Mixed Fleet Route Optimization for Vehicles with Different Load Capacity

Often, last-mile businesses use different types of vehicles in their fleets in order to accommodate unique business requirements. For example, you may have cars, vans, trucks, and other class 1-8 vehicles in your fleet that have different loading capacities. Accordingly, when planning delivery and pickup routes, you need to account for the carrying capacity available on each of your vehicles. With Route4Me’s Mixed Fleet Route Planning add-on, you can simultaneously optimize the most profitable routes for multiple vehicle types with different loading and carrying capacities.

Specifically, Mixed Fleet Routing enables you to use the maximum capacity of each vehicle in your fleet. In this way, you can avoid underloading or overloading your vehicles. Additionally, this add-on can account for pickup and delivery stops types, automatically calculating the dynamic load capacity of a vehicle and fitting more stops into each route.

You can also give up the headache of trying to figure out your Full-Truckload (FTL), Partial-Truckload (PTL) and Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) orders, because that’s all baked into the Mixed Fleet cake.

To sum up, Route4Me will help you uncover hidden costs of not using the maximum capacity of your vehicles, improve your fleet management, and show you how many vehicles you actually need in your fleet. In this article, you can learn how to optimize delivery and pickup routes for multiple vehicles that have different loading capacities.

Mixed fleet route planning and route optimization.

 

 

Mixed Fleet Routing Process Overview

For example, planning routes even for 3 vehicles with different load-carrying capacities, multiple addresses with different capacity requirements, and different stop types for pickups and deliveries can have millions of possible scenarios. With Route4Me’s proprietary optimization engine, it takes seconds to process billions of all possible routing scenarios and produce the most cost-efficient routes.

So, here is how you can optimize routes for multiple vehicles with different load capacities and thousands of addresses with different capacity requirements in a few simple steps:

  1. First, create Vehicle Capacity Profiles with custom loading capacity for weight, volume, number of items, and maximum allowed revenue.
  2. Next, assign the created profile(s) to one or multiple vehicles in your fleet.
  3. Then, import addresses with order details and required vehicle capacity into the route planner.
  4. After that, Route4Me automatically distributes addresses by all available vehicles, maximizing the capacity of each vehicle.
  5. Finally, dispatch optimized routes with automatically assigned vehicles to drivers’ mobile apps.

 

Create and Manage Vehicle Capacity Profiles

In order to plan routes for vehicles with different load capacities, you need to create one or multiple Vehicle Capacity Profiles and assign them to your fleet vehicles. Next, Route4Me will automatically compute the capacity of each vehicle based on its profile and create routes where the capacity of each vehicle is maximized. Below, you can find the simple steps required to create Vehicle Capacity Profiles. Additionally, you can assign the same Vehicle Capacity Profile to multiple vehicles.

 

Create a New Commercial Vehicle Capacity Profile

So, to create a new Vehicle Capacity Profile, go to “Vehicles” from the navigation menu and then click on the Edit icon next to any vehicle in the list. After that, scroll to the bottom of the vehicle’s settings and then click on the “Manage Capacity Profiles” button.

Create commercial vehicle capacity profiles for delivery route planning with vehicle parameters.

 

Add Custom Vehicle Capacity Profile Parameters

Next, click on the “Create New Capacity Profile” button and then fill out the respective form to create a new capacity profile:

  • Volume: Maximum cubic volume value that can be loaded on the given vehicle.
  • Weight: Maximum weight value that can be loaded on the given vehicle.
  • Items: Maximum number of items or pieces that can be loaded on the given vehicle.
  • Revenue: Maximum revenue that can be generated by the given vehicle.

Create profiles with vehicle capacity constraints for mixed fleet route optimization.

 

Manage Mixed Fleet Vehicle Capacity Profiles

Accordingly, once you’ve created one or multiple profiles, you can manage them on the “Vehicle Capacity Profiles” page. For example, click on the “Edit” icon to update the parameter of a Vehicle Capacity Profile. Or, click on the “Delete” icon to remove a profile.Manage vehicle capacity profiles for route planning with different vehicle load limits.

 

Assign Commercial Vehicle Capacity Profiles to Fleet Vehicles

Next, you can assign your custom Vehicle Capacity Profiles to your fleet vehicles. To do so, go to “Vehicle” from the navigation menu and then click on the “Edit” icon next to the preferred vehicle. After that, scroll to the bottom of the vehicle’s settings and then select the preferred profile from the “Capacity Profile” dropdown list.

Assign vehicle capacity profiles with different load limits to your cars, vans, trucks, etc.

 

Accordingly, once you’ve assigned a Vehicle Capacity Profile to a vehicle, this vehicle automatically becomes available for the Mixed Fleet Route Optimization. Correspondingly, if a vehicle doesn’t have an assigned capacity profile, this vehicle will not be available for Mixed Fleet Route Optimization.

Add vehicles with different load capacities to your mixed fleet and optimize vehicle routes.

 

Mixed Fleet Route Planning and Optimization Process

Once you’ve created custom Vehicle Capacity Profiles and assigned them to your fleet vehicles, you can start planning routes for your mixed fleet. First, import addresses with Cube, Weight, Revenue, and Number of Pieces capacity requirements specified for each address. Additionally, specify which addresses are pickups and which are deliveries. Next, select the vehicles with the respective capacity profiles that you want to use.

Route4Me will automatically analyze all imported addresses, required vehicle capacity, and available vehicle capacity. After that, the system will distribute all addresses with their capacity requirements by the selected vehicles, using the maximum possible capacity of each vehicle.  Finally, you can manage your planned routes and dispatch scheduled routes to your drivers and field members.

 

Plan a New Route for Fleet Vehicles with Different Capacity

So, to plan routes with mixed fleet vehicles, go to “Plan New Route” from the navigation menu and then select one of the following options:

  • Upload a File: upload a spreadsheet with addresses and customer data from your device.
  • Import Data: upload a spreadsheet with addresses and customer data from cloud storage (i.e., Google Drive, Dropbox, Box.net, Xero, QuickBooks, etc.).

Import addresses and locations with size and weight parameters for mixed fleet route optimization.

 

Enable the Mixed Fleet Route Optimization

Next, follow these steps to enable the Mixed Fleet Route Optimization:

  1. Go to the “Optimization” tab.
  2. Select the “Multiple Drivers Optimization” route optimization type.
  3. Check the “Enable Mixed Vehicles Fleet” box to enable the respective optimization.

Specify mixed fleet route optimization parameters with commercial vehicle capacity profiles.

 

Select Vehicles with Different Load Carrying Capacity

After that, select one or multiple vehicles you want to include into the optimization. Additionally, you can check the parameters of the Vehicle Capacity Profiles assigned to the selected vehicles under their names.

After selecting the preferred vehicles, the system will automatically set the “Maximum Number of Routes/Vehicles” constraint. Accordingly, the system will create the exact same number of routes as the number of the selected vehicles.

Add commercial vehicle load capacity constraints and carrying limits to route optimization settings.

 

Format Spreadsheets with Addresses and Required Capacity

Next, upload or import your spreadsheet with route addresses and their respective loading capacity requirements. First, add the mandatory “Address” and “Address Type” columns and populate their respective cells with addresses and stop types (PICKUP or DELIVERY).

After that, add optional columns for Cube, Weight, Revenue, and Pieces capacity requirements for each address in the spreadsheet. Learn more about Route4Me’s spreadsheet requirements.

Add route addresses with such order load parameters as weight, cubic volume, and number of items.

 

Next, after uploading your route spreadsheet, make sure that all column headers are matched correctly. Then, click on the “Continue to Review” button to proceed to address geocoding and location verification process. Specifically, make sure that the “Address Stop Type” column contains the “Delivery” and/or “Pickup” stop types. Additionally, check the headers for the Cube, Weight, Pieces, and Revenue values.

Verify route addresses with cubic volume, pieces, and weight load parameters.

 

Mixed Vehicle Fleet Route Management

Route4Me automatically distributes addresses with specific capacity requirements among all selected vehicles with respective load capacity limitations. Correspondingly, Route4Me uses the maximum available capacity of each selected vehicle and plans the respective number of routes. Additionally, this add-on also accounts for the Pickup and Delivery stop types, optimizing the dynamic vehicle capacity that changes after each loading and unloading of the vehicle.

In the header of the Routes Maps, you can check how addresses with capacity requirements were distributed by the selected vehicles with the respective capacity constraints. Additionally, in the Route Summary Table, you can check the totals of the Cube, Pieces, Revenue, and Weight loaded on the selected vehicles. Further, you can learn how to use the Dynamic Route Manifest to check the individual capacity of each assigned vehicle on each planned route.

Automated route stop distribution based on vehicle load capacity and fleet parameters.

 

Equally important, if some destinations can’t be included into optimized routes because they exceed the available loading capacity of the selected vehicles, these addresses are added to Unrouted Destinations.

 

Dispatch Mixed Vehicle Routes to Driver Mobile Apps

Furthermore, Route4Me enables you to dispatch optimized vehicle routes to your drivers in real-time. Specifically, you can dispatch scheduled routes from the Web Platform to Route4Me’s Android Route Planner and iOS Route Planner mobile apps.

Accordingly, to dispatch a route to the driver’s mobile app, assign the route to the user. Then, the route will become available on the user’s app in real-time. Furthermore, you can then track drivers on the map, communicate with your team in real-time, and more.

Dispatch delivery and pickup routes to a mixed fleet of vehicles with different load capacities.

 

Route Manifest with Dynamic Vehicle Capacity

Additionally, Route4Me’s Dynamic Route Manifest enables you to check the individual load capacity of each vehicle on individual routes. Specifically, to open the manifest in the Routes Map or Route Editor, go to “View” and then select “View Manifest” from the menu.

Next, customize your Dynamic Route Manifest to display the preferred route and capacity metrics. Accordingly, you can check how much Cube, Weight, Revenue, and Pieces are loaded and unloaded at each route destination. Furthermore, Route4Me’s Pickup and Delivery optimization also allows you to check the dynamic capacity of the vehicle before and after each loading and unloading.

Additionally, you can check the loaded capacity of each stop on the route using Route4Me’s Route Planning Mobile apps for drivers and field members.

Use route manifest to check dynamic vehicle load capacity after deliveries and pickups.

 

Mixed Fleet Routing FAQ

Below, you can find some of the questions our customers ask us about Mixed Fleet Routing and Optimization for fleets that have vehicles with different load capacities.

To enable the Mixed Fleet Feature, you simply need to add the Mixed Fleet Add-On to your existing subscription using the Feature Manager. Furthermore, if you don’t have a Route4Me account, you can get a free route planner software trial for 7 days.

In short, a Mixed Fleet is any fleet of commercial vehicles that have different load-carrying capacities. Accordingly, Mixed Fleets can include different types of vehicles, such as regular cars, vans, light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, etc.

Opposite to a Mixed Fleet, a Uniform Fleet is a fleet of vehicles that have identical load-carrying capacity. Accordingly, when optimizing routes for a Uniform Fleet, you need to account for the same load capacity for all used vehicles. Learn more about the difference between Uniform Fleet vs Mixed Fleet.

Briefly, Route4Me enables you to use all types of vehicles for planning and optimizing mixed vehicle routes. For example, you can plan routes for minivans, sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, panel trucks, box trucks, vans, tank trucks, refrigerator trucks, garbage trucks, and many more.

Overall, all you need to do is create custom Vehicle Capacity Profiles and assigned them to your vehicles, and Route4Me will take care of the rest.

Currently, Route4Me supports the Cube, Weight, Revenue, and Pieces vehicle capacity constraints for the Mixed Fleet Routing. Correspondingly, you can specify these capacity constraints when creating Custom Vehicle Capacity Profiles.

All in all, there are no limitations on the vehicle types you can use for Mixed Fleet Routing. Thus, you can use commercial vehicles and regular vehicles for optimizing capacity routes.

Of course, you can use Route4Me’s Commercial Vehicle & Truck Routing with Mixed Fleet Routing. Specifically, you can create profiles with physical parameters for your commercial vehicles and then add custom load-carrying capacity profiles to your fleet. Thus, you can optimize routes for commercial vehicles based on their size and weight parameters, as well as available loading capacity.

Route4Me’s route optimization engine can account for pickups and deliveries. Accordingly, at certain route stops, the load capacity of the given vehicle will change depending on the loaded and unloaded goods.

For this reason, you can use the Dynamic Route Manifest that shows the capacity of the given vehicles after each pickup or loading and delivery or unloading.

Yes, Route4Me’s mobile apps for delivery drivers can show the load capacity parameters required for each loaded and unloaded order. Specifically, tap on the preferred stop on the mobile app and then select “Stop Info” from its menu. Next, scroll to the Cube, Weight, Revenue, and Pieces sections to see the respective required capacity.

Yes, you can assign the same Vehicle Capacity Profile to multiple vehicles in your fleets. Additionally, you can check the capacity profile parameters of the vehicle when you are assigning it to the route

Currently, you can create an unlimited number of Vehicle Capacity Profiles for your fleet.

 

 

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About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 34,000 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.

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