As there is no sign of consumer eCommerce habits slowing down, managing smooth delivery operations is getting more complex and costly.
With the rise in the volume of orders and customer expectations, the need for more efficient delivery is high, as customers believe that smooth delivery is a part of the brand’s loyalty. Hence, there is a need for the best app for mapping multiple locations in routing for deliveries and field services.
And it is only possible through route optimization, that is, finding the quickest and most cost-efficient route for the delivery. An efficient route will help to save fuel, increase the safety of vehicles and drivers, and reduce overall expenses for the business.
There are specific points that need to be considered while route planning to streamline the delivery process.
6 Delivery Logistics to Keep In Mind While Route Planning
To ensure smooth last-mile delivery and meeting customer’s expectations following things need to be kept in mind while planning a multi-stop route:
1. Convenient delivery time
The delivery window is when you may expect your parcel to arrive.
The convenient delivery window for customers can increase the rate of successful first attempt delivery and a better customer experience. Hence, there is a need for intelligent clubbing of shipments based on priority orders, preferred delivery slots, location preferences, and order specifications.
On the other hand, there are some time-sensitive shipments that need to be delivered as soon as possible. For example- in refrigerated packages, the delivery driver must prioritize the delivery.
Therefore, there is a need for a convenient delivery time in planning multi-stop routes.
2. Availability of fleets
The availability of fleets is also an essential aspect of planning multi-stop routes considering traffic, complex geographies, and other restrictions. The number of packages and the availability of fleets are interdependent for the ideal distribution of the boxes.
Moreover, the size and number of vehicles available help determine how many stops the delivery driver is supposed to take on any given route. Hence, it becomes challenging to make equal distribution of packages among each driver. To make the delivery effective, drivers of smaller vehicles may need to make more than one stop at the depot.
So for systematic and successful on-time deliveries, you need to consider how many packages each delivery driver is supposed to handle. But if you overlook these factors, multi-stop route planning will not be a success.
3. Enable multiple stops
A delivery driver necessarily does not have a depot only as a stop. Sometimes they pick up packages from such customers or the company’s supply location.
With the rise in delivery volumes and logistics, you cannot increase the number of delivery vehicles. Rather, you need to make delivery routing smarter by planning more delivery routes with multiple stops.
To increase the efficiency of the multi-stop routes, the delivery routes can be organized based on the types of parcels, requirements, and restrictions. Therefore, enabling multiple stops (pick-up or drop) can improve workforce productivity, reduce labor costs, and minimize human dependencies.
Hence, the right delivery route planner is an important step in a multi-stop route strategy.
4. Geocoding and accurate address detection (reliable driver app)
You can hardly expect any driver to complete all their deliveries according to the plan. This usually happens due to unforeseen situations. Thus, the need for Geocoding and reliable driver applications arise.
Geocoding helps detect accurate delivery addresses and thus automatically sorts the parcels for deliveries. This reduces the manual work for delivery people and allows them to plan their multi-stop route deliveries on time.
On the other hand, the driver app helps to send alerts on delays and vehicle breakdowns, and live tracking help to improve both efficiency of delivery executives and the customer experience.
5. Route navigation map
The route navigation map is the most sustainable solution for last-mile delivery. This is good for mapping the location of multi-stop routes. The route navigation map helps to plan the route dynamically, improving overall accuracy and more effective routing choices.
This helps to improve on-time delivery rates and reduces the chances of failed deliveries. Hence, we can say that this should be kept in mind while planning a multi-stop route.
6. Electronic proof of delivery (POD)
The final step for planning a multi-stop route is capturing the electronic signature on successful delivery. This helps to register when, where, and to whom the delivery is made. Thus reducing the chances of potential customer complaints or any miss-delivery claims.
Sometimes, a delivery driver uses their mobile phones to take a photo of the customer taking delivery as a record.
Thereby, we can conclude that proper planning for multi-stop routes can boost operational efficiency, meet customer requirements, reduce fuel costs, retain more drivers, and can offer customers a great delivery experience that creates brand trust.