Article   27. 11. 2023 Route planning software. How do I choose the right one?

Planning routes and deliveries is one of the most important elements before starting the logistics process. To choose the right route planning programme, we should analyse several elements.
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Route planning software – where to start?

At the beginning of the verification, it is worth checking whether the programme in question has a good reputation and is popular with users. This can be done by looking for reviews on the internet or by asking companies about their experiences. Some system vendors provide examples of implementations where we can find common problems and how to solve them. However, the best practice is to contact a company that is already using a particular solution and ask questions about how the cooperation works.

Given the scale of expansion of route planning programmes verify that the programme has features that are relevant to you. Ask yourself: Does it allow you to plan routes taking into account different modes of transport? Does it take into account journey times, delays and traffic jams? Does it allow routes to be calculated based on our assumptions, such as costs, speed and punctuality of delivery/collection, selection of the right route, truck restrictions or other parameters that are important to us? Two questions are important, if not the most important – Is the planning algorithm used by the company proprietary, and does it have the knowledge and competence to modify it for our needs?

Appearance of the route planning software

When choosing a system, the user interface and functionality of the programme should not be forgotten.

  1. Is it easy to use?
  2. Does it offer intuitive route planning tools?
  3. How is its design structured?

Before implementation, it is worth selecting two or three systems and comparing them by meeting with representatives or testing them. This will be demanding and time-consuming, but the energy expended will more than pay off. The system will be used long-term and by many people at different levels.

Basic functionalities of the management system

A route planning programme should have a few basic features in order to provide the user with the best possible transport planning and organisation experience. Here are some of them:

  1. Routing: The programme should allow routes to be determined from point A to point B, taking into account different modes of transport.
  2. Travel times: The programme should take into account journey times, delays and traffic jams to provide planners with realistic journey times.
  3. Planning options: The programme should offer various planning options, such as the choice of preferred mode of transport, type of road, order of delivery/collection etc.
  4. Maps and navigation: The programme should offer maps and navigation tools to help the user find the best route and avoid obstructions on the road.
  5. Notifications: The programme should allow the user to receive notifications of route changes, such as delays or schedule changes.
  6. Integration with other applications: The programme should be able to integrate with other applications such as telematics, driver application etc., or other systems such as ERP, WMS, TMS to provide the user with a comprehensive transport organisation experience.

Among the more specific functions we can include:

  1. Review of the fulfilment and customer service process.
  2. Profitability analysis at delivery, order, customer, route or vehicle level, etc.
  3. Shortening the process of planning and managing deliveries/pick-ups.
  4. Possibility to adapt the programme to specific logistics.
  5. Plan generation and dispatch of documents and notifications.
  6. Complete task list and navigation on your mobile phone.
  7. Personalised route export to the driver.
  8. Setting the order of tasks along the route.
  9. KPI reports on driving time, kilometres travelled, work and punctuality etc.


Route planning software – Price

The price of a route planning programme can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the number of features offered, the popularity of the programme or the competition in the market. There are both free and paid route planning programmes.

Free programmes most often offer basic functions such as routing from point A to point B, but may lack advanced features such as route planning taking into account different modes of transport or traffic delays.

Paid programmes usually offer more features and are more comprehensive. Their prices can vary, from a few euros to several tens of euros or more, depending on the number of features offered and the quality of the programme. Immediate cost analysis at the level of deliveries or customer orders may be indispensable. Such solutions are already possible in route optimisation software.

Route planning systems should solve the problems not only of business owners, but especially of managers, dispatchers and drivers. It is worthwhile for drivers to have access to a list of tasks, navigation and reports on driving time, work and punctuality. Needless to say, the entire interface should be accessible from a mobile phone.


The choice of planning software is influenced not by the size of the fleet, but by the level of complexity of the planning process.

For some fleets, with a few to even a few dozen vehicles, but with a simpler planning process (a few unloading/loading points), a basic route planning programme may suffice.

For fleets of a few to a few hundred vehicles, but with a complex planning process (a few dozen to a few dozen loads and unloads per route, a few routes per day, etc.), it is worth considering an advanced route planning programme that offers features such as route optimisation, cross-modal route planning, traffic flow forecasting and even real-time fleet tracking. Choosing the right route planning software for a large fleet can help with efficiency and time savings, resulting in better business performance.


Order review and route building in planning systems.

The order list is a very important element of the programme. It is worth ensuring that we can set up the individual columns, names with the data needed for loading and unloading, in one place.

By the way, we should be able to generate the relevant transport documents and be able to upload them easily. When building a route, it is useful to take into account detailed loading parameters such as load weight, dimensions, volume, number. Good route planning systems will tell you what loading space we have available.