OptimoRoute Alternative: Custom ePOD with Any Plan
July 12, 2022
You can never know enough about the software you’re planning to invest in. A trial version is hardly ever the real thing, and you don’t see the whole list of cons until you start using the tool to the full capacity of your operation.
This is why we came up with a series of blog posts where we break down all features of last-mile delivery software benchmarked against each other. To help logistics and fleet managers choose the best tool for their operational needs, we reviewed Onfleet, Routific, and WorkWave Route Manager alongside Track-POD.
Today, we take a look at another popular choice for route planning & optimization – OptimoRoute. Whether you’ve used it before and are looking for a replacement or only considering investing in it, this article will be a big help as you’ll see a detailed breakdown of all major features.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
OptimoRoute prices per driver/vehicle per month. There are three plans you can choose from: Lite, Pro, and Custom.
Naturally, with each plan, you get a different set of features, e.g. Proof of Delivery is only available with the Pro plan. It comes at $44.10/mo if billed annually and covers 1,000 orders.
Track-POD, meanwhile, has two pricing models: per driver/vehicle per month as well as per number of orders per month. For the sake of this comparison, we’ll be looking at the option to pay per driver per month.
Track-POD comes in four plans, all of which support ePOD collection: Starter, Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise. The Advanced plan has everything you need for top-notch last-mile delivery. It comes at $49/mo if billed annually and covers 6,000 orders.
Route planning & optimization
First things first: how good of a route planner OptimoRoute is in comparison to Track-POD? Let’s find out.
Map-based planning is a useful feature that allows you to work with your orders from the map, i.e. capture a specific area and manage tasks that belong to this area in bulk. While OptimoRoute doesn’t have this kind of functionality, Track-POD lets you drag-and-drop orders from the map and add them to routes before dispatching.
Route optimization with ETA
Route optimization with estimated time of arrival (ETA) is a key feature of any route planning software. Both OptimoRoute and Track-POD offer estimated arrival and departure times for each location. On top of that, OptimoRoute also specifies how many minutes late/early the driver is.
OptimoRoute and Track-POD both let you assign priority to customers, addresses, and orders to count that in when planning and optimizing routes.
Your drivers’ breaks are another factor that should be considered when planning and optimizing routes. When creating long-distance and multi-stop routes, OptimoRoute and Track-POD account for drivers’ breaks and plan routes accordingly.
Fleet management and optimization are two key responsibilities of a fleet manager. Even if you don’t have a designated fleet manager on your team, you still need to make sure your vehicle resources are used to the max.
Before planning and optimizing routes, OptimoRoute lets you specify four customizable capacities for cargo, maximum work time, and maximum distance for each vehicle. In addition to that, you can indicate the following costs.
Fixed costs for driver.
Cost per kilometer.
Cost per hour.
Cost per hour overtime.
Track-POD, in the meantime, maximizes the usage of your vehicles by accounting for cargo parameters (weight, volume, pallets), sites/orders, work time, and distance. It’s also possible to indicate speed ratio for each vehicle in your fleet, as well as specify the rates.
Cost per distance.
Cost per hour.
Sometimes, you need your route planner to assign multiple routes per driver per day. With OptimoRoute, your drivers will need to return to the depot for more orders. Track-POD, meanwhile, automatically assigns several routes per driver per day with account for drivers’ breaks.
Depending on the size of your delivery operation, you will not only have a different number of vehicles in your fleet but also different types of vehicle such as truck, car, motorcycle, etc. Your route planner needs to take that into account too.
OptimoRoute lets you use vehicle features to specify requirements for different types of vehicles instead of letting you choose vehicle type right away. Track-POD, on the other hand, supports three vehicle types that you can choose from.
If you offer a subscription-based delivery service or have regular customers you often deliver to, it helps a lot to have the option to save recurring routes. While OptimoRoute doesn’t provide this feature, Track-POD allows you to repeat routes every day/month/year/day of the week to save time on adding routes to the system.
Let’s see exactly how advanced routing happens in OptimoRoute and Track-POD. OptimoRoute considers whatever parameters you specify for your vehicles and drivers, including different setups for starting (depot or custom location) and ending (start location, last stop, or custom) routes.
Track-POD, in the meantime, not only considers all the parameters you put in but also lets you pick any of the three optimization strategies.
Much like OptimoRoute, Track-POD offers different setups for starting and ending routes: from driver location, from depot, ends at depot, and end at driver location.
Live traffic is a very useful feature that helps your drivers save time by avoiding heavy traffic and issues on the road. OptimoRoute doesn’t offer this kind of data but you can find it in Track-POD’s driver app.
User & order management
Your last-mile delivery tool consists of two parts that work in sync with each other. These two parts are the web dispatcher dashboard and the mobile app for the driver in the field. Since all of the planning and management happens back at the office, it’s crucial to be able to control access to the web dashboard.
Likewise, it’s crucial that the people who have access to your web dispatcher dashboard have the features for proper order management. Let’s look at how OptimoRoute and Track-POD handle that.
Roles and permissions for web users
OptimoRoute offers three types of user rights for its web dispatcher dashboard.
Track-POD, meanwhile, lets you add users with any of the 10 user roles.
Allow view Routes.
Allow user management.
Allow view Analytics.
Allow view Vehicle Check.
Allow edit orders.
Allow view Directories.
Allow edit completed orders.
Allow Edit directories.
As you can see, Track-POD offers more nuances to user roles and permissions. If this is something you could use in your operation, consider trying Track-POD out.
Web customer portal
Customers are the third party involved in the supply chain. Therefore, they often add a huge chunk of work to your already busy operation. Luckily, your route planner can also be a tool for customers to manage their orders. Let’s see how this works.
Track-POD has a designated Customer Portal where your most frequent customers can log in to add, track, and manage their orders independently. This saves you tons of time and ups your efficiency while letting you work with your customers and not only for them.
OptimoRoute doesn’t have a designated customer portal. However, you will be able to add your customers as web dispatcher dashboard users. This gives them a bit more rights and permissions than you’d normally give to your customers but it can still work with some shippers.
Types of orders
Types of orders are is of the things you need to indicate when planning and dispatching daily routes. Not all orders are deliveries and your route planner needs to account for that.
OptimoRoute lets you choose any of the three types of tasks.
Track-POD, meanwhile, offers a more advanced approach to order management. Mainly, it’s possible to add complex tasks for your drivers. Here’s the whole selection.
Pickup & Delivery.
Orders come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, you’ll need to indicate things that are not available as built-in fields, and adding a note is simply not good enough. Here’s how OptimoRoute and Track-POD let you manage that.
OptimoRoute offers up to 5 custom fields that you can add from the web dispatcher dashboard and they will be picked up on the driver’s side too. Drivers won’t be able to edit these fields in their driver apps.
Track-POD provides unlimited custom fields for all orders. The fields can be added in several formats such as text, number, date, checkbox, etc. The best thing is that you can choose if the custom fields will be displayed and editable in the driver’s app.
Drivers’ mobile app is the other big component of last-mile delivery. It determines how equipped your drivers are to carry out successful deliveries and report back to the office. Let’s see what OptimoRoute and Track-POD mobile apps are all about.
Access to navigation systems
One thing the mobile app for the driver is supposed to do perfectly is get the driver to the destination in the fastest, most efficient way possible. OptimoRoute lets your drivers choose any of the following navigation systems.
Track-POD, in addition to Google Maps which is set as the default navigation system, offers a selection of alternative navigation systems.
Chat with dispatcher
In addition to navigation, the driver's app should enable excellent communication between your office and field staff. Ideally, the app should have the option for the driver and dispatcher to chat in real-time. While OptimoRoute doesn’t offer this feature, Track-POD has a live chat with the option to share photos.
If your delivery operation is located outside of English-speaking countries – or if you have an international driver staff – it helps to have the driver’s app localized to different regions. The OptimoRoute driver app is available in English alone. The Track-POD driver app, meanwhile, is available in the following languages.
Photo and signature proof
Another key feature of the driver’s app is electronic signature and photo capture for contactless deliveries. Both OptimoRoute and Track-POD mobile apps enable drivers to capture electronic signatures and take photo proof.
For additional security of orders loaded and dispatched correctly, you can make use of QR and barcodes that drivers can scan before starting their routes. While OptimoRoute doesn’t support this feature, Track-POD lets your drivers scan both QR and barcodes for orders and products.
Load check refers to the basic precautions you take to ensure maximum rate of successful deliveries. In addition to the barcode scanning option, Track-POD lets you make load checks mandatory for all drivers before route start. Then you can see all mistakes in loading reflected in your web dashboard.
Note: OptimoRoute doesn’t offer load checks.
Fleet maintenance can add a substantial chunk to the costs of managing a logistics operation. Instead of only relying on vehicle checks performed by mechanics, you can use your last-mile delivery tool to tell your drivers they need to check on their vehicles too. Here’s how it works.
With Track-POD, you have the option to enable mandatory vehicle checks before, after, or before and after each route. The driver will see a list of things they need to check in the vehicle, and whatever they input will be reflected in the web dashboard right away.
The beautiful thing about vehicle checks is that you get to set critical values and see warnings whenever a vehicle hits a critical value and needs to be attended to. This way, you reinforce proactive vehicle maintenance and cut repair costs in the long run.
Note: vehicle checks are not available in OptimoRoute.
When managing drivers and orders, one needs to account for all possible scenarios. Not all orders are delivered successfully – there might be damage to the goods or the customer is not there to receive the order – and your last-mile delivery system needs to take that into account.
OptimoRoute offers two delivery statuses: Delivered and Failed. Above that, there’s nothing to indicate that something went wrong. Track-POD, on the other hand, offers three order statuses: Delivered, Not Delivered, and Partially Delivered. As the name suggests, Partially Delivered are orders that are delivered in part. This can occur in case there’s been damage to some goods in the order.
To simplify the driver’s job even further, Track-POD offers the Rearrive feature. It makes it possible for drivers to change order status from Not Delivered to Delivered after they’ve revisited the delivery address with the correct goods.
Reasons for rejection
Naturally, for every order gone wrong, the driver should have an option to specify the reasons why. While OptimoRoute doesn’t have a designated field and only offers Notes, Track-POD lets drivers choose between customizable reasons for rejection specific to the site, order, and goods.
On top of that, Track-POD gives drivers the option to enter the actual quantity of goods while scanning, which also greatly streamlines reporting.
A geofence is an area on the map for monitoring the driver. While OptimoRoute does support geofencing for categorization of drivers according to specific areas they work in, it doesn’t go any further than that.
Track-POD, in the meantime, lets dispatchers use geofencing to control that drivers don’t mark the order as Delivered if they’re not in the area of the delivery address.
Track-POD supports the option to transfer orders from one driver to another in case the former is not able to carry out the route. OptimoRoute doesn’t offer this feature.
In case your drivers deliver across a territory with an unstable connection, you can rely on both OptimoRoute and Track-POD to enable drivers to use their apps offline and all data will be synced with the web dashboard as soon as the connection has been restored.
Cash on delivery
Cash on delivery is a feature that requires the driver to enter the exact amount specified by the dispatcher for the order to be considered successful. This feature is available in Track-POD but not in OptimoRoute.
Let’s talk about instant communication with customers. Hardly anything is better at promoting trust in your delivery business than timely notifications on the status of deliveries. Before you settle on a route planner, you need to make sure you’re happy with the types of notifications it sends to your customers.
OptimoRoute doesn’t have route start notifications as such. Instead, the customer receives a notification when the order has been scheduled. The notification can be sent via email or SMS and includes an ETA and a live tracking link.
Track-POD, meanwhile, sends a notification exactly when the driver has started their route. The notification includes a live tracking link, an ETA, and (optionally) the customer’s number in line.
OptimoRoute offers the ‘Driver is on the way’ notification that alerts the customer of an upcoming delivery. With Track-POD, customers receive a notification triggered manually by the driver upon departure from their previous order location. Alternatively, this notification can be set up to be sent automatically. The notification is completely customizable.
Both OptimoRoute and Track-POD send post-delivery notifications – for completed and failed deliveries. In addition to that, OptimoRoute and Track-POD send electronic Proof of Delivery (POD) documents that contain the customer’s signature (if any) and/or photo of the order delivered successfully.
Note: Track-POD’s Proof of Delivery documents are brandable and allow you to maintain consistency throughout your communication with customers.
Proof of Delivery
PODs are crucial documents that protect your delivery business from groundless disputes and ensure customers’ trust. Let’s see what Proof of Delivery documents look like in OptimoRoute and Track-POD.
OptimoRoute and Track-POD both support electronic signature, which lets your delivery operation go paperless and promotes further digitalization of business.
Naturally, both software options support taking pictures as proof of delivery or proof of issues. Whether you offer no-contact deliveries or simply want additional proof of a job done, taking photos is something your drivers can do from their mobile app.
In the Track-POD app, drivers can scan QR or barcodes while loading cargo and completing the task. OptimoRoute doesn’t have this feature.
Custom POD template
As discussed above, OptimoRoute and Track-POD both offer Proof of Delivery documents. However, only Track-POD’s Proof of Delivery PDF is fully customizable. On top of adding your logo, you can also rearrange POD elements on the page to better resemble your in-house Proof of Delivery style.
Reports & analytics
Order and delivery analytics can be a wealth of insights for the fleet manager. Clear, actionable, and exportable analytics means effortless reporting and efficient optimization. Let’s look at the reports and analytics available in OptimoRoute and Track-POD.
While OptimoRoute doesn’t offer built-in reports, Track-POD lets you choose any ready-made report and export it instantly.
Trip summary by routes.
OptimoRoute’s Analytics tab consists of the Dashboard (insights on order status, arrival accuracy, and order types), Time Worked and Distance Traveled insights, as well as Plan History (map with traces of each completed route).
Track-POD, in the meantime, offers analytics in the form of a table with completed customizable columns, which means you can minimize or maximize your overview. All analytics data is instantly exportable to PDF, JSON, and Excel.
On top of the analytics table, Track-POD offers insights per KPI.
Delivery in full.
Average service duration.
Track-POD also provides KIPs per cargo parameters: weight, volume, and pallets, with values for all depots.
Integrations are a crucial thing to check in advance because your route planner will not work in isolation from your customer-facing systems, CRM, or ERP. Let’s see what kind of integration capabilities you get with OptimoRoute and Track-POD.
Zapier is a third-party app that lets you connect your last-mile delivery software with thousands of other apps. While OptimoRoute doesn’t have an in-built integration with Zapier, Track-POD offers it alongside other integrations like Shopify or WooCommerce that you can enable in a single click.
Both OptimoRoute and Track-POD offer API integrations so that you can build your route planner into a larger order placement system.
Whatever route planner you end up going with, take your time to learn about every little feature because it might become a deal-breaker at some point. I hope this article sheds more light on both OptimoRoute and Track-POD. If you have more questions about Track-POD features for your logistics business, ask away during a free demo.