By 2025, AI-based industries will be worth more than $60 billion, and rightfully so. Not only is it used by online retailers, social media, search engines, and more, it’s also proven to be a vital tool for freight and distribution businesses.
When managing several fleets, it’s crucial to have the best routing software to ensure deliveries are made on time and in the quickest way possible. AI is changing the way routing systems are powered.
AI-Powered Routing Software Improves Fleet Efficiency
Best-in-class load and route planning tools use artificial intelligence to quickly and efficiently plan entire days worth of shipments, typically solving for the lowest cost or fewest-mile solutions resulting in improved performance across the fleet. Such programs evaluate millions – if not billions or trillions – of different combinations of loads and routes, taking into account variables such as loading constraints, traffic patterns, customer receiving hours, truck weight capacities, route times and driver hours of service limitations, to arrive at the best possible combination of loads and routes for a given days’ worth of shipping.
Numerous benefits come from using AI-powered routing software, but it’s up to you to select the right one.
Industry-leading AI-based routing software will address strategies such as:
- Lowest-cost optimization, not just least-miles optimization
- The simultaneous planning of loads and routes, not just routing loads on a per-truck basis
- Real-time data sync to your ERP, no uploading data
- Automated solutions that streamline dispatching, saving a huge amount of time and money
- Optimized route and load planning taking into account factors such as:
- Traffic Patterns
- Loading Limitations
- Commercial-vehicle or Hazmat (as appropriate) Roadways
- DOT Route Time Limitations
- Customer Receiving Hours
- And more
Yes, there are lower-cost routing solutions that do not address all of the above strategies – for instance, solutions that only route the stops already assigned to a truck, providing little overall value in terms of operational cost savings or dispatcher time – and these solutions are largely window dressing. It is important to select the right load and route planning provider that can address the complexity of your industry to extract the maximum benefit from investing in an artificial intelligence powered routing tool.
But if your team is able to invest in a full-featured AI-powered routing platform, your business will benefit in numerous ways: faster and easier load planning, lowest-cost optimized route plans, reduced operational costs, and better customer service through systematizing the dispatcher’s “art” of load planning, all of which will combine to improve nearly every aspect of your fleet’s operations.
Additionally, using AI-based routing tools will help your team better track key performance indicators to help inform future strategic decisions that directly impact your fleet’s success. It will also free up time allowing your team to focus on building stronger relationships with customers, freight providers, drivers, and 3PL companies.
Let’s dive more into how truck fleets can specifically benefit from AI routing software (the best routing software available).
Reduce Loss of Time
Freight carriers can attest that a significant amount of time is lost to traffic delays. In 2018, traffic congestion caused freight businesses a total of $87 billion in losses.
With the growth of the eCommerce industry in recent years, traffic congestion has increased, causing more expenses as drivers are delayed en route to their destinations.
Best-in-class artificial intelligence-powered planning tools address traffic in multiple ways and can help plan loads that avoid traffic altogether. They do this by taking advantage of historic traffic patterns and routing against flows, evaluating the impact of traffic on potential routes, and taking into account the various ways traffic patterns change throughout the day.
Additionally, real-time delays can be addressed through the platforms’ onboard turn-by-turn routes that adapt to changing circumstances as they arise throughout the course of the day. These strategies combine to dramatically improve fleet efficiency and minimize delays, positively impacting financials and customer satisfaction at the same time.
Create Better Delivery Times
As discussed above, reducing lost time for drivers is vital.
Customers aren’t sympathetic to the issues your drivers face when transporting their goods. On the contrary, from their perspective, all that matters is that they paid for expedited shipping and their delivery hasn’t arrived yet!
In the world of artificial intelligence-based load and route planning, one late delivery is too many! Inevitably, manually created inefficient routes will lead to late deliveries because dispatchers can’t know the exact travel time between stops or how traffic will affect that travel time at different times of the day. If your fleet continues to suffer from a recurring number of late deliveries, you run the risk of destroying relationships with customers and clients, all of which can be addressed through load and route planning tools.
By having best-in-class route optimization software in place to help map out your daily shipping plan, you are providing your drivers with the necessary information to avoid any roadblocks or detours along the way. And the result? More on-time deliveries and more satisfied customers.
Reduce Overhead Costs
It’s no secret – fuel costs fluctuate all the time and are extremely expensive and the cost to operate a fleet depends, primarily, on per-mile operating costs, hourly driver pay, and the overall number of trucks on the road. When drivers don’t have a designated, optimized route to follow, delays and cost overruns take place. Even a little extra traffic or idle time can dramatically increase overall operating costs, so it’s critical to take advantage of every opportunity to drive costs out of the system.
AI routing software helps manage operating costs by solving for the most efficient route plan possible; your routes are the foundation of your fleet’s operating costs because they determine the number of miles driven, hours worked, and trucks on the road.
When drivers and dispatchers are able to easily identify the most efficient routes, they can stay ahead of schedule and quickly complete outstanding deliveries without wasted mileage or delays, dramatically impacting operating costs.
Using AI-based routing tools, routes are streamlined and tracked, resulting in fewer delays and less wasted fuel. Because AI-powered routing software provides the quickest routes, drivers can avoid extra miles. The result? Improved financials and customer satisfaction both.
Take The Best Routing Software For a Test Drive
The bottom line? AI-powered routing software is the best way to manage your trucks and drivers. It’s a powerful tool that is readily available and can take your business to the next level. Choosing the best routing software for your fleet will help improve operational efficiency, strengthen stakeholder relationships, and free up time and money to help grow the company.
Are you searching for routing software that will maximize profits through automated and optimized load and route planning? Contact Headlight Solutions and let us help you take it to the next level through artificial intelligence.
Request a demo today.