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The life of a delivery driver can start extremely early, depending on the nature of their deliveries and where they need to get them to. For instance, if a delivery driver has to make multiple drops at various locations they will probably need to attend their depot to collect their delivery parcels before heading off on the route. In the days before computer software, the delivery driver would have to have been a master multi-drop route planner by looking at the map, marking out their course manually and following it to the letter. Once they got familiar with the route, it would become second nature, but if the course changed daily or weekly, they would have to learn and plan a new route each time.
There are different types of multi-drop delivery drivers, some being milkman, postal carrier, parcel courier, and so on. A milkman will have a way that they have become familiar with over the course of several months or years and therefore will be comfortable following it. A postal carrier might also have got used to their route. However, a delivery driver, AKA parcel service or goods delivery driver will need to start early to follow their new course every day.
Let’s suppose our delivery driver is a dropping off parts between an automobile part stores. They go to the depot at around five in the morning and collect their orders for the day. They then have to load the said parts into their vehicle. One of the things that a good delivery driver will think to do would be to load the vehicle so that the very first delivery is at the front, and the rest go back toward the cabin. This ensures they come out in the order of the delivery route at each destination. Not paying sufficient care and attention to the way goods are packaged in the delivery lorry is a common cause of delayed schedules and angry customers. On arrival, the driver then needs to spend valuable time rooting through other deliveries to find what is required!
Once they load their vehicle, they can proceed to their first drop-off point. Now, the way they do that these days might be via some kind of GPS route planner or multi-drop route planner software that tells them exactly which route to take.
How the Software Works
The route planner software can be installed on-premise or hosted or there might be a Cloud version. The software determines the optimised route based on the road network, working day, vehicle capacity, delivery time windows and similar constraints.
Within the vehicle there could be a device to which the route is automatically downloaded. The predetermined, optimised route will be displayed on the device. It can be linked to turn-by-turn navigation if required.
Many businesses use this kind of system because it can reduce vehicle miles, service costs, wear and tear and ensure delivery time windows are met. Furthermore, such software solutions re-risk and, to an extent, de-skill the planning process, introducing a replicable methodology into the planning function.