up to the mark or satisfactory. So, ensure your ATD matches the scheduled delivery time and date to deliver a quality customer experience to your customers.

Optimize your delivery operations using professional route planning software like Upper and simplify the complexities that result in delivery failure and delays.

The software enables you to use the advanced route planning method and get the shortest delivery routes for multi-stop deliveries. You can minimize the time and effort of completing the delivery process and scale your operations to new heights.

Try out the 7 days free trial and experience the delivery transformation.

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.