Pickup and Delivery Route Planning with Load Capacity Optimization

Pickup and Delivery Route Optimization is the process of mapping multiple addresses for loading and unloading orders with specific capacity requirements. Accordingly, you need to figure out the most optimal sequence to pick up and deliver orders, accounting for multiple vehicle capacity constraints and order requirements. Therefore, routes with as few as 10 pickups and deliveries have millions of possible routing scenarios.

Route4Me’s proprietary capacity optimization algorithm makes pickup and delivery routing extremely cost-efficient and easy to use. Specifically, all you need to do is import pickup and delivery addresses with order capacity requirements and add capacity constraints. Route4Me will automatically plan an optimal number of routes with the shortest distances and travel times to complete all pickups and deliveries.

Furthermore, Route4Me’s truck load capacity optimization is perfect for any last mile business that needs to make multiple pickups and deliveries. For example, if you need to plan full truck load routes, Route4Me can automatically maximize the load capacity of each vehicle so you can use as few vehicles and drivers as possible. Or, if you want to plan less than truckload routes, the system allows you to specify custom load capacity constraints.

Pickup and delivery capacity optimization for full truckload and less than truckload routing.

 

 

Pickup and Delivery Capacity Route Planning Overview

  1. First, import pickup and delivery addresses with order capacity requirements.
  2. Next, specify the preferred optimization settings and the maximum capacity (Cube, Weight, Pieces, and/or Revenue) per route. The maximum capacity per route is the maximum capacity the assigned vehicle(s) can hold.
  3. Then, Route4Me will automatically compute all possible routing scenarios and create an optimal number of the most cost-efficient driver routes.
  4. Finally, you can dispatch pickup and delivery routes to drivers for navigation and completion.
  5. Additionally, you can track pickups and deliveries in real-time, as well as truck drivers, and much more.

 

How to Plan Pickup and Delivery Routes

First, go to “Plan New Route” from the navigation menu and then select the preferred address import method:

  • Upload a File: upload route addresses and order details as a spreadsheet in CSV or XLS file format.
  • Import Data: upload route locations and order requirements as a spreadsheet from your preferred cloud storage platform (i.e., Google Drive, Box.net, Dropbox, QuickBooks, Xero, etc.).

Import customer addresses with required vehicle capacity to plan pickup and delivery routes.

 

Pickup and Delivery Route Optimization Settings

Next, use the following optimization settings to plan multiple routes with the imported addresses:

  1. Go to the “Optimization” tab.
  2. Select the “Multiple Drivers Optimization” option.
  3. Specify the preferred maximum capacity constraints for each route in the respective fields.

Pickup and delivery route optimization settings for multiple drivers and vehicles.

 

Pickup and Delivery Maximum Vehicle Capacity Constraints

Next, specify the following vehicle capacity constraint for each route vehicle:

  • Pieces per Route: The total maximum allowed number of items per each planned route.
  • Weight per Route: The total maximum allowed weight (in pounds or kilograms) per route.
  • Cubic Volume per Route: The total maximum allowed cubic volume (in cubic feet or meters) per route.
  • Revenue per Route: The total maximum revenue allowed to be generated or collected per route.

Equally important, you can use all four supported capacity constraints together or independently. To do so, enable the preferred load capacity constraints for your account using the Route4Me Marketplace links provided above or in the Feature Manager.

Maximum weight, volume, and items per vehicle capacity constraints for pickup and delivery routes.

 

Import Pickup and Delivery Addresses with Capacity Requirements

Next, import pickup and delivery addresses with the respective vehicle capacity requirements as a CSV or XLS spreadsheet. First, add the mandatory “Address” column and populate it with the locations and addresses that you want to route. Next, add the mandatory “Address Type” column and specify the stop type for each added address. NOTE: To specify stop types, use the following values in all capital letters “PICKUP” and “DELIVERY“.

Then, you can add the following optional columns to specify the vehicle capacity requirements of each address or order: Cube, Weight, Revenue, and Pieces.

Import pickup and delivery addresses with cube, weight, and pieces vehicle capacity requirements.

Learn more about Route4Me’s route planning spreadsheet requirements.

 

Next, make sure that the verified columns correctly match the respective column headers. Namely, the “Address Stop Type” column must contain the “DELIVERY” and “PICKUP” route stop types. Additionally, make sure that the following columns are verified and contain the correct values: Cube, Weight, Pieces, and Revenue.

After that, click on the “Continue to Review” button to geocode the imported pickup and delivery addresses.

Geocode and verify pickup and delivery addresses in route planner.

 

Pickup and Delivery Route Management

Route4Me automatically plans the most optimal number of routes, where each route has the most cost-efficient sequence of pickups and deliveries. Moreover, the system accounts for the capacity requirements of each order and the specified maximum capacity of each vehicle.

Furthermore, you can check the dynamic vehicle capacity as well as the pickup and delivery details of each individual route. To do so, right-click on the preferred route and then select “Open Route” from the menu.

Pickup and delivery route planner with route stop distribution and vehicle capacity optimization.

 

Next, in the Route Editor, you can check the Stop Type of each destination using the pickup and delivery icons. Additionally, you can customize and use the Route Summary Table to display the total Cube, Weight, Revenue, and Pieces values of all destinations on the route.

Pickup and delivery route with optimized stops sequence and optimal vehicle capacity.

 

Route Manifest with Dynamic Vehicle Capacity for Pickups and Deliveries

Additionally, Route4Me’s Dynamic Route Manifest enables you to check the required capacity parameters of each address or order and the actual vehicle capacity after each pickup and delivery.

Pickup and delivery route manifest with dynamic vehicle load capacity and order requirements.

 

Dispatch Pickup and Delivery Routes to Mobile Driver Apps

Furthermore, you can dispatch your delivery and pickup routes to drivers in real time using Route4Me’s Mobile Route Planning Apps. First, assign the drivers and field members to the routes you want to dispatch. Next, the dispatched routes will instantly become available on drivers’ mobile apps for route navigation, collecting electronic proof of delivery, and more.

Equally important, Route4Me’s Android Route Planner and iOS Route Planner apps show which stops are pickups and deliveries. Additionally, you can check the capacity requirements of each order. Specifically, tap on the route stop you want to check and then scroll to the “Order” section to see the Cube, Weight, Revenue, and Pieces details.

Optimize and dispatch pickup and delivery routes to drivers using mobile route planner apps.

 

Mixed Pickup and Delivery Demands

Additionally, Route4Me supports Mixed Pickup and Delivery Demands as an additional layer of customization for your capacity routes. Specifically, this feature enables you to plan capacity routes with independent or connected pickups and deliveries.

Mixed pickup and delivery route capacity optimization with the same or different goods.

 

How to Enable Mixed Pickup and Delivery Demands

First, open the Advanced Configuration Editor when logged into your Route4Me account.

Next, add the “USE_MIXED_PICKUP_DELIVERY_DEMANDS” advanced configuration and enable it using “True” or “False” values. After that, you can edit the mixed pickup and delivery configuration using the Advanced Configuration Editor.

Enable mixed pickup and delivery demands optimization in Route4Me's route planning software.

 

Disabled Mixed Pickup and Delivery (FALSE)

So, to disable Mixed Pickup and Delivery Demands, use the “FALSE” value (key) in the Advanced Configuration Editor. Correspondingly, the system will optimize capacity routes where the products loaded at pickups can be unloaded at deliveries. In other words, the picked up goods can be delivered to other locations.

For example, if you have 5 pickups and 5 deliveries on the route, you will start and end the route with 0 of the remaining or required capacity (if the route starts with a pickup). Additionally, the capacity of all 5 deliveries doesn’t have to be loaded on the vehicle before the route starts. Thus, this type of optimization can be used by any last mile business that requires collecting and delivering the same products.

Pickup and delivery problem solved with route optimization software.

 

Enabled Mixed Pickup and Delivery (TRUE)

Similarly, to enable Mixed Pickup and Delivery Demands, use the “TRUE” value (key) in the Advanced Configuration Editor. Accordingly, the system will optimize capacity routes considering all pickups and deliveries as independent stops that require separate capacity. In other words, the picked up goods need to remain on the vehicle until the last stop or the end of the route.

For example, if you have 5 pickups and 5 deliveries on the route, you will start and end the route with 5 of the remaining or required capacity. Additionally, all deliveries will be loaded on the vehicle before the route starts. Therefore, this type of optimization can be used by such businesses as last mile couriers, document processing, milk delivery, waste collection, etc.

 

Mixed pickup and delivery route optimization for picking up and delivering different goods.

 

Pickup and Delivery Route Optimization FAQ

Below, you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our users about Pickup and Delivery route optimization.

In essence, all you need to do is add the “Pickup” and “Delivery” columns to your route spreadsheet. After that, Route4Me will automatically detect pickup and delivery addresses and optimize your routes based on the specified route settings.

Additionally, pickup and delivery routing is completely free and is available by default on all Route4Me Web Accounts with enabled Multiple Driver Route optimization. Additionally, if you want to use capacity route planning with pickup and delivery optimization, you need to separately enable the Cube, Weight, Revenue, and/or Pieces constraint(s).

The assigned vehicle doesn’t affect the pickup and delivery capacity optimization. Specifically, the system optimizes routes based on the specified maximum capacity constraints (Cube, Weight, Pieces, and Revenue) specified in the optimization settings.

However, the assigned vehicle can affect other parameters and metrics of a route. For example, when using the Mixed Fleet optimization with vehicle capacity profiles, optimizing routes for commercial vehicles, etc.

Currently, Route4Me’s Pickup and Delivery route optimization software supports the following capacity optimization constraints: Cube or cubic volume (in square feet or square meters), Weight (in pounds or kilograms), Pieces or number of items, and Revenue (in US dollars).

Equally important, you can use all 4 of these constraints together or separately. Accordingly, to use the mentioned capacity optimization constraints, make sure they are enabled for your Route4Me account (see how above in this article).

Of course, all you need to do is add the “Address Type” column to your route spreadsheet and specify the stop type for each address. After that, the system will automatically detect the type of each stop and optimize your route(s) accordingly.

Thus, to plan routes with pickups only, add the “Address Type” column and then specify “PICKUP” next to every stop on the route. Similarly, to plan routes with deliveries only, add the “Address Type” column and then specify “DELIVERY” next to each route address.

In short, all you need to do is add the “USE_MIXED_PICKUP_DELIVERY_DEMANDS” advanced configuration to your account and use the “True” value to enable it or “False” to disable it.

In summary, Pickup and Delivery route planning is the process of loading certain goods at different locations and unloading the same or different goods at different route destinations. In this case, pickups and deliveries can be connected or independent. Accordingly, deliveries can come before pickups.

In contrast, Pickup and Dropoff routing is the process of picking up an item at one location and delivering this exact item to another location. Thus, Pickup and Dropoff routing implies that one item is associated with 2 different locations and the pickup location always must be visited before the dropoff location.

In short, the Pickup and Delivery Problem is the same as the Vehicle Routing Problem with additional constraints and optimization rules. Additionally, you need to account for the capacity of your vehicle and the capacity requirements of each order pickup and delivery.

Specifically, after each pickup and delivery, the capacity of your vehicle will change.  Accordingly, you need to make sure that you do pickups and deliveries in the optimal sequence not to overload or underload the vehicle.

Thus, optimizing full truckload or less than truckload routes with pickups and deliveries requires solving the Pickup and Delivery Problem.

So, Full Truckload route optimization is the process of planning a route for a truck using its entire loading capacity. In contrast, Less Than Truckload route optimization is the process of planning a route for a truck using only a part of its loading capacity.

Equally important, when you have pickup and delivery destinations, full truckload and less than truckload routing require an extra layer of optimization. Specifically, you need to account for the dynamic vehicle capacity after each pickup and delivery. Accordingly, vehicle load capacity optimization enables you to plan full truckload and part load routes accounting for the vehicle capacity and stop types.

 

 

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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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