Optimizing the Order of Delivery Route Stops

Published by grams777 in the blog grams777's blog.

When I do Prime Now or similar types of delivery routes, I use a routing program app that optimizes the stops and also does it based on current traffic conditions.

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Doing this adds about one minute per 4 stops to voice input each address upfront. But it almost always saves me at least 5 minutes per route. Sometimes it saves 30 minutes if the flex routing really screws up a stop (not uncommon).

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The advantages of doing this are:

- you have a backup copy of your route if the flex app acts up - like your route disappears for 5 minutes and you don't know the next stop (happened).

- you can instantly link to the navigation program of your choice (google, waze, apple) for each stop (but double check other programs with the flex navigation)

- you can reoptimize the route anytime you want or set the order based on a round trip, or other settings ...

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- you can optimize based on current traffic conditions. A route during traffic may be optimized differently than without traffic.

- if there is enough time for the route, you can optimize it based on round trip back to the warehouse. This can help if you have more blocks. Or if it's on the way home, set your home as the end point and replan that way. Obviously, make sure that this doesn't use much extra time and that your one hour deliveries get done in time, etc.

- it tells you how long your route is expected to take. This way you know how fast you will need to hustle.

- you have a history of all your routes and stops. This is good if you want to look back on how much you made per stop or if a problem comes up you can review it. Even make a note for a stop if needed. See what routes generated good tips.

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For me I find this valuable. The one I use is Route4Me on android or iphone because it accounts for traffic. It has a $10 monthly fee if you use more than 10 routes a month. There are other similar programs out there as well. This is just an opinion / review / advice / option. I am not affiliated.

You can make up the the fee in time or if just once it gets you done fast enough to get back for another full route instead of doing a one hour. Or maybe more time to grab the next block instead of missing it.

Google maps even has a way to do something like this but it's not as versatile and if you're not careful you can lose the whole itinerary. I avoid using it for this reason - it used too much extra time. The features are minimal as well.

If you do use something like this, I recommend trying it and getting used to it at home first with some sample routes. Get to where you can input around 4 or more stops per minute. So ideally a 10 stop prime now route will take you no more than 3 minutes to do.

If you manually enter addresses into Google Maps for your navigation at each stop, this should save about the same amount of time that would take anyway.

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I use mine on a second phone with voice input so I can read the addresses from the flex app into to the other phone (verify address and zip code also). I run both navigations and verbal directions at the same time each on a separate phone. Sometimes I will choose one or the other based on hitting a traffic light that just turned red. Also, the Flex app will almost always have the right destination but the ones you input can be off - so be careful of that.

I use this with Prime Now. So that's like 7-12 stops for 2 hours. If you're doing flex with 30+ stops, it may take longer to input than it's worth unless you already re input each address into another navigation app anyway.

See also some similar discussion here:
https://uberpeople.net/threads/amazon-prime-flex-delivery.37893/page-86#post-1260739
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