How The World’s Best Route Optimization Engine Works

Route Optimization Engine

While other traditional ‘track & trace’ solutions tell you ‘where your truck is’, Locus’ route optimization engine goes a step further to answer ‘where your truck should be!’

Consider the following scenario:

10 Shipments, 10 drop-off locations. 1 rider to complete the job in a day.

Sounds simple enough problem to solve, isn’t it?

Numerous cognitive studies indicate that we, as humans, resort to finding the ‘shortest path’ irrespective of the numerous known or unknown hurdles.

Going back to the above scenario, you pull out a spreadsheet, plot the locations and their shortest distances from one point to another and connect the dots in a sequence forming an intricate loop of one location to another.

Consider having to optimize routes for 50 more shipments to 50 different locations with an addition of 3 more riders, all in a single day! Adding to the complexity are real-world on-ground constraints such as traffic, roadblocks, delays etc. This increases the complexity by many folds leading to what we like to call “death by spreadsheet”.

How to fix routing issue?

In todays on-demand economy, optimization problem exists everywhere. From transporting people to delivering packages, it is all around us.

Traditional logistics businesses constantly wrestle with the vehicle routing problem (VRP) & Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP in short). Present day algorithms solve this issue by finding you just the ‘next nearest location’, which may not always be feasible. Simply said, most systems do not account for on-ground disturbances and unpredictabilities.

This is where Locus technology helps optimize dynamic delivery routes across all legs of the supply chain. Our intelligent routing engine leverages cutting-edge technologies such as Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and predictive algorithms.

5 ways in which Locus’ route optimization engine is different from other solutions:

route optimization engine and solutions

Here we list the major ways in which Locus’ route optimization engine differs from other solutions:

  • Considers real-world & on-ground fuzziness  – Factors such as traffic, delays, roadblocks, SLAs etc and other 100s of exceptional scenarios can wreak havoc in your entire delivery operations. Locus routing engine takes into account the above mentioned factors to generate optimal and profitable delivery routes. This has a significant importance in a dense urban environment where space is tight and time window even tighter.
  • Optimal delivery assignments powered by artificial intelligence – Our engine accurately maps end customer locations that help build dynamic route clusters depending on the load, thus eliminating the need for manual intelligence & decision making. Locus system leaves vast room for flexibility in planning such as multi nodal & multi-hub drop-offs, forward & reverse pick ups, scheduled & on-demand deliveries
  • Self learning system – A self improving system (includes our proprietary geocoding technology & routing engine) built using advanced Machine Learning algorithms, making it the ONLY optimization engine to work at scale in India.
  • Optimal fleet selection – Maximum vehicle utilization is pivotal for long haul movement. Our vehicle allocation engine recommends number of vehicles, type of vehicle depending on shipments and task at hand.
  • On-the-road rider app  – Locus’ rider app (LOTR) helps in easy task navigation, e-Proof of Delivery, Real-time ETA, turn by turn navigation, instant & predictive alerts to ensure timely deliveries with reduced fuel consumption.

With fierce competition, companies that efficiently schedule pickups and deliveries in advance will be the rightful winners in this space.

The overall impact of optimizing delivery routes can transform your business and help manage them efficiently with complete transparency.

Prominent benefits of intelligent route optimization are:

  • Boost in delivery efficiency with increased rider productivity
  • Reduced fuel consumption through overall reduction in delivery transit
  • Maximum vehicle utilization for efficient long-haul FTL/LTL dispatches across primary & secondary leg of supply chain
  • Dynamic route clusters with minimal overlaps
  • Supplanting manual decision making for assigning delivery routes leading to reduced errors & misroutes

Multiple delivery plans in a single master plan with flexible time slots (breaks for lunch etc)

Locus Use Case — Approach to solving route planning & optimization for a nation’s leading 3PL.

Problem statement:

Reliability, transparency, speed of fulfilment & cutting edge service levels are vital ingredients in the first mile & last mile movements of any supply chain flow.

Manual route planning and fleet decision making processes can significantly increase the rider in-efficiency, thus leading to an increase in cancellation rates because of high SLA breaches. Route planning with conventional methods can affect the time spent on the road which would have a critical impact on the operational costs. This would make the dispatches sub-optimal leaving no cushion for seasonal volume variations and compromised SLA with the end customers.

Locus Solutions:

  1. Advanced locality detection (Geocoding) algorithm that replaces pin-codes ensuring the most optimal clusters to avoid misroutes.
  2. Design dynamic clusters & suggest the best fleet combination to enhance the capacity utilisation considering live traffic, weight & volumes parameters, customer time slot preference & other business constraints.
  3. Unified control tower interface with active alerts enabling insights for proactive management.
  4. Enhancing the end to end value chain transformation optimally with macro & micro level transparency & actionable insights in analytics.

Successfully achieved LOCUS KPIs:

  • 25% increase in efficiency​ ​and productivity gains
  • 75% Increase​ ​in​ ​order deliveries
  • 8% Increase​ ​in​ ​SLA​ ​

For more related use cases you can also read optimization of company sales beat for a leading FMCG industry.

The fit:

Effective route optimization is one of the vexing issues of today. With 40% of the business cost amounting to logistics alone, optimizing logistics can be crucial for your business. Manual dependent operations fail to be sustainable on a longer term. Locus routing algorithm is designed keeping flexibility in mind that easily aligns with your business goals and existing operations.

Want to understand how much of your business cost you can save by optimizing your delivery routes? Feel free to get in touch.

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This post was authored by: Rashmi Rao

AutomationLogistics PlanningMachine LearningRoute OptimizationRouting