Why Manual Route Planning is Costing Your More Money?

Manual route planning has been used by delivery businesses for years now.

But time has changed now. Modern and powerful tools have outshined manual pen and paper route planning and helped businesses bypass the hiccups caused by manual processes.

52% of the field service companies are still using pen and paper to plan their delivery routes. Are you one of them?

If yes, you need to adapt quickly because you lag behind your competitors, costing you a lot of additional costs.

How’s that possible?

Let’s find out.

Hidden Costs Involved in Manual Route Planning

1. Wasted time

Wasted time

You need to put in hours or the night before to manually plan your routes for the coming days for deliveries, pick-ups, or services.

With the help of the local guide, you do some guesswork and waste critical hours of your work life that can be utilized into doing something important.

You minimize your efficiency, which can be used to scale your business and increase revenue and profits. 

You cut your time in business strategy and planning, marketing, customer outreach because you want to manually plan your delivery routes to ensure a quality delivery experience for your customers.

On average, you can waste two hours a week in manual route planning, around 96 per year. 

You don’t want to utilize this time wisely, right?

2. Higher operational cost

The inefficiencies and no real-time data analysis results in delayed deliveries and increased overall operational costs.

If the drivers get stuck in traffic jams or harsh weather conditions, it will increase the time plus the fuel cost. It will increase the work put in by the drivers and minimize productivity. The reduction in business productivity can increase your operational cost.

Also, driving on routes that are not efficient can increase the number of miles driven by your drivers.

Let’s perform a constructive analysis and say that your delivery driver covers 500 miles extra because of manual route planning.

If we assume that the fuel costs you $1.79 per gallon, a 12-foot truck covers 10 miles per gallon on average. And covering 500 miles per month extra because of manual routing will cost you a whopping $1,074.00 per year.

Don’t you want to save your profits?

3. Shrinking revenue

Shrinking revenue

Manual route planning can minimize the productivity of your workforce, and they can’t save time to put in the extra hard work that can drive more revenue and profits.

In fact, manual route planning builds a heap of inefficiencies that drains the existing business profits and lowers the revenue because of the inability to deliver timely orders.

Weather-related delivery delays cost the United States $2.2 billion to $3.5 billion annually. And manual route planning cannot predict and analyze the weather accurately for optimized delivery.

Extra pickups, service calls, deliveries every week and month can add a hefty amount to your bank balance and increase the incentives of your workforce.

For example, if an average service call gives you $90 per hour, your business can generate $8,640 annually.

But manual route planning resists your business from extra fruitful benefits from the opportunity available in the delivery industry.

These were just the hidden costs; manual route planning blocks your business. Let’s look at other drawbacks that your business suffers because of pen and paper planning.

Drawbacks of Manual Route Planning

With the rising industry requirements and rapid growth in the infrastructure, manual route planning is not the go-to solution you should stick to. It’s outmoded by shorter delivery windows, consumer behavior, among other factors.

Look at multiple drawbacks of manual route planning.

1. Inefficient approach

The approach to analyzing manual routes is based on guesswork; it adds up a lot of inefficiencies in the workflow. You can’t make well-informed decisions; it decreases the efficiency and productivity of your team.

The inefficient approach causes delivery delays and a rise in failed delivery cases that deliver a poor customer experience and diminishes your hold in the industry.

With the growth of the delivery market and people switching towards online commerce, you might miss out on the opportunity to scale your delivery business and outshine your competitors.

2. Lack of real-time data

Lack of real-time data

Manual processes don’t provide you the freedom to access real-time data that can be forwarded to your customers for an enhanced customer experience. It causes the mishandling of your delivery orders, and you can’t meet the customers’ demands.

With the lack of tracking and monitoring fleets, you cannot resolve the dynamic issues in the delivery operations. There’s no solid communication interface between you and your in-house team, leading to delayed deliveries and increased operational costs.

You cannot update or change the delivery workflow if you plan routes manually. Also, you won’t be able to send live updates to your customers and in-depth information about their delivery in transit.

3. Poor customer experience

Poor customer experience

Manual planning routes can result in decreased quality customer experience and can result in a shrinking customer base.

The inefficiencies in the route planning and delivery process can cause your workforce to delay the delivery of the parcel. Because of that, your customers are likely to choose your competitors over your brand.

In the modern era, where customers demand a highly tailored and personalized customer experience, manual route planning doesn’t offer any room for personalized delivery service.

4. No optimization

Data is the new fuel, and manual route planning and optimizations don’t enable you to leverage data. The lack of data results in no optimization of your delivery business and the introduction of new, result-oriented changes.

You don’t get detailed reports of the performance of your delivery strategy and workforce to fix the loopholes and flaws in your delivery business and enhance productivity.

It becomes difficult for you to go through the heaps of paperwork to extract the required previous information or delivery details.

5. Multi-stop delivery troubles

If you want to scale your delivery business, you need to handle multiple orders to ensure on-time deliveries and a quality customer experience. 

During the holiday season or any other big event, when the sales go up, the inefficiencies caused by manual route planning restrict you from delivering a quality experience.

Your workforce will get exhausted handling the orders, multiple orders can get misplaced or lost during the transit, and it will crumble your delivery operations.

These drawbacks are resulting in multiple retailers going out of business. But if you adapt to the changing delivery business ecosystem and integrate modern-day route planning software.

Look at the wide range of benefits route optimization software offers.

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Upper Route Planner

A Simple-to-use route planner that every one is talking about.

  • Save up to 95% of planning time
  • Save up to 40% of time on the road
  • Plan 500 stops at once

Benefits of Delivery Route Planning and Optimization Software

Route planning and optimization software removes the guesswork from your route planning process and empowered by  ML and AI, it predicts accurate results to achieve the most efficient routes.

Here are the benefits you get from a professional route planner.

1. Automation


Automated route planning is the most significant benefit a route planner offers to your delivery business. You can remove the redundancies and streamline your business operations for business growth.

You minimize the human intervention and let the algorithm sprinkle its magic in planning and monitoring your delivery routes. Automation helps to send updates and notifications to the customers and the in-house team to remain on track with the progress of the delivery process.

You can create multiple delivery paths within a few clicks without wasting your vital time because of the powerful automation offered by the route planner. It also helps extract in-depth data reports to make well-informed decisions and enhance your business productivity.

2. Real-time visibility

You get real-time visibility of the delivery operations. You can help the on-ground delivery drivers streamline their business flow and bypass dynamic hiccups resulting in delivery delays.

Also, you can help your customers to experience a quality real-time delivery experience by checking the in-depth information about their parcels.

Real-time visibility helps your workforce operate in sync, maximize their productivity and help your business achieve new heights in the industry.

3. Minimize delivery cost

You can lower the delivery cost and improve the efficiency of your delivery process. Ensuring on-time deliveries and following the shortest and optimized path helps you cut the operational cost and focus on maximum deliveries in maximum time.

You can save fuel consumption because of traffic jams, inefficient routes, and other on-road delivery issues with the help of a dedicated route planner.

A route planning and optimization software also helps minimize the paperwork, save the cost of stationery, and store vital manual information. The lower operational cost can help you increase your profits and increase customer satisfaction levels.

4. In-depth analytics

A route planner helps you extract in-depth reports to optimize your delivery operations and improve your existing performance. 

You can get in-depth analytics about the performance of your team and the overall process to spot the loopholes and fix them with well-thought strategies.

Multiple data sets can help your focus enhance the customer experience and increase your business revenue and profit.

5. Efficient bulk order management

 Efficient bulk order management

You get centralized control over the operations of your delivery ecosystem that help you manage bulk orders with finesse. 

You can break down the complexities of extensive order management and simplify the process to achieve your goals in quick time with maximum efficiency.

A multi-stop route planner can deliver your multiple routes for different drivers and enables you to dispatch the optimized routes within a few clicks.

But not all route planners are equipped with the advanced and powerful features that can help you minimize the cost and increase your profits in the long run.

To assist you with the research, we have shortlisted one of the best route planners available.


Manual route planning uses pen, paper, and local route guidance to plan out an optimized delivery route without real-time analytics and valuable data insights.

Compared to modern-day route planning, the benefits of manual route planning are minimal. You can make decisions based on human cleverness and emotions that can sometimes outshine technological advancements and help you manually optimize routes. But overall, there’s nothing much it has in the offering for online delivery businesses.

When the software handles the route planning process once we type in the delivery points, it’s called automated route planning. Automated route planning is the modern approach to handling your delivery operations.

Route planning can be optimized by analyzing the detailed performance reports of delivery operations, fleet managers, and drivers.

Route planning helps figure out the efficient routes for the drivers to help them escape the hassle of ineffective delivery operations.

Upper Route Planner is Your Solution

Upper Route Planner is one of the top route planners with an easy-to-use interface and powerful functionalities. The tool has exclusive features at a highly reasonable price that helps it stand out from the rest.

It analyzes delivery elements like weather and traffic conditions, ETAs, delivery priority, delivery vehicles and employees’ performance, and other factors to deliver the shortest and most optimized delivery results.

  • Save 95% of your planning time
  • Get a holistic view of your delivery operations
  • Increase your customer range by 40%

The Upper Route Planner app is suitable for iPhone and Android devices, so you don’t need to work about the usability barriers.

Get access to the and transform your business and fulfill customer demands with finesse.

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.