NOTE: An updated version of this article can be found in the Microsoft Maps Blog.https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/maps/news/reducing-costs-with-fleet-route-optimization
Between rising fuel prices and inefficient fleet routing solutions, logistics providers and small businesses tend to lose out on increasing amounts of revenue as they try to scale up.
The right fleet route optimization API allows businesses to achieve more while driving down operating costs with tailored solutions.
Here’s how Bing Maps API’s dynamic delivery route optimization can help your business thrive in a challenging market.
Act fast with fleet tracking
Accurate tracking is a must-have for a fleet of any size, whether it’s for a customer fulfillment company or a small business operating in a limited area. The Fleet Tracker App can significantly reduce costs through:
Geofencing: Improves estimated delivery times with real-time tracking. For example, you could set up alerts that automatically go off when an agent enters a delivery zone. This reduces the chance of an overlap where two agents are operating in the same area.
Improved Service: A comprehensive fleet tracking solution doesn’t just optimize routes, it also improves the overall customer experience. Managers don’t have to manually keep in touch with each agent to determine their location, and customers can instantly access their location through an app. A customer-centric experience gives them a reason to keep coming back and boosts trust.
Multi-device Support: A tracking solution has to be functional on the road across multiple devices for operators to reliably optimize delivery routes. Developers can easily incorporate fleet tracking features in a device of their choice, whether that’s iOS, Android, or a Windows-based device.
Extensibility: The Fleet Tracker APP seamlessly integrates with your existing backend data and apps for seamless fleet route optimization. All of the source code is provided on GitHub, so businesses can always customize the tracking solution to meet their needs and even add new features.
These dynamic route optimization features are made possible by Bing Maps API’s extensive list of features. Developers can access crucial features like routing, batch geocoding, and customizable map styles right out of the box.
The comprehensive feature set of this API further drives down costs by being open source. Businesses don’t have to subscribe to multiple services because the Fleet Tracker API can offer a custom solution from the get-go.
The utility of fleet tracking isn't just limited to short-term route optimizations. A detailed reporting interface allows businesses to reduce their costs by tracking a range of important metrics. These include: total time and distance traveled by each agent, average trip durations, geofences triggered per day, and more. Operators will find it much easier to optimize delivery routes with an eye on the bigger picture.
Routes built for your fleet
Traveling hundreds of miles only to have to take a detour because of a closed-off road isn’t just frustrating, it can also be very expensive. Avoid costly backtracking with an API that creates routes suited for your fleet, whether it’s a small van or an 18-wheeler truck.
The Truck Routing API accomplishes this route optimization with customizable fleet parameters. Simply enter the commercial vehicle’s specifications and the API will keep them in mind when looking at potential routes. This personalization extends far beyond road closures. Developers will also be able to specify the size, weight, and type of the cargo being carried by the vehicle. This can come in handy as certain roads are restricted against hazardous materials.
Long-time Microsoft partner OnTerra Systems set off on a mission to create a dynamic app that could optimize delivery routes for small to mid-sized fleets - RouteSavvy. The goal was to reduce the overall distance each agent would have to travel, thereby reducing fuel and maintenance costs. The app also included other key features like Streetside imagery and address geocoding. Find out how RouteSavvy’s fleet route optimization helped businesses reduce their logistics costs by reading the full customer story.
Planning is key
UPS’ recent success with saving millions in fuel costs is a testament to the importance of proper planning. The mapping tools that an operator has at their disposal play a big role in consistently planning a great route for the fleet. Ideally, these should be tailored to match your fleet’s everyday requirements, but this can be a tall order for operators that have to manually create routes for hundreds of agents at a time.
The Multi-Itinerary Optimization (MIO) API makes this process easier by automating delivery route planning. Managers will be able to take shift schedules, traffic conditions, stop priority, and even multi-day routes into consideration when optimizing fleet routes. Agents can now conveniently be grouped together depending on the delivery locations for the day. This dynamic approach to route optimization reduces the frequency of refueling and also improves delivery times.
Find out how the MIO API can revamp how your business treats logistics with our interactive demo. You’ll be able to create a customized itinerary for up to 4 agents and 40 stops, as well as determine whether you want to optimize for travel time or price.
Optimize with Bing Maps API
From accurate fleet tracking to automated itineraries, our fleet management API suite is the efficient solution for businesses looking to scale up while reducing costs. Create a free Bing Maps API key to get started today.
Which key should I use for my delivery route optimization app?
If you’re just experimenting with fleet route optimization on a small scale, try out the Bing Maps APIs and SDKs with a Basic key. It supports up to 125,000 billable transactions and unlocks access to fleet management tools.
Businesses looking to streamline their operations with a scalable mapping solution will benefit from the Enterprise key. Consult the licensing page or contact us to learn more about upgrading to an Enterprise key.
Are there other APIs that might be helpful for fleet management?
The Bing Maps API has a full suite of logistics APIs for Fleet Management. To find out more about how these can be leveraged for your asset tracking solution, see Fleet Management Services | Build with Us | Bing Maps API (microsoft.com)
What kind of support can developers expect?
Beginner or expert, you’ll be able to explore a massive library of code samples and documentation for step-by-step guides during development. Enterprise users will also have access to a specialized support team for all their queries.