Route planning ensures that what is done every day is done as efficiently as possible.

Start by identifying common activities, destinations, routes, and loads. This will help you understand where you need to get when and help you focus less on the driving and more on the task that results in the driving.

Depending on complexity and the way you choose to understand your routing, you may want to spend several weeks or months analyzing information. Some methods and components of route planning include:

  • Mapping and planning regular routes.
  • Using computerized route planning (including GPS and on-board computer technology).
  • Establishing strategic delivery schedules.
  • Ensuring consistent communication between drivers and dispatch.
  • Considering equipment storage locations.
  • Allowing drivers to take home vehicles at night.

Ensuring your vehicles run at optimum efficiency is another key component of route planning. Some ways to ensure full carrying capacity and helping you avoid empty or small loads include:

  • Coordinating loads to full permitted weight.
  • Using non-time sensitive fill-freight to maximize loads.
  • Maximizing back haul trips.
  • Establishing strategic delivery schedules.
  • Having drivers finish deliveries near next pickup assignment.

Finally, provide your drivers with logistics support. Help them understand where to start and stop to better coordinate their efforts and sequence deliveries to avoid redundancy.

As you begin to save money from reduced fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs, and numerous other benefits related to fuel efficient fleet management, you can take the opportunity to invest in new hardware and software designed to help you optimize the routes your drivers take.