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Could you reduce your multi-drop route planning costs by delivering your heaviest loads first?

Transport planners looking to save money are usually focused on reducing the miles their drivers travel on each journey. This is totally understandable. Fewer miles results in less fuel which results in lower transport costs. And lower carbon emissions.

But creating shorter routes is only one of the ways that automated multi-drop route planning can save transport costs.

You’ll know that there are many different factors that affect fuel consumption including:

  • Excessive idling
  • Over-revving
  • Harsh braking
  • Incorrectly inflated tyres
  • Wet weather

Weather aside, reducing how frequently most of these points occur can be managed as part of the driver debrief process. Using Canbus data gathered during the journey a transport manager can provide feedback to the individual driver, asking him/her to modify behaviour.

But there are other factors that can be considered at the transport planning stage which can influence fuel consumption. These include:

  • Average speed of the vehicle
  • Distance travelled
  • Weight of the product being moved
  • The distance the product is being carried (tonne miles)

Fuel consumption will vary depending on engine efficiency but on average it will take 1.54 gallons of diesel to carry 1 tonne 100 miles in an average HGV weighing 38 tonnes. Reducing the number of miles your vehicles travel with the heaviest items in a load can result in significant fuel savings.

Carbon Minimiser

Knowing that heavily loaded vehicles use more fuel per mile and generate more CO2 per mile than empty vehicles, our development team created functionality to help transport planners responsible for multi-drop route planning ensure heavier loads are delivered first. In addition to weight, the software takes account of slower urban journeys which use more fuel/CO2 per mile than faster motorway journeys to generate carbon-friendly schedules. This functionality is available as standard with all of Paragon’s routing and scheduling software modules.

How does it work?

Let’s imagine you are building a multi-drop delivery schedule. You would use Paragon’s software to plan your route as usual but then you would use the Carbon Minimiser functionality as a final optimisation step to adjust the plan to reduce the total CO2 and fuel figures. In a typical multi-drop delivery operation of 100 vehicles, this simple extra step adds just a few minutes to the route planning process.

Paragon’s Carbon Minimiser functionality estimates the total CO2 and fuel content of all the routes and schedules in a transport plan, taking account of distances, speeds, weight and vehicle fuel efficiency and then changes call sequences and swaps calls between routes identifying which loads it is most economical to drop off first.

With a reasonable estimate of the weight of the product being transported, planners using Paragon to manage multi-drop route planning are able to reduce their fuel costs and their CO2 per drop or per tonne. While transport operations using their Paragon software for strategically planning can analyse the impact that different distribution scenarios could have on the expected carbon footprint, as well as fuel costs. Useful for 3PLs bidding for new contracts where they need to demonstrate cost and carbon emission reductions.

What sort of savings could you achieve?

The ability to predict fuel usage using Paragon’s routing and scheduling software, allows logistics operations to re-optimise transport plans to achieve the most efficient and low carbon routes. This advanced functionality has been proven to reduce fuel consumption by an average of 2.3 per cent. Doesn’t sound very impressive? For a fleet of 25 vehicles, this could equate to a saving of as much as £50,000. Not bad for a few minutes extra planning time.

The next step – comparing planned savings with actual

This money-saving functionality has been part of Paragon’s routing and scheduling software for a while but recently we’ve taken this one step further.

Transport operations that use Paragon together with an approved, Canbus-integrated vehicle tracking system can now analyse their actual fuel usage against predicted consumption figures, calculated during the planning process. Routes that have used a lot more fuel than predicted can then be analysed to identify the cause, enabling continuous improvement of the multi-drop route planning process.

Interested in saving tens of thousands of pounds?

If you would like to find out how you could reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions for your multi-drop route planning with Paragon’s routing and scheduling software, why not get in touch.

Our implementation and support team has helped hundreds of transport operations across the globe reduce fuel costs, maximise vehicle utilisation and improve customer service levels. We’d be happy to discuss your transport operation in more detail to see if we can help you too.


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