National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Instead of the “Road Less Taken” Dynamic Routing Can Lead to the “Road Best Taken”

As a fleet owner, you try your best to please your customers, but is there a better way to satisfy their needs while saving money on your part?

If you Google “dynamic routing,” the first entry that shows up refers to network routers but read this definition: “Dynamic routing is a networking technique that provides optimal data routing. Unlike static routing, dynamic routing enables routers to select paths according to real-time logical network layout changes.”

Now relate this to trucking delivery. With dynamic routing, fleets would be able to identify, through software, optimal routes for delivery and that could lead to significant savings in fuel, mileage, maintenance, and vehicle wear and tear. However, most customers have gotten used to static routing, dictating when and how they want their product shipped.

Saying “no” to a customer isn’t easy, but in an era where all participants in business dealings need to see profits, it may become necessary, or at the least helpful, to introduce dynamic routing as a concept, to your customers. But it can’t be looked at as an “us vs. them” situation. To be successful, dynamic routing needs to be a team effort, where shippers’ sales teams and dispatchers work together to meet customers’ expectations regarding delivery times while still reaping the benefits of optimizing routes. Dynamic routing gives fleets greater flexibility, allowing them to adjust to changing customer needs, which in turn enables fleets to ensure that trucks are neither underutilized nor overloaded.

Since routing software is an expense, fleets will need to get buy-in from owners and upper management and, of course, the fleet will need to have vehicles equipped with the appropriate telematics so that dispatchers can always know where their specific trucks (and their loads) are. The great advantage to having this technology means that route planners will have a better, real-time understanding of the obstacles faced by their drivers; thus, they will be able to take a more proactive approach when planning routes.

Since resistance to change is always present in business, dynamic routing should be phased in gradually, not just to soothe the concerns of customers, but also to give drivers, dispatchers, and other stakeholders time to perceive the benefits dynamic routing can mean for all involved. Obviously, at this point in time, dynamic routing is an application that doesn’t work for long-haul fleets, but is definitely beneficial for fleets that deliver within a 300-mile radius.

Are you currently experimenting with or utilizing dynamic routing in your operations? If so, please tell us about your experiences.

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