If you have a fleet where every vehicle is pretty much the same with the same capacities, features and fuel economy, choosing the ones to use every day is a simple matter.
But if you have different types of vehicles available, the question is how to choose the best set of vehicles to minimize the number of vehicles used and simultaneously minimize the total miles driven.
Let’s look at the possibilities.
Some vehicles can deliver several types of products and other cannot. Consider a landscaping supplies provider. A load of loose stone must go on a dump truck, but trees with balled roots would have to go on a flat bed. Stone on a flat bed or trees in a dump truck will cause nothing but problems.
Other vehicles may be usually used for one type of product, but could also be used for something else, if needed. The old-fashioned truck is identified as being air conditioned and used for carrying ice. But if there were dry goods in boxes going to the same place, they might be carried on this vehicle as well.
Sometimes specific customers require delivery from a vehicle that has specific attributes. There are many places where a standard 13-6 trailer cannot be backed up to a dock. In this case, delivery would have to be made from a smaller box truck. Similarly, there are places where delivery from a 53-foot trailer would be very tight, if not impossible, and a shorter trailer is required.
And then there is the consideration of having a mixed capacity fleet and trying to find the most economical solution to assigning work to the vehicles. There is no reason to use run a route with a tractor and trailer when a box truck would do the job at a lower cost.
Add in time windows at some of the customers, and a truly efficient solution is beyond what can be done by hand.
The benefit of using an AI based assignment process is that it can consider many more possible solutions than a human route planner could and can do it in a very short time.
So, the savings are two-fold: savings in the time needed to do the route assignment process (robotic process automation) and savings in the total time and distance needed to make the deliveries (AI).
Do you want cost effective routes built in a short amount of time, and not have to worry about getting the right vehicle to the right customer? Visit us at Strategic Movements and see what we can do for you.
Like the blog? Sign up and be the first to hear what we have to say.