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Routing and Scheduling: Key Differences + Why Not Both?

Transport and logistics companies often face problems with route optimization. To deal with this, you can follow one of two concepts for planning: routing and scheduling. Below we will describe the features of routing and scheduling software and also explain if it is reasonable to use them simultaneously.

What Is the Difference Between Routing and Scheduling?

Routing consists in choosing the most efficient in terms of time and cost of delivering cargo from one point to another.

As for scheduling, this refers to the distribution of tasks that accompany the process of shipment, delivery, and landing of goods on a timeline.

In general, these concepts look similar, but they also have key differences. Routing is used to optimize routes, taking into account aspects such as vehicle reserves, time constraints, and associated transportation costs. As for scheduling, this approach allows companies to correctly distribute workloads and tasks, taking into account acceptable timing.

At the same time, routing and scheduling software can be used for achieving specific goals: to optimize the distance for cargo transportation or to align the work schedule according to available human resources. That is why it is so important to understand what their main differences are.

  • Execution. Scheduling, as you may have noticed, is time-bounded, that is, it determines by whom, when, and what tasks should be performed. As for route scheduling software, it describes how and where a specific task is performed (for example, transporting goods from point A to point B).
  • Results. Scheduling helps to simplify the process of cargo transportation due to the consistent description of tasks, their timing, and the employees responsible for their implementation. If we are talking about route design software, its final goal is to reduce the time and other resources necessary for the transportation of goods (fuel, route length, the number of employees involved in this process, etc.).

How Does Routing and Scheduling Software Help Improve Company’s Internal Processes?

Based on the definitions described above, in the context of the operation of transport companies, transportation routing software performs very specific tasks. In particular, by specifying some input data (point of departure and destination, cargo parameters, planned stops, etc.), the user of such software gets the fastest route (usually, planning in advanced routing system software takes into account possible traffic jams, so sometimes the shortest path is not the fastest) providing the minimum overhead costs for the company (on the operation of vehicles, fuel, driver salaries, etc.) and thereby maximizing the marginality of internal processes.

The same is true for scheduling software: with a well-timed list of trips, a company that uses it can schedule work schedules for its drivers, subject to predetermined constraints. Therefore, an implementation of a route scheduling app also has a positive effect on the cost of transportation but is primarily aimed at improving the efficiency of the company’s workforce management.

Final Thoughts

As a rule, modern scheduling and routing software for transport and logistic companies combine scheduling and routing strategies, providing them with comprehensive assistance in optimizing their resources – human, transport, time, and financial. Therefore, to achieve the best results in implementing transport scheduling or transport routing software, it is recommended to use the potential of both of them.

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