software will calculate and then minimize are “total driving time between the tasks and the number of vehicles / employees to be used. Sometimes it is also relevant to include a cost for waiting time if a resource arrives at a task location before the beginning of the allow time window. For school bus routes, medical trips and other demand responsive transport services there will be even more cost elements; primarily to ensure passenger convenience by creating routes that keep individual travel time for all passengers as low as possible.
Besides keeping costs low it is also essential that the route planning software ensures that all routes will respect all restrictions and constraints that the company attaches to each tasks.
In practice, both the tasks that needs to be solved and the vehicles and employees available to perform the tasks must be described as input to route planning software.
The information needed on tasks includes the addresses where tasks must be performed, the time it takes to complete a task, one or more time windows where the task can be performed, requirements for special qualifications to perform the task, weight and volume of deliveries, preferred driver (resource group) etc. Resources; the vehicles and employees, are described with information about working hours, breaks, locations to start and end the working day, qualifications and memberships of resource groups, etc.
How the route planning software works:
The total drive time for the entire fleet of vehicles should be minimized. Therefore, drive times for all combinations of routes must be calculated. If you have only 100 places to visit, routes from 100 to 100 addresses will be calculated which results in 10,000 route calculations. If you have 1,000 places to visit, the number of route calculations dramatically rises to 1,000,000 route calculations – which fortunately is handled quite fast with Logistics Planner. With the next step the Logistics Planner sets up an initial plan that complies with all requirements and