How to Plan a Delivery Route Without Sacrificing Your Time?

keyKey Takeaways:
  • Delivery route planning is essential for small or large-size delivery teams to help them reach the location on time.
  • There are three ways to plan a delivery route – manually, using Google Maps or getting a route planner.
  • Planning a route through a route optimization software is the ideal option for performing multi-stop deliveries.

Did you know that in 2023, the contribution of couriers and local delivery services in the US market is $157.2 bn? 😯 

In this fast-moving world, people have started to shop online rather than offline shopping, order food & groceries online instead of getting them from the market itself. And even buying furniture or home appliances has gone online.

This shows how crucial the delivery business is in today’s world. If you have an established delivery business or are planning to start one, you must be aware of the fact that one of the important aspects of a successful delivery business is planning delivery routes. This simple-sounding process is way too complex, time-consuming, and prone to human errors.

If you have a proven method or strategy to plan your daily routes, you have already taken your first step towards a successful business establishment. Now, if you are wondering how to plan a delivery route, in this blog we will give you a thorough explanation of 3 ways by which you can plan a delivery route.

So, let’s get started!

What are the Different Ways to Plan a Delivery Route? 

Delivery route planning can be carried out in 3 ways:

  1. Manually
  2. Using Google Maps
  3. Using route optimization software

Let us discuss each way in detail and give you an insight to help you choose the perfect way to plan delivery routes.

How to plan a delivery route manually?

The very first option to plan your delivery routes is by conducting manual search. Compared to other ways, this traditional way is time-consuming and less accurate. This method is ideal for small businesses that have less requirement for route planning and less number of stops.

For manual route planning, you need a map, pen-paper, and a list of stops & drivers. Once having these things, follow the below-given steps:

Step-1: Firstly, map each stop from the list and make sure each one is covered one-time.

Step-2: Based on the location of each stop, determine the order of deliveries.

Step-3: Consider the estimated time required for each stop and write down time stamps. Also, consider traffic and distance factors between every 2 stops.

Step-4: Reorder the sequence considering the urgency or priority of the stops.

Step-5: Double-check the route to ensure that it is feasible and that all deliveries can be completed within the desired timeframe.

How to plan a delivery route using Google Maps?

Next is, a popular tool for navigation and route planning, Google Maps. So, let’s go through the steps for planning a delivery route using Google Maps:

Step-1: Open Google Maps, click on “Search here”, and enter the stop address

Step-2: To add more stops, click on “directions”, tap on “:” button, and then, click on “Add stop” button. 

Step-3: Add the 2nd address and keep on repeating this process in case you have more number of stops. 

Step-4: In case of any sequence modification, click on “=” button and hover that stop up and down until you put it in the desired place.

Step-5: Now, click on the “Done” button to finalize the route plan.

Step-6: If everything seems alright, click on “Start” to let Google Maps navigate to your first destination.

It is a free and user-friendly tool that can be a good option for businesses with simpler delivery schedules. But, can’t say the same for businesses that have large-size delivery teams. And that’s why you should check out the third option. 

How to plan a delivery route using route optimization software?

Route optimization software is the most advanced tool to plan a delivery route. In fact, route optimization software are fast, accurate, and more effective compared to the previous 2 ways. No wonder why it is preferred by most businesses like you.

Planning a delivery route using an advanced route optimization software like Upper can be done in less than a minute, here is how: 

Step-1: Go to ‘Create a Route Plan’ and directly import stops using Excel or CSV file instead of adding stops manually. 

Step-2: Then, if required add details like priority, time window, service time, and contact details. Considering such factors, software will find you the efficient routes. 

Step-3: Moving further, select the number of drivers you wish to assign to cover all the stops.

Step-4: Once selected, click on “Optimize and assign routes” to automatically optimize routes and share them with drivers. 

Step-5: Let drivers go as per the schedule by following the optimized routes. 

Choosing automated route planning, businesses can save significant amounts of time and money in the long run as they have optimized routes for their delivery schedules. As a result, no unnecessary stops or extra miles throughout the delivery process.

Reasons You Should Not Plan Routes Manually or Using Google Maps?

If you are thinking of planning your delivery routes manually using physical maps, pen, and paper or using Google Maps, then you must not neglect some facts. These 2 processes are less accurate and more time-consuming compared to using route optimization software.

Below are the reasons you should opt for route optimization software instead of planning delivery routes manually or using Google Maps:

1. Limitation to add stops

Do you know?

Google Maps allows users to add up to 10 stops only (including your starting point)⚠️

One of the major reasons you should opt for route optimization software is its capacity to add unlimited stops per route. Traditional ways of route planning get more complex with the increasing number of stops. But in case of route planning software, whether you add 10 stops or 100s of stops, it will hardly take a few minutes to plan a delivery route for you.

2. Lack of accuracy

While planning routes manually, you tend to generate human errors. A single mistake in route planning and your route will get compromised. Once planned, there are almost no chances of route modification in case you missed adding a stop or there are any last minute changes. Even if the route is planned, but not optimized, eventually you will end up spending more time on the road, compromising ETAs of all the deliveries, hence providing weak customer experience.

3. High operational costs

When businesses plan efficient delivery routes manually or use tools like Google Maps to plan routes, they run the risk of incurring higher operational costs. This is because manually planned routes often lack the optimization necessary to ensure the most efficient use of time, fuel, and other resources. Without optimization, a delivery driver may end up taking a longer route to reach their destinations, resulting in wasted time and increased fuel costs.

Choose the Most Convenient and Accurate Way to Plan Delivery Routes: Upper Route Planner

Now, as we know that route optimization software is the best option to plan delivery routes, the question arises, “With which route optimization software should I get started with?”

Upper Route Planner, one of the best delivery route planner apps, is the most preferred software among major delivery industries. It is ideal for all delivery business categories because of its flexibility to get customized as per your requirements.

The route planning and optimization feature of Upper is its unique selling point. Using high-end algorithms, Upper optimizes routes with multiple stops and drivers in a matter of a few minutes. From importing data directly from your system to generating proof of delivery, Upper proposes a range of features.

Once you start using Upper Route Planner, you don’t need to put in manual effort or plan multiple routes in Google Maps with a batch of 10 stops.

Besides, Upper provides many other important features for delivery businesses, which states why it has a clear edge over other route planning options.

  • Excel Import: Import multiple addresses and data in one go from your system to avoid entering them manually. 
  • One-Click Dispatch: Once you optimize the routes, quickly send them to respective delivery drivers and dispatch them as per the delivery schedule.
  • Custom Notifications: Keep your customer updated with their delivery status by sending them custom notifications and ETAs.
  • Proof of Delivery: As soon as your delivery drivers complete each delivery, they can collect proof of deliveries by clicking photos and getting e-signatures from the customers.
  • Report and Analytics: Know delivery status and determine the performance of your delivery drivers using on-demand reports.
  • API Integration: Integrate Upper to your existing software or any third party software to fetch delivery data.

Settling for Mediocre Delivery Operations in the Era of Automation?😒

Now is the right time to make a switch. Get your business Upper, a convenient and automated route planning software to tackle your delivery chaos.


Of course, you can plan delivery routes but it has certain limitations. The first is it won’t allow you to add more than 10 stops (including starting point). The second limitation is Google Maps is useful only for route planning and not route optimization for favor delivery. Hence, you need to look for options other than Google Maps for finding optimized routes.

Upper allows the dispatchers to quickly import the data and find optimized routes within a minute. So, they don’t need to buy extra time. Instead, they can use that saved time in other tasks improving their productivity.

If you want to automate the route planning process, adopting a delivery route planner is a worthy option. And why not when you have software like Upper with route planning feature to enhance delivery operations, cut down the manual planning time and increase efficiency.

Final Words

We understood planning a delivery route is a very complex task if done manually or using Google Maps. But these two ways are suitable for small businesses that have fewer stops to manage. On the other hand, for those who have hundreds or thousands of stops, there is no better option than route optimization software.

One of the main reasons to choose route optimization software is not only to plan routes, but also optimize routes. Route optimization software serves many benefits to businesses, including boosting their sales directly. That’s exactly why you should try Upper Route Planner that helps you create efficient routes with its highly functional algorithms. Avail a 7 days FREE TRIAL to get a better insight into its routing features.

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.