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Efficient Route Optimisation Using AI & Advanced Algorithms

Route optimisation is the process of selecting the ideal path for a delivery vehicle to travel.

However, if there are more than 4 stops on each delivery route and a large fleet of vehicles, manually optimising delivery routes may become unmanageably difficult, time-consuming, and ineffective.

The issue can be quickly and effectively solved with route optimisation software, which makes it simple to take into account the following elements while computing optimised routes:

  • Location of and distance between deliveries
  • Speed and directional flow of traffic at various times of the day
  • Cost of transportation
  • Drivers’ hours and rest requirements
  • Clean Air Zones or toll roads
  • Hazardous materials carried and route restrictions

The ultimate goal is efficiency, although it's possible that it's not always determined by the shortest path between two points. The time of day, traffic patterns, predicted travelling speeds, the direction of turns, and even any necessary driver rest pauses will all be taken into account by a solid delivery route optimisation tool.

Optimise your routes today

The benefits of route optimisation

Optimised Deliveries

  • More reliable delivery times and ETA’s
  • Reduced driver hours
  • Reduced vehicle mileage and lower CO2 emissions 
  • Increased productivity and delivery density

Improved Resource Management

  • Improved utilisation of resources
  • Improved customer service and satisfaction
  • Reduced driver stress and fewer accidents
  • Reduced costs

Proven Software Results

How does route optimisation work?

The Descartes Route Optimisation Tool calculates and compares several delivery routes using smart mathematical algorithms, AI learning, and the most recent map data from several major mapping providers.

The Descartes route optimisation engine has the processing power and capacity to handle millions of calculations per minute, enabling continuous route optimisation of deliveries and outcomes in a matter of minutes.

Even as delivery orders are received, and sometimes even up until a vehicle departs the depot, routes are continually computed and compared.

(Infographic: - Advantages of continuous route optimisation)


These routes compare numerous possibilities and take into consideration;

  • Time of day
  • Traffic flow
  • Season of the year
  • Length of time required for each stop
  • Allocation of deliveries based upon the type of vehicle or person's skill
  • Type of vehicle and any restrictions such as emission zones or low bridges 

The routing engine can also choose a route based on a vehicle's height, length, weight, and width in order to avoid low or weak bridges and width constraints, resulting in different paths for a van compared to a large lorry. 

In order to ensure that the vehicle's satellite navigation system has the proper dimensions for the vehicle and routes that avoid restricted sites, this information is then transmitted through to the execution of the route.

Route optimisation for planning

Companies can improve their planning and readiness for the future by running "what if" scenarios and analysing or considering a variety of potential changes, such as the impact of changing the fleet size or type of vehicles, the location or number of depots, and the change or increase in order volumes.

Laptop route optimisation screen blue background

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Route Optimisation Features

Accurate ETA's and delivery times

Improved customer satisfaction as orders are delivered on time and a reduced office workload as the number of phone calls enquiring after deliveries diminishes.

Continuous background optimisation

Achieve more efficient route plans than traditional batch-based optimisation techniques and provide costed delivery options at the point of sale in seconds.

High quality traffic data

Very accurate route times are possible using road speeds that are based  upon the day, the time of day, the route taken and even the direction of travel, giving you confidence in the route schedule and your customers delivery times.

Cloud based software

Our Software is available over the internet wherever you have a connection, providing access to our solution when you are working from any location in the world.

Automated route scheduling

High density delivery routes are created, utilising your resources to the full and saving costs, these can be based on most efficient routes not just fastest routes.

Customer Successes

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Delivery Route Scheduling

The concept of delivery route scheduling is to determine which delivery vehicle an order should be transported on and the best order in which a delivery vehicle should make its deliveries.

Delivery Tracking

Enable customers to track the ETA of their own deliveries and avoid the "where's my delivery?" telephone calls.

Digital Proof of Delivery

Eliminate paper, streamline operations and reduce confirmation of delivery notifications with POD capture and parcel scanning for accuracy on deliveries.

Home Delivery

Also known as last or final mile delivery it is often the most difficult mile of the delivery chain, but can provide the largest opportunity for improvement. Discover how to reduce costs yet still increase delivery capacity while also improving customer satisfaction.

Last Mile Delivery

Improving customer satisfaction with your deliveries, from delivery slot selection to customer tracking apps and digital proof of delivery.

Telematics Integration

Receive live telematics data directly into your routing software. This can include Tachograph data.