Route planning is one of the most impactful ways businesses can incorporate new technologies into their systems. When properly managed, route planning can lower transportation expenses and enhance customer experience through more accurate scheduling, and fewer missed deliveries. Effective route planning requires access to real-time mapping, integration with other systems, but businesses that want to optimize logistics need to determine routine strategies that work with their supply and delivery needs.

Routing strategies can be divided into three main categories: round trips, and inbound and outbound routes. Each has benefits in helping businesses find the minimum cost routing plan. The sequence of customer order deliveries can help maximize the efficiency and reliability of shipments, reduce storage costs, and is a crucial consideration in developing a supply-chain management strategy.

Round trips

The first type of route planning is seemingly the simplest. With round trip planning, drivers start from an office or depot, head out to delivery locations, then return back to the office or depot. This type of route planning focuses on materials that are held in inventory and can be independent of the supply chain. Planning considerations for round trips include optimizing routes based on traffic, customer delivery windows, different delivery locations, and other factors that can help usher a driver through all scheduled deliveries and back to the office within the delivery day.

Inbound routes

With inbound route planning, drivers start at the delivery site and work their way back to the office or depot. Inbound routing is one way companies obtain products from their supply chain. This strategy is effective in minimizing costs and reducing storage expenses as well, as drivers can load trucks with items from the supply chain, and efficiently deliver on the way back to a central location. By reducing warehousing, businesses can lower costs related to the logistics process, and by optimizing routes, businesses can meet their supply chain needs and deliver items more quickly.

Outbound routes

In its simplest form, an outbound route is how companies deliver products to their customers.
Drivers using outbound route planning begin at the office or depot and work their way to the delivery site furthest from their starting point. Outbound route planning involves collecting, warehousing, and distributing products to a buyer.

Combining logistics for optimal operations

Of course, in the real world, all of these types of route planning are necessary for efficient delivery and supply chain management. Efficient delivery operations require systems that can manage vast amounts of data relevant to deliveries and supply chain logistics. Track-POD provides a robust environment for planning, optimizing, and viewing deliveries across various delivery types depending on needs and efficiency goals. With real-time route progress, tools for cutting transport costs, and access to analytics to determine delivery efficiency, Track-POD helps businesses choose and optimize route planning.

For more information on Track-POD, contact us today.