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How route planning software can reduce fuel costs for your fleet

By Verizon Connect November 29, 2023

Attentive and efficient route planning is a crucial component of any fleet. On-time and profitable operations are often the ultimate goal, leading to improved customer satisfaction and overall success.

Conversely, inefficient route planning can result in both financial and environmental repercussions. Specifically, it results in the use of more fuel, which can affect the bottom line of companies and their reputation as customers prioritize environmentally-friendly actions. Often, employees are cognizant of this and may feel stressed as they try to avoid longer delivery times.

Companies can avoid fuel-related concerns by researching, investing and implementing the best route planning software. With the right solution, their customers will be more satisfied.

What is route planning software?

To put it simply, fleet route planning software is a program that automates the calculations required to plan an efficient route. For many companies all over the world, it’s the secret behind fuel cost reduction and profitability. Instead of wasting time planning fuel-saving routes, employees can focus on other time-consuming tasks. The software will do the work for them by calculating the optimal order in which stops should be made to reduce time and fuel consumption.

Depending on the provider and the needs of the company, delivery route planning software can offer several useful features, including:

  • The ability to add or edit stops to routes throughout the day.
  • Real-time tracking for driver monitoring.
  • Create routes based on customer location, driver availability and skill sets, vehicle capacity, recurring jobs and more.
  • Easily incorporate delivery frequency and time windows into your plans.
  • Simplify compliance with customer special requirements and service-level agreements.

No matter what you use route planning software for, there are plenty of uses that can help offset the fuel costs of your fleet. 

Key ways route management software impacts fleet fuel management

By eliminating the guesswork and potential for human error from route calculations, businesses can rest assured that they’re doing their best to run more efficiently. Efficiency means more than just saving company time. It also includes fuel efficiency.  

Below are some of the ways route management software can positively impact your fleet’s fuel consumption.

Dynamic route optimization

Route planning software helps organizations plan an efficient route by analyzing multiple variables to find the best possible route for the current conditions and parameters. Some of the best route planning software providers have designed their systems to use powerful cloud-based computing to evaluate millions of route options and variables in an instant. They typically look at things such as:

  • Intersections, including those with red lights or stop signs.
  • Historical traffic pattern data, including peak travel times.
  • Fuel consumption rates.
  • Customer-requested delivery or arrival times.
  • Specialized equipment needs or driver skills sets (e.g., drivers who are bilingual).

When combined, these elements can help reduce fleet vehicle idle time and unnecessary stops. These variables often affect the amount of fuel used and any associated costs.

Predictive traffic analysis

Using historical data for a set area, delivery route planning software can forecast the day’s expected traffic patterns. This includes things like times of the day that receive the most traffic congestion due to commuter or school zone hazards.

This is crucial to optimizing the number of times the vehicles in your fleet are stopping and idling as well as the time spent driving between two points. For instance, taking a specific road may reduce some of the distance driven, but if that road is a high-traffic area, your drivers may spend an unnecessary amount of time traveling between locations. This not only increases estimated service times but may also put your drivers at a higher risk of being involved in a crash.

By eliminating high-traffic areas where possible, companies may have smoother drives as well as increased customer satisfaction due to quick, on-time arrivals.

Real-time route adjustments

Unexpected delays and last-minute requests are all too common. Fortunately, fleet route planning software can tackle these issues in stride, adjusting routes at a moment’s notice. Unforeseen road conditions and appointment or delivery cancellations or confirmations can be updated quickly, allowing drivers to stay on schedule and follow the optimal route.

In addition, this feature can keep all relevant parties aware of drivers’ behavior throughout the day. It can even highlight deviations from the provided route so that you can see which routes are unadvisable and why. All of this information can be crucial to businesses reaching their fuel usage goals by helping every vehicle in the fleet follow its optimized route.

Additional benefits of route planning software

Efficient route planning can do more than just reduce fuel costs. It can also have a positive impact on other operational costs, further strengthening your bottom line. Optimized route planning can help your team make more of their time, both on the road and in the office.

By removing unnecessary mileage from your daily operations, your fleet vehicles can see an increased lifespan due to the reduction of day-to-day wear and tear on the engine and drivetrain. These positive impacts can also be felt when it comes to maintaining your fleet, lengthening the time between required oil changes, tire replacements and miscellaneous tune-ups.

The potential for more straightforward and less stressful routes can help not only your customers feel more satisfied, but also your employees as well. Employees won’t feel as if they have to worry about fuel savings on top of their workload or about risking their safety by figuring out their routes. Instead, employees can focus on DOT safety and compliance regulations while you work to remove unnecessary risks from standard operations.

Ultimately, the benefits of route planning software go beyond that of direct fuel savings. They can change your budget indirectly as well, which will help leave your company’s savings and the planet in a better place.

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: Cost control, Data & Analytics, Productivity & Efficiency, Routing, Team Management

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