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With customer expectations at an all-time high, driver shortages, and tight deadlines to be met, logistics companies must prioritize route optimization to reduce risk.
What is Route Optimization?
Simply put, route optimization is the process of determining the fastest and most cost-efficient route between a shipment’s origin and destination. To ensure your success, we’ve got a few tips to help focus your efforts.
Six Top Tips to Enable Route Optimization
1. Synchronize processes and stakeholders
Every link in the chain must be aligned to enable route optimization. This requires an understanding of stakeholder needs and challenges so you can meet them adequately. Accurate documentation, packaging, labeling, and timing must be prioritized to minimize delays and ensure timelines are met.
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2. Consider and document every change you anticipate
Variables outside the normal scope of business can quickly derail your strategy. Taking a proactive approach to these problems will mitigate delays and risks from weather, seasonal surge, or other “what if” variables that might impact the shipment by factoring them into your calculations.
3. Deploy mechanisms to optimize your routes
The right software is critical to route optimization as it enables you to manage multi-carrier and multi-modal shipments with less effort. In choosing a 3PL to work with, be sure to prioritize reputable providers that support their processes with the latest logistics and WMS tools.
4. Start with a pilot project
When getting started with route optimization, start with a few smaller, low-risk routes to test out your strategy. Once you are confident that the process is sound, you can expand into other areas.
5. Get the best drivers possible
The people you choose to work with are a significant part of your success. You need to work with drivers who understand what you are trying to do and can execute the requirements reliably. Start by choosing a single driver in your fleet who can “own” the process. Once they are confident about the approach, they can become ambassadors to the rest of the fleet, overseeing other drives and ensuring success.
6. Understand every possible scenario
Today’s logistics landscape is highly volatile. Even if things are going smoothly, you always need to be alert to what could happen, such as losing one or more drivers, a sudden surge in volume, or the ramifications of taking on different types of clients. Consider your response to each hypothetical situation so you’ll know how to respond if it happens.
In conclusion, we hope these considerations will help you have better relationships with your clients, identify bottlenecks, and lower risk. Logistics is complex, and getting it right takes a multi-layered approach. Just know that you don’t have to do it all by yourself!
DTS World Cargo is an experienced logistics and transportation partner passionate about customer satisfaction. Working with us provides you access to an already optimized route strategy so you can be confident that your cargo will arrive safe and fast to its final destination.