Route optimization and planning are among the main concerns for businesses that handle a lot of deliveries. Such companies can be in the field of eCommerce shipping, wholesale distribution, bulk shipping, and even restaurants. In this blog article, we’ll dive deeper into the delivery route planning process, its future, and how AI is expected to change delivery routing.
What Is Delivery Route Planning?
The process of delivery route planning includes calculating the most efficient route for deliveries of certain goods. For example, this can be the delivery of multiple orders to different addresses from a restaurant. Route management includes optimizing stops, minimizing travel distance, and improving delivery efficiency. Factors like traffic, delivery windows, and vehicle capacity are an important part of planning the route.
Key takeaway: Wholesalers, logistics companies, and other businesses that do a lot of deliveries often use delivery routing software. Currently, a lot of these solutions also use artificial intelligence algorithms. This helps businesses further optimize the delivery route planning process.
Delivery Route Planning and Optimization for Wholesalers
With the help of artificial intelligence, wholesalers can easily optimize their deliveries. Most companies use a transportation management system that calculates the most efficient route. These calculations are done based on factors such as locations and time windows. Wholesale management platforms like BlueCart have integrated delivery route planning software. That way, they know that the most efficient travel plan is chosen. Here’s how AI algorithms help wholesalers choose an optimal delivery route.
- Data and delivery analysis. By gathering delivery data, AI can find patterns and additionally optimize routing.
- Clustering. With the help of delivery routing software, wholesalers can group delivery locations and minimize traveling between stops.
- Real-time route changes. Collecting present data like current congestion means the algorithm can suggest changes in the travel plan.
- Customization. Clients often have specific requirements like a preferred delivery time. Calculating all those variables manually can be a tough task. That’s why it’s optimal to use delivery routing software.
- Driver feedback and behavior. AI is only as good as the data it can analyze. That’s why it’s recommended to collect feedback from drivers. Additionally, equipping trucks with GPS will not only help with tracking, but it can give additional data for AI algorithms to analyze.
How AI Can Help with Delivery Route Planning
The latest advancements in the field of artificial intelligence have helped develop AI tools for every business niche. AI also helps significantly with optimizing transportation plans. Let’s dive a little deeper into the main ways artificial intelligence can help with delivery route planning.
- Traffic prediction. AI tools with access to real-time data can predict congestion and adjust routes on the go.
- Maintenance. Ensuring the optimal condition of vehicles is extremely important for every business that does deliveries. That’s one more thing AI can help with. By analyzing historical data, algorithms can suggest scheduled maintenance and repairs.
- Cost reduction. Optimal delivery route planning leads to lower fuel consumption and better labor efficiency. This directly reduces costs for businesses.
- Improved customer experience. By incorporating AI in food service, businesses can improve their service. The main ways to do so is by lowering delivery times and giving accurate estimated time of arrival. In addition, Automated chat solutions can also help with improving customer support.
- Analytics and constant optimization. Adaptation is the key to a successful business. With the help of AI, companies can easily make data-driven decisions regarding their delivery and logistics operations. Artificial intelligence can identify trends and recommend changes in business processes and delivery routes.
- Labor and resource management. With the help of AI tools, managers can handle resources more efficiently. For example, software can help take into consideration factors like rest breaks and compliance with regulations. This ensures effective resource allocation.
One of the main reasons why companies should integrate AI tools as part of their business is the fact that software like these improves over time. The way artificial intelligence algorithms work is they will optimize themselves based on collected data. Thus, the sooner a business incorporates AI as part of its processes, the better it is.
Delivery Routing Software for the Restaurant Industry
As part of restaurant automation, establishments might rely on delivery route planning software. It can be integrated with other restaurant technology. Additionally, it can be synchronized with modern AI ordering systems. By factoring in real-time data, the software can give customers an accurate expected time of delivery.
Restaurants should invest in technology related to route management as optimization of resources is crucial. That’s especially true in peak hours. If an establishment can reduce its delivery times during peak hours, it will be able to serve more customers. Furthermore, using delivery route planning software can lead to lower fuel consumption.
Even though a lot of restaurant chains rely on third-party partners for deliveries, a delivery management system can be extremely useful. Restaurant delivery software ensures higher efficiency and better communication between staff members. Furthermore, since AI technology is expected to improve significantly in the near future, restaurant managers should consider these tools as investments. The more reliable data there is, the better AI algorithms work. Hence, the sooner restaurants start using AI as part of their operations, the sooner they will have access to patterns and suggestions for improvements by this software.
Frequently Asked Questions about Delivery Route Planning
Do you want to know how to plan delivery routes manually? Or maybe you are wondering how deliveries and logistics will change in the future. We might not be able to answer every question regarding delivery routing, but we’ve answered some of the most common ones below.
How AI Will Change Deliveries in the Future?
The investments and progress made in the field of AI have increased its applications dramatically. In the near future, the delivery process will likely be completely changed. Here are a few things that are expected in upcoming decades.
- Fully automated scheduling and delivery route planning. AI algorithms will be able to calculate the most efficient routes taking into account factors such as traffic, weather, and customer preferences. Furthermore, thanks to real-time data, software will be able to adjust their initial delivery route plans based on changing circumstances such as delivery cancellations or traffic. AI will also be able to optimize routes based on carbon emissions. Last-mile deliveries, one of the most expensive steps of the logistics process, might also be handled by robots or drones.
- Autonomous vehicles. With the latest developments in self-driving vehicles, it won’t be long before AI restaurants and wholesalers start using them for deliveries.
- Aerial deliveries. Cargo drones are already here. However, they are still not mass-produced. In the future, fully automated restaurants might also offer deliveries with the help of AI-operated drones. Undoubtedly, this will be a great selling point and will greatly help the marketing of restaurants that first introduce aerial food deliveries.
Is Logistics Planning Different from Delivery Route Planning?
Yes. Logistics planning is a broader term. It includes activities related to managing goods. Furthermore, logistics planning includes business processes such as procurement, warehousing, and inventory management. On the other hand, delivery route planning is only one part of the whole logistics process related to determining the most efficient delivery route.
Is It Possible to Plan Delivery Routes Manually?
Theoretically, yes, it is possible to plan delivery routes manually. However, it’s not optimal. If you have more than three stops in your transportation plan, you’re likely to choose a suboptimal route. That’s why companies that do deliveries on a daily basis often use software solutions for their delivery route planning.