Business Rules & Optimization Constraints

Business Rules and Optimization Constraints

 

No, Route4Me does not limit the maximum number of stops you can add when planning routes. Route4Me’s route optimization software enables you to plan routes with hundreds of thousands of addresses. And to help you easily manage large numbers of destinations simultaneously, Route4Me offers you the possibility to use multiple address grouping tools.

Our distributed routing algorithm will help you split large routes into sub-parts that can be visited by one driver over the course of several days or by multiple drivers in a single day. Moreover, when planning routes for multiple drivers, you can set a custom limit for the maximum number of stops that the system will include into each route.

 

Route Planning With Hundreds of Thousands of Addresses

Route4Me offers you all the necessary tools to manage hundreds of thousands of addresses concurrently. For example, you can split your route stops into territories by drawing custom shapes around addresses on the map. Then, you can plan territory-based routes with just a click of a button.

Route planning with address territories on an interactive map using Route4Me's route planner.

 

Or, you can let the system do the work for you with Route4Me’s Smart Zone Optimizations. This feature can automatically split large numbers of route destinations into the most optimal number of Smart Clusters. When planning routes with Smart Zones, you have full control over how many routes are created within each Smart Cluster.

Planning routes without a limit on the maximum number of addresses.

 

Furthermore, you can choose to plan Single Driver routes or Multiple Driver routes with the locations within each address cluster. The latter enables you to apply multiple advanced constraints to your routes, including the maximum number of stops per route.

Route4Me doesn't impose limits in regards to the maximum number of stops you can plan a route with.

 

Limit the Maximum Number of Stops per Route

When you are using the Multiple Driver Route Optimization type, Route4Me enables you to factor in multiple business rules and route optimization constraints that can limit route parameters such as:

In addition to many other advanced optimization rules you can use to fine-tune your routes, you can also use Route4Me’s Max Stops per Route Add-On. This feature will help you have better control over the distribution of the workload among your drivers.

Multiple routes planned with Route4Me's route optimization rule for a custom maximum number of stops per planned route.

 

Even though Route4Me doesn’t limit the maximum number of stops per route, we recommend planning routes with up to one thousand addresses.

 

If you liked this request for proposal (RFP) post about the maximum number of stops you can route with Route4Me, check out more Q&As!

Yes, Route4Me’s route optimization software enables you to factor in customer priorities or order priorities when planning routes. Specifically, Route4Me gives you the possibility to set an order priority value for each stop on your driver routes.

 

Priority Optimization Constraint Routing

Route4Me’s Priority Constraint enables you to assign different priorities to stops on your routes. Furthermore, the priority you set to a route stop will directly influence this stop’s position in the overall route sequence.

For example, with this feature, you can place your VIP customers closer to the route start. Similarly, you can use this route planning business rule to prioritize shipments with perishable items. Or, you can plan routes with customer priorities to ensure that temperature-sensitive and time-critical deliveries will get to their destinations on time.

Once you set a priority value to a route stop, that stop will be among the first ones on the given route. Moreover, you can always change the priority of any stop on any route using Route4Me’s Web-Based Route Optimization Platform. You can do so even if the route is already in progress. In that case, your drivers’ iOS Route Planner or Android Route Planner apps will instantly update the driving directions for that route.

Using Route4Me's customer priorities route planning tools to prioritize route stops on planned routes.

 

Planning a Route With Customer Priorities

Planning a route with the Priority Constraint is not so different from planning a regular new route. The only difference between the two consists of a few extra clicks or an additional column in your routing data spreadsheet. Specifically, you can choose to either:

  • Set priorities for each stop manually after creating a route
  • Add the “Priority” column to your routing data spreadsheet file

Learn how to plan a new route on the Route4Me Web platform.

Discover more about Route4Me’s spreadsheet requirements.

Setting priorities for route stops on planned and optimized routes using Route4Me's route planner.

 

NOTE: The priority value you can assign to a destination, order, or route stop ranges from 1 (the highest priority) to 999,999 (the lowest priority).

If you liked this request for proposal (RFP) post about planning routes with customer priorities, check out more Q&As!

Addresses that have a higher priority assigned to them in the “Priority” column of the spreadsheet file are sorted at the top of the routes.

Yes, Route4Me’s route optimization software enables you to add a wide range of route optimization constraints, including multiple time windows per stop. Also, you can plan routes that account for your unique last-mile business needs.

Yes, with Route4Me’s route optimization software, you can plan the shortest routes using multiple dynamic route planning tools. Namely, Route4Me supports hundreds of thousands of last-mile optimization constraints. Thus, our route planning software enables you to customize your routes as per your specific customer and fleet requirements.

For instance, Route4Me allows you to fine-tune your optimization for the shortest time, the shortest distance, or the perfect balance between travel time, distance, and wait times. Moreover, our route planner enables you to define custom values for multiple fleet, road, and driver-related route settings. These features allow you to plan the shortest routes while also factoring in your unique business needs.

An inefficient route vs. an optimized route with delivery trucks on a map.

 

Setting Up the Maximum Route Duration and Route Distance

Route4Me’s Multiple Drivers Route Optimization enables you to tune up and customize your routes through various advanced route planning rules. For example, you have full control over the maximum number of stops per route, the amount of revenue to be generated on each route, the maximum number of packages to be delivered by each vehicle, and more.

In addition, you can also set a custom value for the maximum route distance as well as the maximum route duration. Consequently, both these optimization constraints will help you split your daily workload into custom-sized optimized routes.

Planning the shortest routes with multiple route optimization rules using Route4Me's route planner.

 

Planning the Fastest and Shortest Routes

But planning the shortest routes is not always that simple. Especially when you have to also consider your customers’ business hours and tight delivery windows. To help you easily do so, Route4Me’s Advanced Optimization Fine-Tuning enables you to plan routes that prioritize:

  • Route distance
  • Route duration
  • Wait times as per customers’ delivery time preferences
  • The shortest distance and the most optimal travel and wait times simultaneously

This feature is especially useful when you have to plan routes with addresses that have specific delivery windows, which might make your drivers idle for long periods of time between stops. And by fine-tuning your routes, you will be able to minimize these wait times. Plus, you will create the most efficient routes possible considering your customers’ time windows.

Route optimization for the most efficient routes in terms of traveled time and traveled distance.

 

If you liked this request for proposal (RFP) post about how you can plan the most time-effective and cost-efficient routes using Route4Me’s route optimization software, check out more Q&As!

Yes, with Route4Me’s route planner, you can plan routes that minimize or completely avoid toll roads, highways, or both. You can do so when planning your routes as well as after your routes have been planned. Plus, you can add other road and route optimization constraints to your routes while also making dynamic changes that automatically sync with your drivers’ Android Route Planner and iOS Route Planner apps in real-time. Moreover, Route4Me can also account for such real-time route constraints as heavy traffic, allowing you to fine-tune your route optimization for your specific business needs and requirements.

Flexible and dynamic route planning with Route4Me's web platform and route planner apps.

 

Planning a Route to Avoid Toll Roads and Highways

Route4Me enables you to optimize routes with multiple stops that perfectly fit your business’s unique fleet and team particularities while helping you save time and make more money. For example, with Route4Me, you can create routes without toll roads, turnpikes, tollways, express toll routes, or highways.

Consequently, when avoiding tolls, you will not only save money but also protect your fleet from the wear and tear resulting from driving on highways. Furthermore, Route4Me gives you the ability to create routes that:

Planning routes to avoid toll roads, turnpikes, and highways with Route4Me's route optimization software.

 

Adding More Route Optimization Constraints to Your Routes

In addition, you are able to add extra layers of customizations to your routes. This means that you have full control over the route optimization outcomes. Namely, through a wide range of highly customizable route optimization rules, you can create routes that factor in real-time traffic intensity, customer availability, your team and fleet availability, and a lot more.

For example, you can customize your multi-driver routes as per:

Multiple planned routes that avoid toll roads while accounting for other route optimization constraints simultaneously.

 

If you liked this request for proposal (RFP) post about how you can plan routes that avoid toll roads and highways entirely or partially, check out more Q&As!

Yes, Route4Me’s Curbside Routing allows you to configure the load position of your deliveries, pick-ups, and other destination types.

Yes, Route4Me’s proprietary optimization algorithm allows you to configure the delivery and pick-up positions for your routes while accounting for your fleet’s vehicle types. You can use Route4Me’s Curbside Routing for setting up the preferred load positions at the curbside or coordinates levels. To account for your fleet’s vehicle types, you can use Route4Me’s Vehicle Profiles that allow you to optimize routes for all types of vehicles with different parameters (class 1-8 vehicle types with custom height, weight per axel, length, and other parameters).

Yes, Route4Me’s Route Planner features multiple optimization constraints that enable you to account for your vehicles’ capacity when planning routes. Specifically, Route4Me gives you the ability to plan routes that factor in your vehicles’ payload capacity, cubic volume, and the number of packages or parcels that can fit into a particular vehicle.

Moreover, Route4Me can accommodate the routing needs of both mixed fleets and uniform fleets. Namely, Route4Me can distribute the ideal number of stops for all your vehicles, accounting for the route optimization parameters for each of your individual vehicles. Thus, you can simplify your fleet management and route planning processes with a single platform.

Route optimization with vehicle capacity parameters for a mixed fleet of vehicles.

 

Vehicle Capacity Route Optimization Constraints

With Route4Me, you can plan Single Driver routes or Multi-Driver Routes. The latter enables you to add an extra layer of customization to the multiple routes to be automatically created from a single set of addresses. In detail, you can set up route parameters such as:

Route optimization rules for multi-driver routes that factor in vehicle capacity parameters.

 

In addition, you have the ability to also factor in your vehicles’ capacity when planning routes. For example, you can control the route planning output as per your vehicles’ cubic volume, loading and carrying capacity, and the number of pieces that can be loaded in a vehicle. Optimizing your routes with fleet capacity constraints helps prevent overloading, minimize rollover risks, reduce accident chances, avoid leaving your customers unsatisfied, and more.

Learn more about Route4Me’s Mixed Fleet Optimization and Uniform Fleet Optimization.

Route optimization with the vehicle capacity parameters of multiple trucks from a mixed fleet.

 

Fleet Management and Vehicle Profiles for Truck Routing

In addition to the advanced optimization rules, Route4Me’s route optimization software provides multiple tools for efficient fleet management. For instance, you can create detailed vehicle profiles with characteristics, such as:

  • Make, model, and year
  • License plate
  • Registration information (i.e., country, state, year of purchase, etc.)
  • Fuel type and consumption
  • Vehicle type (i.e., 18 wheeler, big rig, cabin, cement mixer, etc.)
  • And more!

Commercial vehicle and truck profiles with vehicle capacity and other parameters on route planner.

 

After creating your virtual fleet with Route4Me, you can assign vehicles to routes, stay on top of your vehicle maintenance schedule, and have a complete overview of your vehicles’ availability.

Similarly, you can create profiles for commercial vehicles that have to travel on specific roads and respect special traffic regulations as per their weight, width, height, and cargo type (e.g., hazardous materials). After creating your CMV profiles, you will be able to plan truck routes that will include only commercially approved roads as per your vehicles’ capacity.

Learn more about Route4Me’s:

Commercial vehicle route planning vs regular route planning on Route4Me's route optimization software.

 

To help you ensure your commercial vehicles are always within the approved truck road network, Route4Me’s iOS Route Planner and Android Route Planner apps offer:

Truck navigation on commercially approved roads with Route4Me's Route Planner apps.

 

If you liked this request for proposal (RFP) post about vehicle capacity, check out more Q&As!

Yes, Route4Me’s route optimization software offers you the possibility to use multiple turn restriction route parameters, such as left, right, and U-turn avoidance while optimizing your routes. When you plan your last mile routes using the U-turn avoidance feature, Route4Me generates the most optimal driving directions that avoid and prevent as many U-turns as possible.

Furthermore, you can use the U-turn avoidance together with the left or right turn restrictions. With this possibility, you can plan safer routes for your drivers while also making your routes more cost and time-efficient.

Learn more about:

 

Route Planning With the U-Turn Avoidance Feature

U-turns are among the most dangerous driving maneuvers and a frequent cause of accidents. In fact, the U-turn is responsible for 4,300 accidents each year. With that in mind, Route4Me’s turn avoidance features can help you minimize the risk of accidents on your routes.

To plan a U-turn free route, you only have to follow these three simple steps:

  1. Select the preferred data import method
  2. Adjust the route settings and route optimization parameters and constraints
  3. Go to “Turn Restrictions” and select the “Avoid” option under “Permit U-Turns

Learn more about how you can plan a route on Route4Me’s Web-Based Route Planning platform.

Route planning with u-turn avoidance on Route4Me's route optimization software.

 

Navigate U-Turn-Free Routes on Route4Me’s Route Planner

After planning your routes without U-turns, you can dispatch those planned routes straight to your drivers’ Route4Me Android Route Planner and iOS Route Planner apps. Then, your drivers will be able to use the in-app voice-guided navigation and follow their routes’ driving directions without the need to look at their devices’ screens.

In this way, you can rest assured that your routes are as driver-safe as possible.

Learn more about:

Sending planned routes to drivers' route planner apps using Route4Me's route optimization software.

 

If you liked this request for proposal (RFP) post about planning routes with Route4Me’s U-turn avoidance feature, check out more Q&As!

Yes, Route4Me’s route optimization software enables you to follow UPS’s time-effective and cost-efficient route planning model. Specifically, with Route4Me, you can plan and optimize last mile routes that avoid left turns. This left turn avoidance routing feature can help you cut your fleet’s fuel costs, reduce the number of road accidents, and make your routing operations more efficient.

On the same note, Route4Me enables users from left hand driving countries to avoid right turns to leverage similar benefits. Additionally, Route4Me offers you the ability to plan routes that completely or partially avoid U turns.

Learn more about Route4Me’s route planning with right turn avoidance feature

 

Why Avoid Left Turns When Planning Routes

The U.S. Department of Transportation considers left turns to be among the most dangerous driving maneuvers in intersections. Moreover, turning left is responsible for over 53% of cross-path crashes in the U.S. Not only are left turns dangerous, but also costly. Namely, when your routes include left turns and U turns, your ETAs depend on an unknown variable – the upcoming traffic.

When routing without left turns, you can:

  • Reduce unnecessary idling while waiting for upcoming traffic to pass
  • Deliver more packages and offer more accurate ETAs to your customers
  • Reduce mileage and minimize your carbon footprint
  • And more!

Driving directions that avoid left turns on mobile route planner app.

 

How to Prevent Drivers from Turning Left on Your Routes

To help you avoid left turns when planning your multi-stop routes, Route4Me features a Left-Turn Avoidance route optimization option. When selecting this optimization rule, the system automatically calculates the most optimal way to service all of your route stops without a single left turn on your route.

Additionally, the Left-Turn Avoidance feature is extremely intuitive and easy to use. All you have to do to enable left-turn free route planning is going to the “Turn Directions” when setting the route parameters. Then, check the “Avoid” box right under “Avoid Left Turns“, and you’re all set.

Planning routes with Route4Me's left turn avoidance feature for faster and safer routes.

 

If you liked this request for proposal (RFP) post about how you can avoid left turns with Route4Me’s route optimization software, check out more Q&As!

Yes, Route4Me’s proprietary optimization algorithm provides multiple turn avoidance tools for both left hand driving and right hand driving countries. Specifically, Route4Me enables last-mile organizations conducting their business in countries that follow left-hand traffic laws to plan routes that avoid right turns. As a result, you will be able to drive down your fleet’s fuel expenses, minimize the chances of road accidents, and make your route planning and logistics operations more productive.

 

Avoid Right Turns for Left Hand Driving – Benefits

Turning right is among the top accident causes in the United Kingdom. Not only is this type of turn dangerous, but it is also an unknown variable that can sabotage your routes. When your drivers need to turn right, on-time delivery becomes increasingly difficult due to the low priority in interactions and unpredictable traffic. In addition to late deliveries and unsatisfied customers, drivers will also burn fuel in vain while idling and waiting for oncoming traffic to pass.

Although avoiding right turns when planning routes might initially seem like it lengthens your routes, it will actually help you make more money, save fuel, and improve customer satisfaction. As of 2016, UPS claims to save around 98 million hours per year by avoiding left turns (in countries with right hand traffic). Moreover, according to a 2017 article by The Conversation, UPS harnessed multiple benefits by only excluding left turns from routes. The company managed to:

  • Decrease fuel consumption by 10 million gallons
  • Minimize their carbon footprint by 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide
  • Increase deliveries by 350,000
  • Reduce mileage by 28.5 million miles

Delivery driver in a left hand driving country delivering a package.

 

Route Optimization Rules for Time & Cost-Effective Routes

With Route4Me’s advanced route planning features, you can follow in UPS’s footsteps and attain similar benefits. Namely, you can plan routes that avoid right turns with just a click of a button. Consequently, you’ll have the fastest, most cost-effective, and driver-safe routes possible. To do so, you’ll have to:

  1. Select or upload the addresses to be routed.
  2. Specify the route parameters and adjust the route settings.
  3. Go to “Turn Restrictions” in the route parameters menu.
  4. Click on “Avoid” under “Permit Right-Turns.”
  5. Optimize your right-turn-free route, and you’re done!

It’s that easy!

Route planning for left hand driving countries. Avoiding right turns on routes with Route4Me's route optimization software.

 

If you liked this request for proposal (RFP) post about route planning tools for left hand driving countries, check out more Q&As!

Yes, Route4Me allows you to specify and view the number of shipments associated with each route stop using Route4Me’s Web Platform when at the office or Route4Me’s iOS and Android mobile apps when out in the field. In addition to the number of shipments, you can also view the weight, the size, and other parameters of each shipment. Moreover, you can even use the number of shipments and their weight and size parameters as optimization constraints when planning your routes.

 

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About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 35,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.