Delivery areas optimization

The need to decide how to assign customers to the couriers serving them touches many industries involved in the delivery of goods. Depending on the specific services provided, the needs for scheduling and route optimization can vary. Does route optimization make sense even when the customer group and order characteristics are relatively constant?

The advantages of route optimization with a dynamically changing delivery network seem obvious: an automated machine will plan shorter routes, better suited to customers' requirements, and on top of that, it will do it much faster than a human. In addition, daily adjustments to deliveries based on the current set of orders allow you to use your resources much more efficiently and serve your customers better.

Periodic route planning

Delivery areas optimization

However, if the set of customers and their orders does not change drastically from day to day, daily route changes can introduce more problems than benefits. In such situations, the constancy of routes allows customers the comfort of always being served by the same driver, who is also able to learn where to park, for example, which ultimately improves the efficiency of route execution. Can route planning algorithms also come in handy in such a situation?

Even with such specificity, proper distribution of deliveries among drivers is extremely important. It is still possible to achieve a higher quality of customer service in this way, as well as save significant amounts of money spent on handling suboptimal routes.

Historical data analysis

However, the software that schedules such routes must be prepared to do so. Even if the routes are similar on consecutive days, there are nevertheless differences - some customers order more often and more, and others less often. The former are usually the ones we want to prioritize, and in addition, their orders have a greater impact on the overall efficiency of the planned routes.

For this reason, simply treating the problem and scheduling areas as if there were routes to be traversed by all customers at once will not provide an optimal solution. The algorithm planning the routes must be able to take historical order data into account, analyze the connections between them, take into account the different importance of points in the overall cost of deliveries from many different days, and propose an optimal allocation on this basis.

Continuous route improvements

The result of such optimization will be a constant allocation of customers to drivers, which will be optimal in real sets of daily orders. However, it is worth noting that the specifics of orders and the dynamics of the company's operations are changing all the time. For this reason, it is good to repeat such optimizations from time to time. Such periodic optimization allows you to make adjustments to the route plan and maintain the quality of transportation and delivery at the highest level.