Route Optimisation is the process of determining the most
cost-efficient route. It's more complex than simply finding the
shortest path between two points. It needs to include all relevant
factors such as the number and location of all the required stops on the
route. Other things that can influence the result are:
- Number of turns or junctions along the route
- Right hand turns (crossing the line of traffic)
- Best or nearest driver to dispatch on the route
- Traffic congestion for current time of day
- Best approach (access) to a stop on the route
The different route options can quickly add up. With just one vehicle
and 10 stops, the number of possibilities is 3,628,800. But if you have
a fleet of five vehicles that number jumps to a whopping
37,267,043,023,296,000. This is why route optimisation is mostly
performed by computer algorithms and advanced heuristics that can
quickly narrow down the options.
Route optimisation is often
illustrated using the popular Travelling Salesman Problem.
Route optimisation can quickly test multiple 'what-if' scenarios to
help fleets review the costs of different route options and resource
availability e.g. will having fewer vehicles or drivers improve the cost
efficiency of our routes.