The foundation for efficient road transport logistics is indisputably good truck route planning. The topic of whether it makes sense to be as accurate as possible when planning trips, on the other hand, is a fascinating one. Because it is also clear that no tour will be carried out one-to-one as planned. Traffic jams and delays in loading and unloading always lead to unforeseeable developments. So why go to the trouble of meticulous planning if things turn out differently in the end? The solution is simple: It’s worth it – for everyone involved. And it requires no additional effort. You’ll find the reasons in the following four paragraphs.
Make sure that route planning is feasible
The first condition for any route plan should be that it is feasible. This means that the planned trips can be made in compliance with rules and regulations, as well as delivery or pickup dates agreed upon with customers. This may seem self-evident, but it is not. Because in order to meet this criterion, a large amount of precise data is required, such as in the case of
The greater the possibility that route plans will be created that are not feasible, i.e., violate physical or legal regulations, the more likely that this data will be incorporated into planning as a rule of thumb rather than accurately. The result of over-scheduling is that tours have to be adjusted during the loading process, cannot be completed due to possible driving time overruns, customer appointments are missed, new starts have to be made, and significant error costs are incurred.
Buffers are the worst enemy of resource optimization
When humans are faced with the task of planning in unknown situations, we draw on the safety buffer to help us. In the area of route planning, this mainly concerns time planning, where we rely on empirical values and, for example, prescribe more or less generous buffers for drivers’ operating times. If the data situation is unknown, this is also a sensible method. However, it has the significant disadvantage that the efficient use of driver and vehicle resources is sporadic at best, but never consistent or reliable. As a result, this strategy potentially wastes valuable and costly resources.
We need to push the envelope to make the best use of resources. This is true not only in transportation logistics, but also in many other aspects of life. To push the limits, we need the most accurate data and the best preparation we can muster. The more accurate the data and planning, the closer we get to optimal utilization. So, can we do without buffers altogether? Because of the irregularities that naturally occur, that would be illogical. But the most important thing is that we can work with much smaller buffers, which brings us closer to the ideal and saves us a lot of money.
Provide accurate arrival information for customers.
Customer satisfaction is important in transportation logistics along with maximum resource utilization and lowest possible transportation costs. In this scenario, it is becoming increasingly necessary to provide customers with the most accurate and reliable truck arrival time in advance. Estimated Time of Arrival, or ETA, is another name for it. What Amazon and its competitors have long practiced in the B2C market is gradually becoming a customer necessity in the B2B sector.
While private customers are often satisfied with knowing when a package will be delivered, industry and commerce have much higher expectations of ETA accuracy. Often, hourly projections are required so that subsequent processes can be precisely timed and waiting times can be minimized.
Accurate ETA projections require meticulous route preparation
Accurate ETA estimates can, of course, only be produced on the basis of meticulous route planning. If, on the other hand, you only use rough estimates in your preparation, your ETA calculation will certainly be so unclear that you will not be able to pass this information on to your customer.
If you want to learn more about how Swynoo can help you plan your route, contact us at swynoo.com.
Precise route planning is useful and worthwhile. It avoids costly planning errors and angry customers. It enables the most efficient use of driver and vehicle resources. It also enables accurate ETA forecasts and the provision of calculated arrival times to inform customers in advance.
There is no need to plan over the big thumb today, as the necessary algorithms and mechanisms are in place.
Would you like to know exactly how Swynoo supports you in route planning? Then contact us immediately for an individual consultation.