What Is Route Optimization?
Route optimization is a process that singles out the most cost-efficient route for every gig. The proper method for route optimization is much more complex than just finding the briefest path between two points, i.e., shortest may not always be the most suitable.
There are so many factors to consider. From the top of one’s mind, one can point to things like the number and location of all the essential halts on the route and time windows for deliveries. Then there is traffic density, weather, road condition, construction/other problems, etc.
The optimization process helps you surpass others by devising specialized delivery routes centered on more than just distance.
With appropriate route optimization, progressive algorithms will permit you to take more control over your deliveries/transport timeline and confirm that all of your requirements are fulfilled without any difficulty. Route optimization, in essence, allows you to lessen your average drive time between several stops while also accounting for a wide range of complications, like vehicle capacities, driver schedules, and more.
Route optimization is a proper solution for many supposed vehicle routing problems (VRPs). A vehicle routing problem or VRP is a challenge in planning the finest routes from any starting point to a different set of destinations.
Each of the destined locations represents important business-specific limitations, such as vehicle restrictions, cost controls, time windows, source limitations concerning the stocking process at the depot, and so on – the reasons to optimize your fleet route schedule are so many that it would be impossible to cover them all within this article. Still, in short, it helps improve the efficiency of operations.
Fleet managers have to take into account many diverse aspects for the appropriate execution of route optimization:
- The number of customers to be attended, on a certain day
- The specified locations of those customers
- A detailed plan of the breaks in between
- Service windows or deadlines
- Availability or capacity of drivers and vehicles
- Shipping management for supply chains and delivery companies
How Do GPS Fleet Trackers Work For Better Route Optimization?
GPS fleet tracking devices connect to a chain of various satellites to determine the location of a specified vehicle. These fleet devices use a process called trilateration which can use the location of three or more satellites from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network and the distance between them to conclude latitude, longitude, and elevation at any given time efficiently.
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network includes a range of satellites capable of using microwave signals transmitted to GPS devices to give information on location, vehicle speed, time, and direction.
The positioning system works with tracking stations that are positioned all over the globe. Such monitoring stations help track the microwave signals that constantly orbit around the Earth. These GPS receivers can catch the microwave signals coming from various satellites and then convert them into readable information so that the user can determine the actual position of a vehicle and more.
But how does all of this fit with route optimization?
Well, it all starts with fleet tracking and delivering live location updates. The next step is to find the best course for the checkpoints from that location. This, too, is only possible because of the satellite network, for it would be impossible to single out the most suitable route otherwise.
What Are The Goals Of Fleet Route Optimization?
To choose the perfect route, fleet managers strive to consider various criteria like the description and type of the business, the size of the operations division, and the area they serve. However, the common fleet business objectives for all types of businesses are as follows:
- Effectively reducing fuel consumption by bearing in mind the briefest possible distance and any kind of unanticipated anomalies, including traffic jams, road accidents, etc.
- Finalizing and fixing the optimum quantity of vehicles for a particular number of jobs.
- Maximizing the potential of taking on more jobs by engaging the fleet optimally.
- Improving service windows.
- Adapting to regular changes in regards to customer requirements and demands.
Cost-Effective Vehicle Tracking: GPS Route Optimization
Usually, the fleet route optimization is abided by an algorithmic tactic. An algorithm approach is preferred as there are too many considerations and variables that must be contemplated for a shorter extent of time. Even experience and intuition would fail here.
The user requires exceptional computer science knowledge to identify the best possible route, among various routes and for multiple destination spots, if they were to do it on their own. Luckily, you don’t have to. There is an algorithm that takes care of everything.
The most challenging routing issue that algorithms usually target is to solve the vehicle routing problem or VRP by manipulating various limitations like traffic cramming, weather conditions, etc.
As route optimization is a complex process, the algorithm helps by rapidly comparing all the possible routes and identifying the best choice for you. You or the dispatcher will be responsible for adding all the stops in between and creating a route sequence or schedule, i.e., first stop, then second, and then third, and so on.
After adding the stops, all that is left is to simply click the route optimization option, and the GPS tracking system will notify you and the driver about the most efficient routes in the city to select from. The driver has to just follow the route presented on the GPS unit in the vehicle, and that’ll be it, no delays and no getting stuck in traffic.
If the driver has to change the route for some reason, they can use the app to look for a new optimized route or help them from your end.
Strategies & Techniques For Optimizing Fleet Routes Via GPS Tracking
For excellent route optimization, you must have an efficient integrated vehicle fleet tracking system. An optimizing strategy should be selected based on customer requirements and should entirely correspond to your fleet’s operational capacity. The core strategy will act as a foundation, for formulating many other route optimization techniques based on different business aims.
The route optimization strategies can be categorized as:
The fixed or standard routing allows all of the fleet vehicles to regularly pursue the same routes, with the same set of stops, every day. By doing so, all the routes for a specific destination are fixed by the company, but such fixed routes depend greatly upon steadiness and reliability.
Thinking differently, this strategy lacks tractability and, in some cases, predictability, as human errors are the most unpredictable attribute, i.e., there can be traffic jams in the way and whatnot. This strategy only works if you have the same set of stops for each vehicle every day.
Dynamic routing involves the regular development of new routes and stops that mostly arise from various requests and needs of customers. This method also includes some fixed routes but leaves enough space for fleet managers to accommodate new courses whenever needed.
The best feature of dynamic routing is that it leaves room for fleet managers to make adjustments and updates every time an unexpected event occurs during recent routes. This gives the fleet managers complete opportunity to control the finest substitutions while evading blind alley routes.
GPS tracking allows the display of all the possible routes for the designated location, while its route optimizing properties scrutinize the possible choices to select the most efficient one. Thus, this technique is suitable for companies that use excellent GPS tracking systems to enable real-time dynamic routing planning.
This technique uses complicated algorithms to continuously detect, scrutinize and present the most optimal route at a given time. As a result, the fleet managers can supervise on-demand customer appeals and streamline dispatching even if the sequence is altered.
Operating Principles Of GPS Tracking For Fleet Vehicles Route Solution
Fleet tracking devices are associated with GPS tracking systems to provide more transparency and better performance. Without these devices and software, route optimization is impossible. Before becoming usable, these tracking devices have to be integrated into your vehicle. The process includes the following steps for any tracking system:
- The user should install a GPS tracker inside the vehicle.
- Then comes the software installation and setup part.
- After software installation, the tracker is associated with a smartphone or other device that will display the information.
- After the setting up of both these devices, all the essential data regarding the car location and its route is transmitted to the connected device.
And just like that, you can easily run GPS monitoring remotely and stay connected with your fleet, providing support and guidance whenever needed.
Benefits Of Fleet Route Optimization
There are many benefits of route optimization using GPS tracking, and it is no coincidence that industry leaders have already made huge advances in this arena. It is about time that you too modernize your fleet and enjoy perks like:
Drive Fewer Miles
Every extra mile you cover will cost you extra money, plus it makes the job more laborious for your drivers than it needs to be. Optimizing routes using GPS tracking will cut the additional drive distance and thus avoid unnecessarily complicating your job as a fleet manager (managing complex routes is also extremely tough).
Increase Driver Productivity
The lesser time in-between two clients, the more time will be available for drivers to serve even more customers. This will increase your business’s overall efficiency and productivity, and what is a startup all about other than boosting your team’s performance for optimal results.
Every extra client dealt with is money secured via route optimization.
The GPS fleet trackers can save you from inflated operation costs, including fuel costs. The longer the route, the more impractical it becomes for your fleet operations because it will eat up on your fuel tank and the available time, which would’ve been better used to address more clients.
Time is money, and money is money – and you can save both!
By reaching the designated locations within the allotted time frame, you will surely satisfy your customers. By providing shorter travel distances to your drivers, you can retain more customers through timeliness and showing reliability.
Limit Vehicle Wear
Driving extra miles also means that your vehicle will be more prone to constant wearing than otherwise, and this will raise the maintenance costs for your fleet. Route optimization comes to the rescue yet again here; using the most suitable routes, you can get the most out of your fleet assets.
Why Is Fleetr Perfect For Your Small Fleet?
If you’re looking for a perfect small-fleet-friendly GPS tracker that features a built-in route optimization mechanism, you don’t need to exhaust your Google search entries anymore. At Fleetr, we present to you a fleet management tool that fits perfectly with small-sized fleets and comes without any binding contracts and commitments or a minimum number of vehicles you must track.
Fleetr offers easy GPS fleet tracking and management services for just $9.99 per vehicle per month, and this also includes the cost of the tracker, so you don’t have to pay for that separately. Plus, you can cancel anytime, and we will never subject you to any hidden fees.
Give us a call today, and we’ll guide you through the rest!