11.10.2022 11:30

How to Plan Routes for Large Goods Vehicles?

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Route Planning is the process of finding the most cost-effective route to make the deliveries accurate and faster. It is important to cut down transportation costs, perform with better planning, and improve business productivity.

The large goods vehicle provides service to a large geographical area of customers. The route planning for heavy goods vehicles helps to determine the best route and predict the estimated arrival time of deliveries. Therefore, it is important to consider proper route planning.

Heavy goods vehicle route planning considers factors like truck dimensions, vehicle types required, the landscape covered, width and height of roads, speed limits, diesel fuel, and tolls & taxes applicable for commercial vehicles.

The heavy goods vehicle (HGV) route planning made it easy for the drivers to run both on and off roads. It ensures delivery to the right person, in the right quantity, at the right place, and at the right time. This will help to maximize the efficiency of the delivery vehicle to obtain a profitable margin.

In this article, you will learn about the factors to be considered for route planning.

7 Factors to Consider for Route Planning of Large Goods Vehicle

Dealing with Large Goods Vehicles (LGV), you can consider the below factors while planning routes. It will help to increase the efficiency of your truck drivers and boost your overall business productivity.

1. Distance

One of the most important factors to plan a route for large goods vehicles is distance. The route planning for large goods vehicles is totally different from the small goods vehicles.

Small goods vehicles are feasible for transporting goods to short distances that is; within a radius of 250 km. These drivers are locally based and work for standard 8-10 hours a day.

On the other hand, large goods vehicles have the potential to carry the maximum load to a distance of more than 400 km. The LGV drivers often work for a day or more and would require longer breaks for resting while on the road.

2. Vehicle Capacity

The size and capacity of your delivery vehicle are also important for route planning. Generally, the courier services use vans, tractors, trailers, or box trucks for deliveries. But, the type of vehicle should be based on the size of the parcel and the distance to reach the final destination.

Large goods vehicles generally use tractor-trailers due to their parcel size. For example, a 16-meter trailer can hold more parcels, thereby eliminating the need for multiple delivery vehicles. These trailers also have amenities for the drivers like beds as they will need to travel long distances.

3. Time-sensitivity

When planning routes for large goods vehicles, it is a must to take time-sensitive deliveries into consideration. There are generally two categories of time-sensitive deliveries:

  • Deliveries with a specific time window of agreed time by courier and the client
    For example, deliveries at a store can take in the morning when the staff is available for unloading.
  • Deliveries with a shorter shelf life that could expire if left in transit for too long
    Likewise, for refrigerated products, the goods should arrive at the destination as quickly as possible.

4. Downtime

The route planning should include downtime for delivery stops and breaks. This will ensure a pause between subsequent deliveries and the driver’s good performance.

Large Goods Vehicles often have fewer delivery stops but since the deliveries are larger so more time should be allocated for unloading. Clearing an LGV may take an hour depending upon offloading efficiency.

Moreover, the LGV drivers will also take longer breaks to ensure proper rest for arriving at the destinations safely.

5. Unexpected Delays

LGV drivers should be given enough time to manage unexpected events like weather or traffic. Because these are the factors that could delay the scheduled deliveries and are outside the driver’s control.

For example, while planning for a cross-country delivery the route planning should include weather factors and plan accordingly. So, prefer choosing a longer route to avoid storm-prone areas.

When any unexpected delays arise, first coordinate with the driver to find an alternate route to avoid snowstorms on a highway. This will make sure that the client is aware of late arrival and does not affect good customer relations.

6. Fuel Consumption

As LGV covers a large radius for deliveries hence the fuel consumption will also be high.

But to reduce the carbon footprint LGV drivers can follow some tips to increase fuel-efficient driving and safe loading:

  • Maintain the speed limit
  • Load vehicle properly
  • Knowledge of aerodynamics
  • Plan the routes

7. Data and Experience

Last but not least the optimized route should be planned based on the company’s data and real-world experience. The LGV drivers have great knowledge about routing and certain places that need to be avoided. An experienced driver will suggest taking a long route with minimum hurdles.

The data and experience will help to reduce cost, increase driver satisfaction and safety, provide better resource planning, and improve customer experience.

Summing Up

Route planning is a complex task and requires a lot of time and effort. But, planning for Large Goods Vehicles can help to cut overhead costs, boost fuel efficiency, increase operational capacity and serve more customers.

The route planning will allow Large Goods Vehicles drivers to plan and optimize their routes in advance to perform more deliveries on a given day. Besides improving customer service, route planning helps LGV drivers to plan delivery routes and streamline delivery operations efficiently.

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