September 12, 2022
To build a successful delivery business, you need the right people and the right tools. Sometimes, a tool can even work as a replacement for a person – in case you can't afford a full-time professional like a fleet manager, for example.
Finding the right tools is as crucial as finding the right people. This is true for route planning and transportation management just like anything else.
Today, we're looking at two cloud-based route planning software options that cover dispatch management, fleet management, route optimization, and Proof of Delivery among other features.
Below is a detailed breakdown of all major features of Route4Me and Track-POD. Both are route planning and route optimization software providers. Let's see which tool offers the most of your must-have features.
As always, we start with pricing. Route4Me charges per 10 team members a month and offers 3 base subscription fees.
On top of the subscription fee, there are add-ons (free and paid). Some of them apply to the whole company account, while others (e.g. driver breaks) apply to individual team members.
Route4Me is a marketplace of features that need to be configured according to your needs. The final price will depend on how many features you require.
Track-POD, meanwhile, offers all features out of the box. You can choose to pay per driver/vehicle or per number of orders you handle in a month.
The most feature-rich subscription plan that covers advanced delivery management costs $69 per month if you choose to pay per vehicle/driver (annual contract).
If you choose to pay per number of orders a month, your fee per order will be $0.12-$0.19.
The cheapest per-order plan that covers 1,500 tasks/mo will cost you $285 (includes 15 dashboard users and 1,000 drivers).
Last-mile delivery starts with route planning and route optimization at the back office. Both Route4Me and Track-POD support cloud-based route planning and fleet optimization. Let's see what kind of features cover these tasks.
Both Route4Me and Track-POD support delivery and collection orders aka drop-offs and pick-ups. However, while Track-POD provides this out of the box, Route4Me charges extra $49/mo for collection orders.
Estimated time of arrival (ETA) is a key thing to test out before starting a last-mile delivery routine with a new route planner. Both Route4Me and Track-POD cover route management with estimated time of arrival for each stop along the delivery route. You can also plan and optimize routes with time windows dedicated for each service.
Both Route4Me and Track-POD allow you to optimize delivery and collection tasks with customers' preferred time windows considered. In Route4Me, time slots is a free add-on that needs to be enabled additionally.
If your delivery business provides shuttle services for regular customers, you need your delivery management platform to be able to remember routes. Both Route4Me and Track-POD let you save and repeat routes that you run regularly aka milk runs.
Route4Me will auto-dispatch recurring routes to assigned delivery drivers and vehicles after you've enabled a paid add-on ($99/mo). Track-POD will save recurring routes that you can repeat every day, month, year, or day of the week. In addition to that, you can set ending dates for recurring routes.
Any business providing a field service needs to account for rest time. After all, delivery drivers are humans too and they need time breaks when carrying out multi-stop routes. Route4Me and Track-POD let you input and save drivers' breaks to your delivery management software.
Route4Me charges an extra $5/mo per user if you want to enable driver breaks.
In addition to driver breaks, both Route4Me and Track-POD consider service time, i.e. how long it takes your field staff to perform each job.
Priority can be assigned to orders, customers, or addresses when you want your delivery management platform to save and prioritize certain tasks. Route4Me and Track-POD are software solutions that incorporate priorities in dispatch management.
Your last-mile delivery management solution needs to have features like maximum capacity in order to power smart logistics decisions that make the most out of your fleet resources.
Route4Me lets you specify the maximum distance and weight per vehicle, as well as maximum pieces, volume, revenue, and stops per route. On top of that, you have tracking of fuel consumption and adjusting unique fuel settings for each vehicle to save money on fuel in the long term.
Track-POD, in the meantime, allows you to indicate unique volume, pallets, sites, orders, work time, etc. for each of the vehicles in your fleet. In addition to that, Track-POD lets you specify speed ratio and route rates to save time and money by figuring out the most cost-effective optimization strategy for each vehicle.
On top of all the unique parameters you indicate for your fleet and drivers, route optimization software needs to have a bigger optimization strategy. When planning delivery routes, Route4Me takes into account things like weather conditions, customer variables, road avoidance, and many other factors.
Track-POD, meanwhile, builds routes according to the optimization strategy you selected.
With the right route planning software, you can save money on each delivery, bringing the cost per delivery down to a minimum. As your logistics operation keeps growing, you can even support the option of free delivery.
It's unlikely that you'll be using your cloud-based route planning and route optimization software by yourself. Therefore, you need to control the level of access different users have to different features of your route planner. Let's see how Route4Me and Track-POD let you manage your team users as well as all the unique varieties of orders you might have.
Route4Me lets delivery businesses organize their teamwork in the following way. Users can be added to the delivery management software with different roles depending on which features they'll have access to. Below are the roles available to your team.
These roles cover a set of features and permissions for each user. At the same time, you can add or remove features for each user if you want to customize the level of access your team has to different parts of route planning and dispatch management.
Track-POD offers a total of 10 user roles to delivery businesses of every caliber.
As you can see, both tools let you organize delivery workflows across the company and give all users online access to the data they need.
Using custom fields is how you cater to unique orders that go outside of the predefined fields in your route planner. Both Route4Me and Track-POD have corresponding features for adding unique fields to order details.
This means you can use your delivery management platform to indicate all order data from the back office so that your field service is carried out with no errors.
Your route planning and route optimization software needs to account for customers as much as it accounts for your team users. A solution to this can be giving customers access to an online portal they can log in for delivery management, real-time GPS tracking, and Proof of Delivery.
Although Route4Me offers a Customer Portal, its features are limited to curbside pickup and real-time tracking. Customers can enter their Order ID and monitor their delivery in real-time. While real-time tracking is one of the essential features in proving an excellent customer experience, it doesn't let your business engage customers in delivery management.
Track-POD's alternative is a Customer Portal that covers much more than live tracking. Everything from order import to dispatch management and GPS tracking is available in a single web dashboard. Customer Portal is a perfect platform for your shippers to implement self-customer service and save your business time and money.
Up next is the mobile app for delivery drivers. The mobile app is a crucial part of your delivery management software and you need to make sure you're happy with it before putting your money into the software. Let's see what kind of features Route4Me and Track-POD offer to delivery drivers on their routes.
Running a field service, you want to make sure your delivery drivers are in touch with the back office at all times. Having built a team with unique user roles in the software, you can use Route4Me as a real-time chat room for direct communication. Track-POD's alternative to Route4Me is a live chat with the dispatcher that each driver has in their mobile app.
To guide your delivery drivers alongside the last mile, the mobile delivery app should have a variety of navigation systems to choose from. Route4Me will let your delivery drivers use any third-party navigation apps installed on their mobile phones. Be it Apple Maps, Google Maps, HERE WeGo, Waze, or Yandex.Navi, you can rest assured that there will be a navigation solution for every route.
Track-POD has a variety of GPS apps to choose from. Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, TomTom, HERE WeGo Map, and Sygic are all available as navigation options the driver can make use of en route.
Both Route4Me and Track-POD software solutions support features for e-signing and taking photo proof of delivery/collection. Both will be appreciated by your customers who in addition to regular delivery options will have no-contact delivery.
Barcode scanning is a feature that can single-handedly improve your rate of successful deliveries and minimize returns and mistakes. Route4Me and Track-POD driver apps support QR and barcode scanning.
By default, Route4Me allows 1 barcode per stop but you can use advanced configuration to add barcodes for items within the order.
Track-POD allows you to scan & count multiple items within one order as it can generate shipping labels for all your items.
To get the most out of your fleet and save time and money correcting loading mistakes, go for a platform that has load check features. While load check is an out-of-the-box feature in Track-POD, you'll need to configure it separately in Route4Me.
In some logistics scenarios, especially in B2B delivery, drivers can collect or deliver fewer/more items than planned. In this case, documenting partial delivery or overdelivery is crucial for clear reporting and transparency.
While Route4Me driver apps don't allow drivers to enter the exact quantity of items and document partial delivery, Track-POD offers this option out of the box.
As a delivery business, you know first-hand that not all deliveries go as planned. Out of your daily total, there will often be an order that never found its way to the customer. Your route optimization and management software has to have features that let your drivers indicate different order statuses.
Track-POD lets you customize reasons for rejections based on your company and customers. This is one of the features that is designed to save your team users time scrolling through irrelevant options.
Cash on Delivery (COD) is a feature that allows customers to pay for their orders upon collection. In this case, dispatchers specify the amount to be collected and drivers enter the exact amount in their driver app. COD is then indicated on the Proof of Delivery note.
While Route4Me doesn't support Cash on Delivery, you can find this feature in Track-POD.
Fleet maintenance and repair is one of the biggest money drainers in logistics. To save your company money, fleet management software like Track-POD enables mandatory vehicle checks that each driver needs to complete before and after starting a route.
You can create a custom safety checklist for your drivers, as well as set a critical value for each criterion. Needless to say, all data will live in the cloud and be instantly available in the dispatch dashboard.
Proof of Delivery is a service that can and should be unique and in line with your brand. After all, you share PODs with customers and you need to stand out from other businesses with similar features.
While Route4Me doesn't let you create unique POD templates, Track-POD offers full customization for free. As long as you have a software license, you can create and save unique Proof of Delivery templates completely free of charge.
Route planning and management software need to fuel your business growth by using analytics-based delivery and fleet insights. Let's see how Route4Me and Track-POD power business management with performance data.
Both Route4Me and Track-POD allow you to compare your planned vs actual performance (distance, time, etc.) to see if your optimization strategy works as intended.
In Route4Me, these insights are a part of the web analytics dashboard. In Track-POD, you can find planned vs actual insights in built-in reports and on mobile (Route Manager app for Android).
Track-POD lets you compare planned vs actual route cost.
Route4Me's web analytics dashboard is the place where you can analyze driver performance within a specified date range. Track-POD offers driver stats as a separate report as well as in the Route Manager app for Android.
Both Route4Me and Track-POD provide logistics KPIs as part of analytics. In Route4Me, you can configure which KPIs you'd like to see in the route map and they will be dynamically updated. Track-POD, meanwhile, offers the following KPIs.
While Route4Me doesn't offer reports as such, it allows you to export analytics from the dashboard, as well as offers CO2 Emissions stats (historical) and Route Operations Matrix (real-time).
Track-POD software, on the other hand, offers ready-made reports that you can export instantly for unique business insights.
Trip summary by routes.
Overview of orders.
Overview of items.
Cost savings by time/distance.
All businesses that run logistics operations need route optimization software with adequate pricing and usable features. If you're stuck choosing between two software providers, benchmark all of their features until you can see which tool will bring you the most value.
The right logistics management software will save you hours on manual setup, management, and tracking. I hope this article helps you make sense of Route4Me and Track-POD. If you have further questions about Track-POD, don't hesitate to get in touch with our sales team and see the software in action.