More than A to B: Beyond Route Optimisation

25 January 2017

Route optimisation software is now a well-established concept in the fleet sector: import the next day’s deliveries to create a manifest that carries them out in an efficient manner.

Fleets can undoubtedly cut fuel spend by planning each individual vehicle’s best possible route. However, our fleet scheduling goes beyond this basic optimisation to deliver even bigger benefits. Route Monkey’s algorithms analyse the entire fleet’s activities, then assign vehicles, timetables and schedules in the most efficient manner possible.

The differences in the results are huge – along with a far bigger reduction in fleet mileage and transport planning time, Route Monkey also improves vehicle utilisation by up to 20%. Often this means that our logistics customers find they can achieve the same level of customer fulfilment with fewer vehicles, boosting profitability.

For example, the Jenkins Delivery Company has 30 goods vehicles, working six days a week, supplying pharmacy stores. The transport manager currently manually plans all routes. Using its advanced algorithms to re-schedule those deliveries, Route Monkey concludes that the company could fulfil all existing customer requirements by making better use of just 25 vehicles.

This means that Jenkins could cut 5 vehicles and drivers, making a substantial saving on overheads. Or alternatively, it could use the spare capacity to take on more work, without significantly increasing overheads.

However, let’s imagine that Jenkins actually needs 26 vehicles running on Monday mornings, because it has 26 guaranteed delivery windows at that time, every week. Route Monkey identifies that this is blocking the removal of the fifth vehicle, which is needed for this one day, but is surplus to requirements for the rest of Jenkins’ operations. By incentivising one customer to move its delivery to a Tuesday, the logistics company could take another vehicle off the road.

With bigger reductions in mileage – and by helping vehicles to avoid wasted time stuck on congested roads – we also help our customers substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions. The latest annual figures reveal that we saved our customers an estimated total 38,844,000 miles and a corresponding 26,258 tonnes of CO₂ emissions. In the last-mile delivery sector, improvements in vehicle utilisation and reductions in total fleet mileage also help to substantially cut exhaust emissions, helping to improve urban air quality. With many UK cities now containing areas that breach air quality laws, this is going to be pushed up the agenda.

Route Monkey can not only optimise your fleet, but can also take into account ring-fenced customer delivery windows, working time directives and many more factors in its calculations. This easy-to-use technology helps fleets improve customer service and better manage the most demanding contracts. Furthermore, it can provide dynamic scheduling, in real time  - this means responding to events like road closures or a last-minute customer request by re-routing vehicles in the most efficient possible manner.

Crucially, the software also easily integrates with our other mileage-saving technologies such as telematics, delivering added benefits such as reporting on planned versus actual performance.

A wide range of fleets already benefit from this higher level of scheduling and optimisation. Customers in the home delivery sector include fashion retailer Net-A-Porter, Iceland Foods, and 3PL provider Global Service Group.

So if you’re considering investing in route optimisation for your fleet, why settle for a basic system when Route Monkey could deliver even greater savings?