Product Delivery Scheduling and Dispatching

Finding The Most Effective Last Mile Logisitics Solution

Gas cylinders in transit
Plumber scheduled for installation work
Driver on scheduled route

Product Delivery Scheduling

Product delivery is more than just loading and unloading a truck. At a bare minimum, loading iin the order of the stops to be made must be considered, and the last stop to be delivered needs to be loaded first.

But how should the stops be ordered? Is the absolute shortest route really the best one? Are there driver satisfaction considerations as well?

Many drivers prefer driving a longer distance to the first stop, making deliveries in a smaller area, and then making a longer drive back. A good scheduling process will take this into account.

And there are other considerations, as well.

  • Doing pickups? Can they be loaded at any time or only when the truck is empty?
  • What are the vehicle limits? How do you measure them? Weight? Cube? Pallets? Gallons?
  • What are the customer time windows? You have to arrive at specified time, but do you also have to leave before some other known time?

Product Delivery Dispatching

Dispatching a trip with deliveries only is relatively simple. The driver only needs a manifest and the trip sheet showing the order in which the stops should be made.

This can be done with printed schedules or with handheld or in-cab terminals.

When pickups are known, they can be scheduled, but the dispatcher also needs to communicate to the driver when an unscheduled pickup needs to be made.

For this two-way communications is essential.

When evaluating a product delivery solution, here are points to consider:

  • Is there a simple printed non-communications solution available?
  • Is there an electronic dispatching solution available? Does it work with many terminal vendors?
  • Are pickups and deliveries recorded in real time?
  • Can a customer determine when a pickup or delivery is expected?

Blog Posts

From the Walzik blog...

  • Scheduling Hard and Soft Time Windows for Last Mile Deliveries

    Clock on wall Arriving at the agreed upon time at a customer location is more than just important. In many cases, it can be critical as well. Arrive too early and the driver will have to wait for the customer to open or for a dock to become available. Arrive too late and customer may already be closed or unable to accept the delivery.

  • Route Planning for LTL Operations Using AI Assignment

    Local delivery truck Less than truckload (LTL) carriers provide both first mile and last mile services for organizations that move goods. Here is the best definition that I found: The first and last mile of product distribution are very crucial to any shipper. The first mile refers to the movement of products from a shipper to a courier service or to anyone who will take these goods to their final users; and the last mile refers to this final movement of products to their final users.

  • How AI Can Help Driver Satisfaction

    Happy driver I always find it interesting to see what others are saying about the benefits of Artificial Intelligence in providing last mile delivery solutions. The two that are always mentioned are that it takes a lot less time to build the routes and that the routes that are produced are much more efficient. But one thing I have not seen mentioned is that AI can be used to increase driver satisfaction as well.