The more a transportation company grows, the more it needs a route planning app. It’s the best way to achieve the greatest fuel efficiency and get from point A to point B on time. Improving shipping has now become a widely-recognized fundamental of raising customer satisfaction, since shipping often represents the final stage of the customer journey.
Some delivery companies still rely on manual methods for route planning. While this can save money on technology, it is at the expense of agility and accuracy. At the same time there’s a growing revolution among transportation companies to adopt smart technology and cloud-based solutions that improve efficiency.
What is a route planning app?
There are various route planning apps available on the market, each with its own set of features and functions. Comparing Mapbox vs Google Maps is an effective starting point in deciding which app works best for your needs.
The ideal cloud-based app draws from multiple resources such as historical traffic data and the latest weather conditions for recommendations on the best routing. Other modern features should include reliable connectivity for remote use, easy-integration capabilities with existing systems with flexibility for multiple purposes.
Price is something every business must consider based on its budget when deciding to invest in app development or use what’s currently available. Some of the data points your app needs to collect for delivery route planning include current and historical traffic conditions. If you decide to purchase existing software, make sure you first read customer reviews. Thereafter, you should determine if the support team is helpful.
5 Most Popular Route Planning Apps
1. Google Maps
One of the reasons Google Maps is a popular choice in the logistics industry is it provides accurate real-time tracking of vehicles on a map-based platform. Google has become a leader in telematics technology, which can detect a moving vehicle’s location, speed and other attributes. The combination of Google’s traffic information that detects accidents and mapping technology that identifies location give transportation companies a powerful knowledge base for routing decisions.
This routing tool allows you to plot multiple locations on a map, which you can share via Google Maps. Many courier services use this app because it allows for easy customisation when it comes to arranging text, images and links and plotting markers on maps as location indicators. The app uses both Google GeoCoding and Map APIs, meaning Google essentially is the main engine that provides the tracking information.
If you’re looking for an easy solution for managing local deliveries, Onfleet is an app useful for routing, dispatching and analysing deliveries. It allows drivers within a fleet to communicate with each other while providing customers with real-time updates. This routing app serves as a complete solution for last-mile delivery, allowing for automated dispatch and SMS notifications. It includes proof-of-delivery and feedback tools to document the delivery experience. Not only can the app connect easily with your website, it integrates easily with an online ordering or inventory management system.
This app allows management to match the best drivers for specific tasks based on real-time traffic data. It’s reliable for determining precise arrival times at pick-up and drop-off locations. The app accesses animated maps that provide information on speed limits and other real-time traffic data. It’s an effective tool for staying updated on road conditions and providing notifications for delivery time estimates.
5. Excel 3D Maps
This data visualisation tool integrates with Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheets to present 3D charts and tables. These visuals allow you to discover insights that might otherwise be overlooked in 2D presentations. You can capture screenshots to create guided video tours and share stories about experiences.
Benefits of route planning software for logistics
1. Determines the Most Efficient Routes – By using a delivery app that makes sense for your operation, you can reduce risks of travel slowdowns due to congestion, road work and other factors. Time of day and weather can further contribute to rethinking routing.
2. Cuts Costs – The more your app can save time on delivery planning and travel, the more it cuts operational costs. Optimised routing leads to more efficient fuel consumption. Managing a fleet to operate within certain parameters, such as keeping speed under control, contributes to reducing wear and tear on vehicles, which lowers maintenance costs.
3. Increases Productivity – Using the software to plan routes allows the driver to focus on safe driving rather than worrying about routing. Optimised routing software allows you to maximize labor and schedule more deliveries in a time frame, leading to greater output.
4. Saves Time – Optimised routing accelerates the delivery process by completing jobs using the shortest or most time-saving routes. It further allows for expansion of same-day deliveries.
5. Improves Customer Satisfaction – The more you can deliver items on time to consumers, the more you’ll win their loyalty. The right software eliminates mistakes such as delivering to the wrong places. Tracking software gives the delivery service greater transparency in building its reputation.
6. Reduces Waste – Using the right route planning app helps avoid many of the problems that slow down a traditional delivery service. It can help you determine how many vehicles you need for deliveries, which prevents wasted fuel.
Using a powerful route optimisation app can streamline a delivery service in multiple ways. Not only can it help cut transportation costs, it can speed up the delivery process.
Many delivery businesses are now investing in smart technology to monitor every step of the shipping process to gain a competitive edge. Using an existing route optimisation app is an easy way to enter this new paradigm. When you want to gain an even greater edge, consider developing your own app through a third-party developer that improves logistics.