In a country like Australia, some trucks have to travel a long way between stops. But others have to navigate the complexities of last mile delivery and shorter routes.
Planning optimised routes, changing routes once they’ve started, keeping your customers up to date... we could go on (and on), there’s a lot that goes into it, isn’t there?
Happily, there’s a modern solution: truck routing software. So let’s look more closely at four powerful ways this kind of software can improve your trucking business (think faster, smoother, more efficient and more profitable).
And in particular, how it can revolutionise your last mile delivery service.
4 big benefits of using truck routing software
If you’re in the business of last mile delivery, then your fleet delivers a large number of goods to many different consumers every day. That’s a key difference between long-haul trucks, which have fewer stops but they’re spread over long distances (like the Newcastle to Brisbane run).
To really deliver efficiently over so many stops, you need to be using truck routing software. It will enable you to:
create speedy and efficient routes
track your drivers
send status updates to consumers
collect instant proof of delivery on location.
So how does this all happen? Let’s take a closer look.
1. Route optimisation and truck routing
Route optimisation is about creating the most efficient route possible for your drivers (which you’ll know isn’t always the shortest route).
More efficient routes help you deliver more packages, and enable you to stick to prescribed time windows and reduce costs. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But route optimisation itself can be complex and time consuming.
To truly optimise a delivery route you need to factor in many things:
a driver’s workflow
the freight they have onboard
the order of their stops
the travel time between stops
the time taken to complete a pickup or delivery.
A full-featured truck routing software can take all of this into account and generate the best possible route for your drivers within moments.
Route optimisation becomes an automated process and can save you hours every day. You’ll also reduce your costs and enjoy having more dollars back in your pocket.
Using TransVirtual to optimise your routes
So, what happens when you use TransVirtual to optimise your routes?
First, you’ll scan your deliveries into the app, and then, in order to create a complete journey for your driver’s work day, the software will analyse highly-detailed mapping data and time windows.
Setting up your own system is a highly consultative process, and takes your entire fleet into account. You also have access to GPS tracking, so you can look at historical data too (and learn exactly where and how you can improve).
The end result? You’re automatically shown the most ideal route, to help you shave time off every trip you make.
2. Route monitoring with truck routing software
If there’s one certainty in the trucking industry, it’s that something won’t go to plan in your day. Routes can change when a customer cancels a job, or adds one in last-minute, or when something goes wrong on the road for your driver.
When this happens, route monitoring can be a lifesaver. Route monitoring is more sophisticated than basic GPS tracking, it tells you where your fleet is in the context of their runs.
So your dispatch team can see precise locations along with other important information, like: the driver’s last stop, where they’re going next and new ETAs.
It’s also incredibly useful to help your team who are fielding customer enquiries about the status of their package. Instead of getting contact details, making further calls and then returning the customer’s call, your team can see in real time exactly when and where that package is.
3. Automated customer notifications
With truck routing software you can send delivery status updates directly to your customers. Better still, they can be automated and triggered once their package reaches a certain part of the chain.
You will be able to set up your notifications to suit your needs, you choose what messages go to your customers and how (SMS or email), which means you have more control of your customer’s experience and how satisfied they are with your service.
The best thing here though is that once you set your preferences up, the notifications will go out automatically, saving your team a lot of time and reducing human error too.
All of this means that you or your team can focus on other important jobs. And, you can take on new deliveries without worrying about whether you can manage the load.
This leads us to proof of delivery, because even if you’re not getting calls about ETAs, there’ll always be those calls asking about missing deliveries.
4. Instant proof of delivery via your truck routing software
In the trucking business, the last part of your delivery process is about safely dropping the right goods to the right doorway.
Sometimes an order can go missing for several reasons. It could have been stolen, or just hard to see, or even mistakenly been left at the wrong location. That’s why proof of delivery (POD) is so important: to verify exactly when and where your drivers left the package. Truck routing software usually lets you collect proof of delivery in two ways.
Photographic POD: When there’s no one to sign for the package, (or no signature is needed), the driver can simply take a photo of the package at the door and load it into their app (which also saves the GPS coordinates). In this way, truck routing software gives you and your customer peace of mind.
Electronic Signature: Sometimes a signature is required. Modern truck routing software has a feature called ‘sign on glass’. It turns your driver’s phone into a signature portal, which they then upload instantly into the app with GPS coordinates where all of your team can see it. POD helps your customers, too. They’ll get an email notification letting them know their delivery has arrived, along with a photo that shows them exactly where the driver left their package.
Over to you
So that’s our wrap up, has it helped you get a clearer understanding of truck routing software and exactly what it can do for your business? We hope so. We’ve created this series of guides to help inform the industry we care so deeply about at TransVirtual. Automation is here to stay, it’s not just the future: it’s happening right now. And if you’re not making these efficiencies, we can guarantee that someone else is. If you’d like to have a chat with us about how you can stay ahead of the curve—and your competition—just give us a call (1800 975 305) or get in touch online. We can talk you through how it might work for your business. We’d love to help.
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