How to Plan a Delivery Route? – 3 Different Ways of Route Planning

Every delivery business owner wants to attract more and more customers in order to survive the fierce competition. Many types of delivery businesses urge to deliver in a timely manner. Nevertheless, it is possible if you get the optimized route. Agree? 

A delivery process does not include only one element; it includes fuel costs, staff costs, resource expenses, and much more. Therefore, we have curated this blog to make your route planning more efficient. 

We will explain how to plan a delivery route, what challenges you have to face, and how to overcome them.

How to Plan a Delivery Route? 

Here are the three ways you can create a delivery route for your drivers. 

1. Manual planning 

Manual route delivery is like an old CD which is evergreen but gives the challenge to play. Also, the traditional manual process was used in the days when the internet and technology were not an integral part of our lives. 

The manual process uses a pen-and-paper to craft the shortest and most effective delivery instructions for the drivers to deliver the packages to the customers.

Businesses usually get in touch with the local guide to help them analyze the quick and shortest method with minimal traffic and shorter distance. The manual process does not include factors like real-time weather and traffic conditions, the performance and condition of the delivery vehicle, and the delivery drivers, among other technical delivery details, even if it’s the same route planning. 

Ignoring these factors is inefficient in the modern world as traffic congestion is responsible for costing Americans $1,348 and ​​97 hours per year.

With the rising demand and changing consumer behavior, the pen-and-paper approach doesn’t deliver the optimized results businesses want. It cannot deliver cost-effective results that can help your business scale its footprint in the industry.

Also, you can perform limited delivery service with manual planning. 

The following way of route planning businesses use is Google Maps.

2. Google Maps 

It is one of the most popular and highly used route planning applications by businesses, but in fact, it’s not even a dedicated delivery route planner. It displays the shortest path for 10 delivery points and doesn’t have a dedicated interface to be reliable route planning software for your organization.

Google Maps help you to optimize route when the driver is already on the road and offer a delivery time window. 

But Google Maps route planner doesn’t provide optimization reports and a communication system but has voice command software instructing users to follow a specific route.

Now let’s discuss what route planning and optimization software offer.

3. Route planning and optimization software

​​A delivery route optimization software offers end-to-end solutions to simplify your logistics and transportation process. It analyzes the multi-stop delivery points using a robust route optimization algorithm and delivers the shortest and most optimized path within a few clicks.

To stay on track and connected with real-time communication, you can create a flawless communication ecosystem with your fleet management and on-ground delivery drivers.

You get the ability to create multiple routes for different types of businesses, drivers and dispatch the information and details to all within a few clicks. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in a route planner minimize the risk of human errors and integrate the power of automation into your business delivery ecosystem.

This is how you can choose your delivery process. But manual planning and Google Maps have a lot of downsides that you need to take seriously while choosing your best way of delivery route planning.

Plan Unlimited Delivery Routes on Upper

Use Upper to reduce planning time and accelerate the delivery efficiency. Plan routes, optimize, and dispatch them in just a few clicks.

What are the Challenges of Manually Planning Delivery Routes?

Here are some challenges you will face if you opt for manual plan delivery routes. 

1. You won’t get the fastest route

The major downside of choosing manual routing or Google Maps is you won’t get the fastest and most optimized route for multi-stop deliveries to match the rising demand of the customers and industry.

Customers prefer same-day deliveries from businesses and want the best delivery service, or else they’ll choose your competitors over your business. Using the pen and paper approach is entirely void in the digital age, and Google Maps is not capable of delivering an optimized route over 10 delivery stops.

Not getting the optimal route for the fastest delivery can cause your business to lose in customer base, have fewer conversions, and delayed or failed deliveries.

2. The rise in human error 

The rise in human error 

The rise of human errors increases with manual route planning, and Google Maps doesn’t have a dedicated interface to manage the delivery addresses and create a robust ecosystem for your delivery workforce to operate.

The rise in errors can cause inefficient delivery routes and planning. It will get difficult for your business to sustain itself in the competitive space where one mistake can cause you to lose your customer.

Misplacing the delivery address and adding the wrong address in Google Maps can cause havoc in your delivery system. The rise in errors is one of the prime reasons businesses shift their delivery business to third-party delivery agencies. It results in losing control over the delivery experience delivered to the customers.

3. Lack of real-time delivery alerts 

Lack of real-time delivery alerts

In the delivery business, time is everything. You have to deliver products on the expected time, or else- it negatively impacts your business. But not all days are sunny days, and you often struggle to send on planned time.

If you are planning a route manually, you will not be able to track your delivery packages. For instance, you were supposed to deliver a product on 10th November, but the customer called you on 12th- that they did not receive their parcel yet.

Don’t you think it would be difficult for business owners to handle it? Yes, it is, and also one of the reasons why a manual route plan is a challenge. The real-time delivery alert helps businesses know where their package is and whether the driver performs their role.

Also, it raises safety concerns if your handful of deliveries is not delivered on planned travel time.

4. No data storage 

No data storage 

You can’t store any information with manual processing or Google Maps. There’s no option of optimizing your preferred delivery process with tailored automated reports and data storage. It gets difficult for businesses to track back to the information and check for any details of previous orders.

Businesses task cannot optimize their existing workflow and figure out the loopholes and latencies with the help of manual route planning or Google Maps.

5. No proof of delivery

Your volunteer delivery drivers don’t have the option of recording the delivery proof by following the manual routing path or using Google Maps. Without proof of delivery notes, you can’t integrate a transparent and agile delivery network within your organization.

It gets difficult for you to track the delivery success rate and the delivery performance of your drivers.

But these challenges or drawbacks can be bypassed using a dedicated delivery planner application that can ease the route planning process and help you get an optimized route for the delivery process. 

Apps for planning delivery will help you optimize routes during rush hours also. Let’s discuss how to overcome route planning challenges with an automated process.

Overcome Route Planning Challenges Using Automated Process

Every challenge has its solutions, so how can route planning be left? You need to plan routes for daily deliveries, and optimizing them using automated processes can only help you to reach your spot. 

You can save money and time with an online delivery routing tool. Also, you can plan an efficient route. You can schedule multiple stops and optimize the fastest and shortest distance. Moreover, you can track customer orders and be cost-efficient. 

However, not every route planning and optimization software is suitable for your business requirement and needs. Various delivery route planners have different specialties, so which one is ideal for your business needs?

Upper Route Planner is the solution that you were missing out on.

Why? Let’s find out.

Switch to Upper’s Fully Automated Process for Planning a Delivery Route

Upper Route Planner is one of the leading delivery management platforms available in the industry, feature, and it has multiple benefits when you apply it to your business. Have a look:

Fulfill your customer’s expectations

Fulfill your customer's expectations

It is becoming difficult for businesses to deliver accurate and timely deliveries with the rising dynamic customer goals and expectations. Using Upper Route Planner, you can streamline your delivery management and complete the customers’ expectations.

It uses geocoding to plan delivery efficient routes based on ETAs, weather, and traffic conditions, among other factors that can deliver you to the correct address within a limited time.

With the power of the real-time tracking system, you can remain on track with the updates in the last-mile delivery process and even update your customers on SMS/Whatsapp/email with the tracking details.

Cut the fuel cost and time

Cut the fuel cost and time

Using Upper Route Planner, you can save up to 95% of the route planning and optimization planning and time and enhance your delivery productivity by 40%. With minimal delivery time, you can reduce the unnecessary costs of delivery.

You can maximize your profits and reduce operational costs without compromising the quality of delivery and customer experience.

Minimal manual intervention

With minimal manual intervention, you can minimize the risk of errors and ineffectiveness using Upper Route Planner. It tweaks the fleet management process and improves the efficiency of your deliveries with better management and agile communication.

It helps to integrate automation into your delivery ecosystem to improve productivity and cut redundancies.

These are the top benefits that Upper Route Planner can offer your delivery business. Considering these benefits, we hope you take actionable steps in deciding what’s best for your business.

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Route planning is a make-or-break factor that offers you an advantage over your competitors to streamline the delivery process and enhance the fleet management system. It helps you deliver optimized results to thousands of delivery drivers to help them deliver the maximum orders in the minimum time.

It helps you fulfill customer demands, and scale your business profits with delivery fleets.

Yes, you can plan multi-stop with an automated route planner. The route optimization software allows you to plan routes in a few minutes. All you have to do is enter the detail of the address delivery location and it can help you to deliver multi-location with proper navigation in the shortest period of time.

Organizing a delivery route requires selecting a route planning path to get optimized route results to help you satisfy the delivery requirement of your customers. Choosing a route planner makes it easier as you can communicate with different delivery teams and pass on your message by checking the real-time updates of the delivery speed process.

Route planning software analyzes different delivery elements like weather and traffic situations, ETAs, and vehicle and driver performance, delivery drop-off locations, deliveries on time, priority stops, list of priority orders, among others, to deliver an optimized route for multi-order delivery.

Planning your route gets simpler if you have route planning and optimization software than manual route planning or Google Maps. You can get the most optimized and shortest path within a few clicks and can send it to multiple drivers in no time.

Final Words 

Route planning is a critical and time-consuming segment of your delivery operations. It sets up your foundation strong and makes it easier for your delivery driver to achieve better productivity and fulfill maximum delivery orders in minimal time.

But choosing route planning and optimization software is the best option you can take to match the rising customer and industry demands compared to manual routing or Google Maps.

And if we talk about the leading route planners in the market, Upper Route Planner is the all-in-solution for you.

From planning routes to getting detailed reporting for better optimizing your delivery process, Upper has got you covered. Experience the quality with Upper Route Planner by trying a 7-day free trial period.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.