VRO: The Better Way for Last-Mile Delivery

 What is last-mile delivery? 

The challenge of moving products long distances has long been studied. A group of consumer goods can be transported across the country with relative ease when it comes to planning, simply because businesses have been working on this for a long time. It used to be the case that the problem was solved once those goods were delivered to a warehouse or store. However, customers are now looking for easier ways to get those products delivered directly to their homes. Last-mile delivery refers to that new expectation: having things delivered to its final destinations, often meaning directly to customers’ homes. 

Could better route planning be good for sellers, buyers, and the environment? 

An increase in carpooling to work occurred due to the awareness campaign for more environmentally friendly options. Public carpooling lots have popped up all over the country, mainly in bigger cities, for a few reasons. It does reduce our carbon emissions impacts, but it also saves money. Collectively, everyone in a carpool group is using less gas and has less wear and tear on their vehicles by driving together instead of separately. Passengers are also gaining more time to work on other things in the car, such as reading or catching up on social media. 

How do these principles apply to last-mile delivery services? On average, 29-41 million Americans go to the grocery store per day, and about 88% are driving their own vehicle. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the market of grocery delivery services has exploded from niche to widespread – so much so that it’s expected that grocery stores offer some sort of pickup or delivery service. 

Using courier services to deliver goods is like carpooling; instead of everyone driving their own vehicle to the grocery store, delivery services can theoretically hold many orders at once and act as a sort of “carpooling” for groceries. Less drivers going out to buy their own goods means less vehicles on the road and a reduction in carbon emissions. 

However, this only works if delivery drivers have an efficient route to follow. That’s where Vehicle Route Optimization (VRO) comes into play. Interplai Direct is a software-as-a-service (SAAS) that automatically calculates the daily individual routes for each driver based on its own proprietary AI algorithms resulting in maximum efficiency. More efficient means reduced costs and less time wasted. 

What is VRO? 

Vehicle Route Optimization (VRO) is a way to plan out efficient routes for multiple delivery drivers. Planning a route for a single delivery driver can be done by hand but as soon as more delivery drivers are needed, the problem gets exponentially more difficult. The complications can come from several different areas: customers wanting to change their order, traffic, or construction delays, or even zone-restrictions prohibiting delivery vehicles from taking certain routes. Taking all these factors into account, it makes sense to utilize technology to find the most efficient routes. Time and money can be saved by organizing the deliveries themselves and by reducing the planning time that goes into creating the routes. This is where VRO becomes vital to businesses planning deliveries. 

There has been booming interest in developing VRO technology, however much of what is currently available is very costly and complicated to use. But what if you could access this technology for the first time easily with no learning curve at a mere fraction of the cost? Since the software is on the cloud, not only can it be accessed online, but updates will be automatic and immediate. 

Businesses will have an advantage by efficiently planning the routes of multiple delivery vehicles from their computer or a mobile device with Interplai Direct. The time saved during planning and delivery adds up, contributing to significant expense reductions towards the bottom-line while drastically reducing its fuel consumption for a greener carbon footprint. A win-win all around. 

For more information or to contact Interplai please email at: contact@interpl.ai 

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Collaboration is at the very heart of  Interplai. We are looking to use software, robotics and autonomous vehicle technology to solve a big problem by facilitating collaboration in new ways at every step along the way.  Let’s Work Together.

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