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.
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:
From the Walzik blog...
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.
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.
Are you considering using electric powered vehicles to deliver products or services? Have you considered this in the past and have been hesitant to do this?
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.