3.5 million truck drivers in the USA contribute to more than two-thirds of total freight tonnage moved nationally. They move more than ten billions of freight annually.- American trucking association.
Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a sudden rush of demand for new drivers to deliver essential goods.
Logistics companies are faced with increasing delivery volumes due to the lockdown and are hence looking to invest in infrastructure like route planning software.
Route planning is the answer to delivery inefficiencies. Here’s how route planning software can help.
Counter the driver shortage
Recruiting and retaining fleet drivers is still a challenge for many logistics companies. The demand for qualified drivers puts pressure on existing drivers to work for longer hours. This stress disturbs the drivers’ morale. Recruiting new drivers can improve your operational ability but not efficiency.
With manual route planning, new drivers will take more time to adapt and this hampers their delivery operations. Route planning solution guides your new and existing fleet drivers on their delivery routes. Its efficiently planned routes ensure that the drivers do not go around doing deliveries haphazardly.
Personal needs of a driver respected
One of the reasons for drivers’ attrition is the extra hours they have to spend on the road, apart from their usual time slots. Attending to a multitude of deliveries impacts their health and happiness. Following efficiently planned routes can save the time spent on deliveries and hence enable drivers to invest more time in their personal lives.
Driver Route planning software factors in the start time and end time of delivery rides. It allows fleet managers to also factor in the driver’s expertise. Also, it accommodates lunch and rest slots, if required.
Considers Hours of Service while recommending routes
The Corona outbreak has led to truck drivers working for 12 hours a day in the US. The delivery orders are flooding in, and the available drivers are slogging the extra hours. Many logistics companies are sorting out this problem by dividing shifts for fleet drivers.
Delivery route planning solutions help drivers complete the delivery assignments within the fixed shift hours. Also, these solutions can help drivers maximize their working hours and improve their earnings.
Reducing time spent at customers’ location
Waiting at the customer location leads to delayed or failed deliveries. It even increases the reverse logistics costs.
Delivery Truck Route planning solution takes into account the time involved in unloading and loading the deliveries. It helps in sending proactive messages when assistance is needed for the unloading of heavy goods. Also, the customers can track the delivery in real-time, which ensures that the drivers do not wait for a long time at the customer’s location.
Stop using traffic congested routes
Traffic congestion is one of the significant factors that lead to missed deliveries for drivers. It even leads to increased fuel consumption and overtime work for drivers. Delivery vehicles idle more in traffic congestion compared to the time they wait for customers. Idling leads to an increase in fuel usage and maintenance costs.
Route planning software helps fleet drivers plan cost-efficient and congestion-free routes. It provides real-time assistance in planning routes that take into account uncontrolled delays like vehicle maintenance, accidents, repair work, or road maintenance.
Avoiding longer routes
Logistics companies and fleet managers are mostly concerned about driver safety. Driver safety plays a crucial role in managing on-time deliveries. Reducing downtimes, repairs, liability costs, and accidents are a priority for 3PL companies today. Driver training can enhance driver safety, but it is only the first step. Read more about driver saftey mobile app.
Route planning solution reduces the time spent on road and distance traveled. Lesser time spent driving means lower maintenance and insurance costs.
Elevate Productivity: Easy to track and measure drivers’ performance
Efficient drivers are the biggest asset for logistics companies. Beyond driver training, monitoring driver performance is necessary to enhance their productivity. Refusing to follow route plans, missed deliveries, and unnecessary long breaks lead to potential revenue leaks. These driving inefficiencies need to be spotted before they become a severe problem.
Route planning software ensures that drivers follow the Expected Time of Arrival (ETA). It measures various delivery driver KPIs like First Attempt Delivery Rates (FADR), failed deliveries, and so on. Also, it increases the number of deliveries drivers complete in a day, thereby increasing productivity and profit margins.
Automatically updates maps
Drivers are often confused when it comes to large institution deliveries. For example, a hospital can have four entrances, and drivers should know which entrance to exactly deliver at. With delivery route planning and scheduling software, you can mark the specific place for dropping-off deliveries so that customers don’t wait.
Using an old map can hamper your delivery efforts. Driver Route planning software comes with automatically updated maps that drivers can comfortably rely on.
Accommodates all delivery constraints
The needs and priorities of customers vary. Some customers prefer orders to be delivered in the mornings, whereas some prefer them to be delivered in the afternoons. Managing widely varying deliveries is a daunting task.
Delivery constraints make manual planning more challenging. Each of the delivery vehicles may have different volume capacities, maximum load weights, and varied driver skill sets.
Route planning solutions take into account factors like weight, capacity constraints, route restrictions, time slots etc. Based on these constraints, it provides the optimized route for fleet drivers.
Logistics companies are always looking to increase the efficiency of their drivers.
Locus Route planning software can help them do just that.
Locus’ Dispatcher software is built factoring in all delivery constraints of fleet drivers. It helps fleet drivers plan deliveries smartly. Also, it lets them customize delivery operations based on their individual needs and challenges.