Pickup and Dropoff Route Optimization – Planning Routes with Pick-Up and Drop-Off Address Pairs Without Time Windows
Depending on the particular needs of your business or unique business model, you may need to visit your customer addresses in pairs, where one address needs to be visited for picking up people or packages and the second address from the pair needs to be visited for dropping off the picked up people or packages. For example, imagine that you are running a non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) business, and one of your drivers needs to pick-up a patient from one location (i.e., apartment, house, etc.) and then deliver this patient to another location (i.e., hospital, pharmacy, etc.).
This task doesn’t seem to be that challenging, provided that there is only one patient to transport. But what if there are hundreds of thousands of different patients scattered all over the city, and each patient needs to be picked up at a different location and then delivered to a different place. In this case, figuring out when to pick up and when to drop off each patient creates a hyper complex Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) and Vehicle Route Problem (VRP) with billions of possible routing scenarios.
With Route4Me’s dynamic routing software, you can plan and optimize routes with hundreds of thousands of pick-up and drop-off address pairs, where the pick-up address from each address pair will always be visited first, and its corresponding drop-off address will always be visited second. Thus, Route4Me’s pick-up and drop-off optimization can be used for non-emergency medical transport dispatch, replenishment routing, food delivery, and much more.
To plan routes with pick-up and drop-off address pairs, first, go to “Plan New Route” from the navigation menu and then select the “Upload a File” option.
Next, go to the “Optimization” tab and then select the “Multiple Drivers Route” optimization type so that Route4Me can plan multiple routes from the imported addresses if required. To learn more about using such advanced constraints as Pieces, Volume, Revenue, Weight, etc., visit this page.
After that, specify the rest of the route’s parameters to your preference and then click on the “Create Route and Proceed to Add Addresses” button.
Next, upload the spreadsheet with pick-up and drop-off address pairs into the system. For the spreadsheet to be successfully processed, it must contain a header row and data rows. The header row defines the type of information you are importing, while the corresponding data rows contain the actual data that is being imported into the system. In addition to the obligatory “Address” column, you can also include other data columns with Route4Me’s reserved attributes (i.e., Revenue, Weight, etc.) and custom data. To learn more about Route4Me’s spreadsheet requirements, visit this page.
To enable the pick-up and drop-off route optimization, the spreadsheet you are importing must contain the “Pickup” and “Dropoff” columns. To create an address pair where one address will be visited for picking up people or packages and the second address will be visited for dropping off the picked up people or packages, this address pair must have the same unique custom-defined ID in both columns (Pickup and Dropoff).
For example, if you want the “831 3rd Ave” address to be visited for a pick-up and the “915 3rd Ave” address to be visited for a drop-off, first, you need to define the same custom ID for both addresses in the “Pickup” and “Dropoff” columns. Thus, Route4Me will recognize that both addresses with the same ID are a pick-up and drop-off address pair and since the ID of the “831 3rd Ave” address is placed in the “Pickup” column and the same ID of the “915 3rd Ave” address is placed in the “Dropoff” column, the “831 3rd Ave” address will be visited first for a pick-up and the “915 3rd Ave” address will be visited second for a drop-off. NOTE: The order of addresses in the spreadsheet does not affect the optimization. To make your pickup and drop-off addresses easier to track and manage, use custom aliases. For example, you can define the “Pickup” and “Dropoff” aliases for each address pair in the spreadsheet and suffix both aliases of each address pair with its unique ID.
After uploading the spreadsheet, Route4Me will process the imported data and display it in the corresponding window. After that, make sure that all columns contain the correct data. Make sure to meet the following spreadsheet requirements:
- An address pair must not have the same address marked as a pick-up and a drop-off at the same time;
- Each pick-up or drop-off address pair/address field should have the correct pair count;
- The route’s depot (start address) must not be marked as a pick-up or a drop-off;
- A pick-up address must not be the last stop on the route;
- In each pick-up and drop-off address pair, the pick-up address should always be placed before its corresponding drop-off address;
- In each pick-up and drop-off address pair, the drop-off address should always be placed after its corresponding pick-up address;
- Make sure that all other parameters of the Multiple Drivers Route optimization are set up correctly.
Click on the “Continue to Review” button to proceed.
In the “Verify Addresses on Map” window, you can view all imported and processed addresses on the map, as well as check their geocoding statuses. All depots or vendors are displayed on the map as depot icons and the main distribution center is displayed as a route stop. After checking the addresses, click on the “Finish Import” button.
Once the route is planned, in the route’s stops list, you can see that the imported addresses are sequenced in such a way that in each pick-up and drop-off address pair (marked with the predefined custom aliases), the pick-up address will always be visited first and its corresponding drop-off address will always be visited second. NOTE: Multiple pick-up or drop-off addresses can come in a row, but the drop-off address in each address pair will never be visited before its corresponding pick-up address.
If the route with pick-up and drop-off addresses is optimized as a regular route (without the pick-up and drop-off optimization), then this route might have drop-off addresses placed before their corresponding pick-up addresses in the route’s stops sequence. NOTE: If you want to insert new or delete the existing route stops from an optimized pick-up and drop-off route, you need to make the preferred modifications in the corresponding spreadsheet and then re-upload it to optimize a new route.
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