How to Plan a Delivery Route on the Google Maps Route Planner
The Google Maps route planner was used by 1 billion people on a monthly basis in the course of 2020.
There’s no wonder Google Maps is the most popular web mapping service maps app on the internet. When it comes to personal trips, Google Maps is one of the easiest to use free tools out there. But what about planning routes with Google Maps for commercial use?
This Google Maps tutorial will help you use the Google Maps multiple stops route planner to plan a delivery route with multiple destinations and navigate the planned multi-stop route following Google Maps directions.
Table of Contents
Plan a Multi-Stop Route on Google Maps Route Planner Mobile App
On the Google Maps multiple stops route planner, you can plan routes both on your computer or smartphone. Here’s how to plan a route on the Google Maps app in 6 easy steps:
1. Install & Open the Google Maps App
On iOS devices, you need to install the Google Maps app. To do that, go to the App Store, search for Google Maps, and tap on the Get button.
As mentioned above, most of today’s Android smartphones and tablets come with a set of default apps already installed. The Google Mapps app is one of these pre-installed apps. In case you already have the Maps app on your phone, you need to open it.
2. Add the First Destination on Google Maps Route Planner
To plan a route on Google Maps, you need to have the stop sequence already figured out before mapping the addresses on Google route planner. On that note, the first address you’re going to input in the Google Maps app is going to be the first stop on your route.
To input a route stop on the Google Maps route planner, type in an address completely or select one of the suggested locations. To create a route, tap on the Directions button.
Alternatively, you can pick addresses right from the map. After choosing a destination address, you can either continue adding more stops, or you can tap on the Directions button to get driving directions and navigate to your destination. Tap on Start to start the navigation
3. Add Multiple Destinations
To add multiple destinations and build a sequenced route, tap on the three dots icon, select Add stop, tap Add stop again, and then type in the address or select one of the suggested addresses.
Continue this procedure until you’ve added all your addresses that need to be routed. After inputting multiple stops, you can rearrange the sequence of addresses manually to improve the Total Trip parameters manually. Tap on Done to finish planning the route.
4. Get the Driving Directions for the Multi Stop Route
After adding multiple stops, you need to tap on the car icon to see the driving directions necessary to service all the addresses. To edit the multi stop route on Google Maps, tap o the three dots icon.
5. Navigate the Google Maps Route
After getting the directions, you can start navigating the route. To navigate, tap on the Start button at the bottom of the screen.
To edit the started route, stop the navigation, tap on the three dots icon, tap Edit stops, and then edit the stops accordingly.
When Is Google Maps Useful?
Google Maps is the most popular free route planner for personal use on the internet for a reason: it does its job right for the purpose it was created for. You can use the Google Maps multi-stop route planner for planning personal trips, mapping a walk, or a bike ride.
It will give you accurate directions that will take you from one place to another. When planning a route with multiple destinations on Google Maps, you need to order your stops manually to avoid detours as much as possible. You can use Google route planner for:
- Getting the fastest or shortest route between 2 addresses
- Running errands through the city
- Localizing an address on a map
- Finding out the distance between two points on a map, etc.
Can You Add Multiple Stops on Google Maps?
Google Maps can plan a route with multiple stops. You can add up to 10 addresses in the Google route planner. Plus, you can also rearrange your stop in the desired order, you can send a planned route to your phone or share it with your delivery drivers.
How to Optimize My Route Using Google Maps?
Although Google Maps multiple stops route planner can plan a route with multiple destinations, it cannot optimize a route. Google Maps will sequence the addresses in the same order they are imputed in the route planner. To optimize a multiple stop route, you should either do all the computational calculations manually or use a multi-stop route planner or route optimization software.
Planning Routes With Google Maps – Pros and Cons
Here are the advantages of using the Google Maps route planner to plan routes for personal use:
1. It’s Free
One of the biggest advantages of using Google Maps as a route planner is that it’s free. Plus, the Google Maps app comes pre-installed on most of today’s Android smart devices so you won’t have to install additional navigation apps on your delivery drivers’ smartphones.
2. Routing Flexibility
When planning a route on Google Maps, you can choose which types of directions you would like to get as per the mode of transportation you use. You can get walking directions, driving directions, or information on public transport. Plus, you can even combine these modes to get a tailored route to get you to your destination.
3. Street View
One of the biggest advantages of using Google Maps as a route planner is the Street View feature that enables you to get a bird’s eye view of your route. You can virtually travel a route with Street View and see buildings along the way. This feature could be really useful for electricians, field service operations providers, etc., as it can help them identify the exact location of an electrical pole, junction box, or other equipment installed on the side of the road.
4. Using GPS Without Internet
The Google Maps multi-stop route planner has an offline mode that allows you to download maps so you can navigate them at a later moment without using the internet. This is especially useful for visiting geographical areas with poor or weak cell phone signal.
5. Voice GPS Navigation
If you decide to use Google Maps as your route planner for multiple stops, your drivers can navigate the planned routes using the voice GPS navigation. This will help them focus on the road, and not at their cell phones.
6. Indoor Maps
Google Maps offers directions for some facilities such as airports, museums, malls, public transportation or transit hubs, etc. This could help your delivery drivers or field service employees quickly find a specific office location or store, without having to wander around too much.
7. Sharing Routes
The Google Maps multiple stops route planner allows you to share your planned routes with your drivers. This means that your delivery drivers and field employees don’t need to plan the routes themselves, which will leave more time for delivering packages to customers.
8. Gas Stations, Parking Lots, and Restaurants on Maps
If your routes cover great distances, your drivers will need breaks – either for refilling the tank of their delivery cars or for grabbing a bite. The Google Maps route planner will help them easily identify petrol stations, parking lots, restaurants, and coffee shops on the map.
For courier, delivery, or field service businesses and providers, the Google Maps advantages list stops here. On the other hand, when using Google Maps for personal trips, you could fully enjoy every feature of this useful mapping service.
However, when you plan a route with multiple destinations for delivery, distribution, or field service operations, there’s more to consider than just getting from point A to point B. When running a courier business and offering delivery and distribution services, you have to look for opportunities to make more money. And routing with Google Maps will certainly not get you there.
Here are the cons of using Google Maps for delivery and commercial routing:
1. No More than 10 Stops per Route
You might be able to plan delivery routes on Google Maps if you don’t have more than 10 shipping addresses per route. Additionally, you have to manually order or sequence those 10 shipping addresses in the most cost-efficient and time-effective way. Google Maps is definitely not a Google route optimization tool.
2. No Route Optimization Features
The Google Maps multi-stop route planner will not optimize a multi-stop route for you – it will keep the stops in the same order as you input them. If your delivery business or logistics operation has just a few cars and a handful of customers, you might make good use of Google Maps – only if you calculate the best route manually, before introducing your stops in the map app.
3. Not Accounting for Commercial Vehicles’ Parameters
If you need to plan a route for commercial vehicles or trucks, the Google Maps route planner cannot show you which roads you are allowed to drive on. Moreover, you can’t identify low bridges, narrow passages, and other relevant information for truck drivers. Truck routing with Google Maps is dangerous.
When Not to Use Route Optimization with Google Maps
If your business is logistics-intense, you run a courier delivery operation, or you are a field operations service provider, Google Maps multiple stops route planner is not right for you.
When you have to map more than 10 addresses, employ multiple delivery drivers or field service reps, have more than one vehicle in your fleet, and need to plan routes for commercial use, you need more than what Google Maps does. You need to optimize your multi-stop routes so your employees can get from customer to customer in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way.
A route planner such as Route4Me or RouteXL will help you do that.
The Route4Me multi-stop route planner will help you service more customers with the same number of – or even fewer fleet assets. With Route4Me you will make more money and:
- Save time on manual planning
- Minimize windshield time and the need for drivers’ expensive overtime
- Navigating the fastest and shortest routes
- Make more money by making more deliveries
- Service visits in fewer routes
- Get happier customers
Route4Me vs Google Maps Route Planner
The main difference between Google Maps and the Route4Me multi stop route planner app is route optimization – particularly, the lack of optimization features in Google Maps. As already mentioned, the Google Maps route planner doesn’t offer route optimization possibilities. And when planning a multi stop route on Google route planner, you have to order your route stops manually in order to get a better routing outcome.
On the other hand, when using the Route4Me route planner you can not only get the fastest and most cost-efficient multi stop routes in a minute, but you can also adjust route optimization settings to factor in customer variables and business rules.
When trying to optimize routes manually, you have to go through millions of routing scenarios until you find the most time and cost-effective one. This is a complex math problem that requires difficult computational calculations. And, as you factor in more addresses, it becomes exponentially difficult to solve.
Instead, you could use a route planner app that can do that for you in a few seconds. This way, you’ll avoid human error, save time on route planning, and get the fastest routes that will help you make more money.
The difference between a multi stop route planned on Google Maps and the same route planned on a route planner can be dramatic. When you have to navigate more than one route per day, that time difference adds up and helps you:
- Service more customers
- Reduce overtime and windshield time
- Save money on payroll
- Deliver and sell more
- Utilize your fleet and workforce better
- And more!
You can see the difference yourself. Claim your Route4Me 7-day free trial today.
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