One of the most important and, at the same time, tedious tasks to perform in a company with logistics and transportation is the calculation and planning of routes for a specific day or week. With the increasing number of challenges in the industry such as low-emission zones, high fuel prices and higher demands for satisfactory customer service, it is necessary to re-manage routes to adapt and become more efficient.
Para encontrar la ruta definitiva que hará llegar antes a tus clientes se deben de tener en cuenta varias características de las paradas, vehículos y restricciones, entre otras. Además de mantener una comunicación sólida ante cualquier incidente que pueda ocurrir, ya sea un factor interno o externo.
If you want to know the key factors for optimizing delivery routes and how to reach your customer faster, take a look!
Distances between delivery points
Entre los principales factores que se piensan primero cuando se habla de optimizar rutas de reparto son las distancias entre el centro logístico y los puntos de entrega. Además de que es más sencillo calcular una ruta concreta en cuanto echamos un vistazo a la proximidad entre varios puntos de entrega.
Generally, if other factors and constraints are not taken into account, one of the best routes is the one that starts with the stop closest to the warehouse. And then follows the second stop close to the first, and so on until you have finished with all orders and return to the logistics center.
However, a simple glance at delivery points can hide narrow and difficult to navigate last-mile streets that can significantly delay deliveries. Consequently, this factor is one of the first to be considered when creating a "sketch" route and then assigning drivers, vehicles and other constraints.
Delivery and staffing schedules
It is known that, with a number of batches or individual orders for a specific day, a delivery time zone is agreed with the users when calculating routes. However, these customers are increasingly requesting more precise time zones, according to their needs. Therefore, such orders must be assigned to the carrier with shifts and agreements that are compatible with the assigned time slot.
It should be noted that special attention must be paid to labor restrictions for carriers. For example, drivers are not allowed to work more than 6 hours at a time without a break in a day, so they must rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. If it is a very long route, the appropriate time slot would be assigned in accordance with the regulations and, if necessary, another carrier would be assigned to cover the shift. Not to be forgotten are the hours when loading and unloading is allowed in the cities or at the logistics center receiving the delivery.
Road and traffic conditions
As mentioned above, last mile distribution is a challenge because of difficult access to certain streets, loading and unloading stops and peak hour traffic congestion. Of course, it is most advisable to unload outside of peak traffic hours, but it is possible to coincide with this time period.
It should be noted that it should not be forgotten that the road and traffic are often conditioned by multiple external factors that can cause cuts on highways and certain streets, from the presence of workers on construction sites to accidents. As these incidents are almost impossible to predict, in this situation it is essential to maintain a solid and effective communication with the customer (either by calls, SMS or WhatsApp) and report the problem in order to find the best possible solution.
Veicoli e merci
Por último, uno de los elementos clave a la hora de optimizar las rutas de reparto es el vehículo y las restricciones adjuntas, como la capacidad de su volumen y peso. Dadas las medidas actuales dentro de ciertas ciudades, como las zonas de emisiones bajas, es posible que vehículos con motor diésel o con cierta antigüedad no puedan entrar en dichos lugares, por lo que se deberían asignar otros vehículos. Por ejemplo, los light electric vehicles are the best option for driving on streets that are difficult to access.
In the same way that the goods are also an important factor in loading the assigned vehicles in the most optimal way possible, either in terms of the maximum weight and the maximum number of pallets or containers that can be transported. In this case, tools to control the loading of vehicles, such as a route optimizer , are of great help in choosing the right truck or van for a particular route.
Además hay que tener en cuenta que ciertos productos necesitan estar regulados y que el vehículo debe disponer de condiciones especiales para que pueda cargarlos con seguridad.
As we have seen, there are many factors that affect route optimization and that, without an automated tool, are complex to organize. Not only does route optimization help to save fuel and time, but also the customer will appreciate good service and quality support, and good and long-lasting business relationships will be established. Therefore, there is no single answer to the question "how to reach your customer sooner".
In Hedyla tenemos múltiples módulos dentro de nuestras soluciones que se pueden añadir o quitar para trabajar eficientemente con las herramientas necesarias para cada caso de cálculo de rutas.
SEO & Inbound Marketing
Video Game Design and Production graduate currently training in Digital Marketing with a focus on SEO and Inbound Marketing.
Creating articles of value and supporting communication to the technology sector.