Complete Route Planning, Optimization, and Management Guide

July 16, 2023
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Deliver management is applying different actions in order to ensure that goods are efficiently and effectively transferred from one place to the next. When people ask how items get from point A to point B, it’s all thanks to delivery management, otherwise known as fleet management. Consumer expectations are continuously on the rise and because of this, the function of delivery management is more important than ever. In this article, you'll learn about what delivery management is in-depth and all there is to know about the topic. 

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Who Is Responsible for Delivery Management and Route Management?

A delivery manager is usually the one that is in charge of and responsible for the delivery process. 

A Delivery Manager

Many delivery managers are tasked with planning and delivering products through the use of route planning software. Aside from this, they also lead their teams to help with setting up and installing different tools and products. Delivery managers tend to work alongside stakeholders and end-users in order to plan and configure systems through warehouse outbound process flow techniques. This is done so that necessary objectives can be achieved. 

A delivery manager will also oversee the coordination and program deployment of employees to ensure minimal disruption. They might also be seen offering lead support, working on troubleshooting efforts for shipping issues, and supervising training programs. 

Delivery Manager Role Definition

Since there is an increase in competition in practically every industry, there is an increased need for delivery managers. They can assist with client issues, end-client needs, and also work on driving customer fulfillment. Their roles and obligations can vary based on the company they work for. However, common skills that are required for this kind of position are below. 

Delivery Manager Skills

  • Ability to drive virtual and physical groups
  • Top-notch client confrontation abilities
  • Upstanding authority
  • Ability to prepare and direct junior colleagues
  • The ability to focus on and oversee errands
  • Excellent critical thinking skills
  • Strong asset arranging skills
  • Excellent verbal and composed relational skills 

Delivery Manager Roles

Some of the most Common delivery manager roles include the following: 

Administration Management 

  • Observing and supervising IT administrators, work area support, and more.
  • Taking care of administrative conveyance execution, meeting client assumptions, and driving future interests. 
  • Organizing the correspondence for post-occurrence audits and goal parties.
  • Ensuring that frameworks, systems, and approaches are properly set up.
  • Executing all improvement practices.

Execution and Quality Management 

  • Encouraging new development strategies and supervising all activities to ensure they’re completed on time.
  • Taking care of staff enrollment, coaching, preparing, and executing appraisals.
  • Conducting standard reports based on the execution of assistance conveyance. 
  • Building associations between groups and partners to ensure discourse trade. 

Specialized Perception 

  • Setting guidelines for programming, equipment, and security.
  • Supervising work area groups in order to ensure persistent upgrades.
  • Verifying the completion of all updates and fixes are completed on time.
  • Executing benchmarks in regards to accessing gadgets such as PCs, workstations, and mobile devices.


Client confrontation comes with the delivery manager's job title. It’s the delivery manager’s obligation to include various managing transportation capacities. They also ensure that transportation assistance and authority support measures are in place. Here are some of the key responsibilities that delivery managers take on: 

  • Performing audits on client orders
  • Organizing and planning transportation exercises
  • Researching different transportation issues
  • Looking into client orders, planning, and setting conveyance needs
  • Reporting transportation statuses and obtaining the necessary documentation
  • Performing all kinds of client exchanges for transportation rates

How to Become a Delivery Manager 

If you’re interested in becoming a delivery manager, you might want to look into the education that is required. Most delivery managers have a bachelor’s degree and about 14% have a master’s degree. However, you can still become a delivery manager with a high school diploma or GED. Common college majors for delivery managers are business administration, computer science, and electrical engineering. 

Delivery Manager Salary

When it comes to the salary of a delivery manager, there are a few different factors that can be considered. This includes the company you work for, your location, your experience, and more. Salary estimates from Glassdoor show that the average delivery manager salary is $111,000 per year in the US. 

Statistics show that the average salary is $67,181 for those that have less than a year of experience. $67,650 is the average salary for delivery managers with 1-4 years of experience. Delivery managers with 5-9 years of experience get an average salary of $83,000. With 10-19 years of experience, a delivery manager can earn a salary of about $98,000. 20+ years of experience can mean an average of about $111,560 per year. 

Improving Delivery Management

Delivery management is all about improving processes. Most companies are looking to complete delivery operations while driving down costs. They’re focused on doing this by completing as many deliveries as possible with fewer resources such as vehicles, fuel, and man-hours. This is all done with customer service in mind. Delivery managers are able to leverage various strategies and tools in order to improve their metrics and up their operations. 

Route Management

Businesses tend to rely on route planning through a multi stop route planner when it comes to efficiency improvement. This is how they reduce the number of miles driven while increasing productivity, improving order accuracy, speeding up delivery times, and more. Using delivery route optimization tools is how companies stay efficient with route management.

Route management can help eliminate the daily chaos when it comes to creating delivery routes. B2B route optimization solutions are continuing to evolve and it’s what is making creating and managing routes easy. 

What Is Online Mapping and Route Planning Software?

MapQuest is something that millennials and older generations grew up using. It was the very first well-known online mapping service. Online mapping uses maps and databases to plan trips and to find addresses, landmarks, businesses, and more. Since MapQuest, other companies like Google and Yahoo started providing similar services. These days, some of the best companies use GPS or Global Positioning Systems to provide wireless and moment-to-moment positioning data. Route planning can also be known as route mapping. It helps determine the ideal route to take in order to get from one place to another. 

How Do Couriers Plan Their Route?

Each courier company has its own way of planning out the daily delivery routes. Here are how some do the job: 


Most FedEx locations deliver between 500 and 2,500 packages on a daily basis. They also operate between 5 and 25 vehicles. So, how do they efficiently plan out their delivery routes? The average FedEx driver delivers between 75 and 125 packages per day. Here’s how they plan out their routes: 

Sorting the Zip and Postal Code

FedEx processes all of the orders and assigns them to a specific route that is based on their postal or zip code. This is done ahead of time in order to split up the larger geographical areas into the appropriate delivery zones. FedEx drivers are assigned to each zone. 

Divide Packages Based On Driver Territory

Each package is sorted into a pile based on the territory. Drivers load up the packages in their pile onto their trucks. They use barcode scanners to ensure that the loading process is done efficiently and error-free. 


UPS is another company that has a strategically optimized delivery route process. They track deliveries that need to be completed, easy-to-navigate locations, and their most efficient drivers. Using these statistics can simplify the jobs of their drivers and help deliver packages quickly. They also utilize route optimization apps, tracking devices, vehicle sensors, and more. 

Keeping Track

UPS uses handheld devices, also known as Delivery Information Acquisition Devices. They track the time it takes for the driver to drop off the package, get a signature, and move on to the next delivery. 

Avoiding Left Turns

Most UPS drivers don’t make left turns and that’s what helps them speed up their delivery process. Left turns are known to take longer and waste more gas than right turns do. Since 2004, UPS has been avoiding left turns and has reduced carbon emissions by 100,000 metric tons. 


USPS categorizes mail by packages, flats such as magazines, and letters or envelope mail. By the time each driver gets to a mailbox, they have the deliveries for the address at the top of their pile.

They use a similar organizational process for delivering between rural, suburban, and metropolitan routes. They have a “stop-and-drop” technique that is how they keep up their efficiency. 

Straightaway is a route management app that was created specifically for delivery drivers. It combines the use of both artificial intelligence and data analytics to save USPS drivers time. This app helps drivers see everything from a bird’s eye view and also adds up to 500 stops on their delivery routes. It also has built-in navigation. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Route Planning, Optimization, and Management

With route planning out of the way, you might be interested in exploring route management. Here are commonly asked questions and answers. 

What Is Route Management Software?

Route Management Software is a tool that is used to resolve vehicle routing problems using advanced computing algorithms. It was designed to help delivery managers create fast and cost-efficient routes as quickly as possible. This is what reduces costs, maximizes efficiency, and improves vehicle utilization. 

Who Benefits from Route Management Software?

Businesses that provide delivery, pick, or other field service activities tend to benefit from a route management software. The software provides solutions for all kinds of routing scenarios and helps delivery drivers find the most efficient ones. The following businesses tend to use route management software: 

  • Courier companies
  • Housekeeping services
  • Restaurants that offer food delivery/catering services
  • Waste collection
  • Medical equipment installation companies
  • Cable or satellite installation companies 

What Are The Benefits of Using Route Management Software?

Using route management software has the following benefits:

  • Operating Costs: Reduce your fuel expenses and payroll
  • Performance Boost: Take the most time-efficient and cost-efficient routes
  • Fast and Easy Route Planning: Create and dispatch your routes within minutes
  • Customer Satisfaction: Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty while reducing late delivery times
  • Team and Fleet Optimization: Get the most out of your fleet and workforce resources

What Are Route Management Best Practices?

Best practices for route management include route planning, scheduling dispatching, navigation, tracking, audit, and analysis. Each process can be leveraged by using digital tools such as delivery route planners and route management software. Here are additional best practices: 

  • Avoid left turns to minimize accident risk
  • Monitor the driver’s behavior and speed
  • Ensure that the fleet is being used at full capacity
  • Track the driver performance and route process
  • Reduce the idle time between stops
  • Evenly split the delivery workload between the drivers
  • Improve fleet efficiency and cut operating expenses

What Are The Differences Between Manual Route Planning and A Delivery Route Planner?

Manual route planning is the process of writing an order down on paper including details such as delivery dates, times, and more. A delivery route planner is a kind of software that helps plan out delivery routes for delivery fleets and couriers. Delivery route planners can include Google Maps or Waze whereas manual route planning is considered to be outdated.

Last-Mile Delivery Definition

Last-mile delivery is defined as the shipping of goods from the warehouse or transportation hub to their final destination. The final destination is usually the customer’s doorstep. The goal is to deliver goods to the customers while simultaneously minimizing expenses. 

Last-Mile Delivery Costs

More than 53% of total delivery costs are referred to as last-mile. If your delivery process isn’t optimized properly, it can increase your overhead and reduce your total profits. The purchase of online goods increased at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when customers stopped visiting brick-and-mortar stores and turned to online shopping. This is what forced many e-commerce retailers to adapt to marketplace changes. 

Amazon stepped up and established new and high standards for their delivery process and also put pressure on their competitors to keep things up. Many online retailers started handling larger order volumes and looking into new strategies for managing last-mile delivery costs. 

Why Are Last Mile Delivery Costs So High?

These are 3 reasons why last mile delivery costs are so high: 

  1. Delivery drivers have an average hourly pay of anywhere between $16 and $24
  2. $10 is the average delivery cost for final stage high-density small package deliveries 
  3. $50 is the average delivery cost for low-density large and heavy package deliveries

Despite all of this, heavy package expenses can quickly increase, especially if the items are big, bulky, or require installation. That’s why cost optimization is crucial for e-commerce businesses. 

Wrapping It Up

From delivery management, the roles delivery managers take on, route planning, route management, and last-mile deliveries, we’ve covered it all. By now, you should have a better idea of what delivery management is all about.

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