Dispatching algorithms are an essential element in the logistics process, as they determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to assign shipments to drivers. These algorithms can vary from basic, rule-based approaches to sophisticated machine learning models. To balance automation with control, businesses can use a combination of different strategies that allow for manual processes where needed, while still maintaining automation in critical areas for optimal performance.
In this guide we will walk you through the different ways you can dispatch shipments using FleetRunnr.
How-to-guide: Dispatching shipments on FleetRunnr
The process of manually assigning shipments to drivers in case automation is not something you are looking for, or you require adding a small amount of shipments to pre-existing routes.
The process to manual assign can be done in two ways:
Through scanning barcodes via the Mobile App and assigning them to the appropriate driver
Through filtering and selecting shipments on the FleetRunnr portal and assigning them to the appropriate driver
To scan barcodes via the Mobile app, firstly make sure the app is downloaded. (We provide two different apps, the first being the Agent App, and the second being the Mobile App).
The Agent app is used by drivers in order to complete actions, capture PODs, navigate via optimized routes, etc. The Mobile app is commonly used by warehouse operatives or dispatchers to receive shipments at warehouses, manually assign shipments to drivers, and identify lost or missing packages.
Open the Mobile app and then click on either Create Deliveries, Transfers or Returns based on the shipment type you would like to action on.
Proceed by scanning the packages of orders which you would like dispatched, and after completing all scans click on “Create deliveries”. After that, choose from the list the appropriate driver.
To manually assign via the FleetRunnr portal, first visit the Shipments page and then filter and select the shipments you would like dispatched. From the list of drivers, choose the relative agent then click on Confirm. The status of the shipment will change from Pending to Dispatched.
2. Semi-autonomous dispatching
With semi-autonomous dispatching, you can mark the shipments you need an optimized plan for, view the planned results as either a list or map view, take manual action on unassigned shipments, and confirm the plan to assign these shipments. This process is ideal for next-day or depot based planning scenarios where drivers begin their shift from a central warehouse or hub.
From the Shipments page, select the shipments you would like to plan followed by “Mark for Planning”.
Once you have marked the shipments, navigate to the "Planning" page to configure the planning scenario by selecting the agents you want to include, and specifying the planning date.
From there, you can view the shipments marked for planning on a map and pre-assign them individually or in bulk, as well as reschedule time windows and change addresses.
Once the plan has been generated, you will have the flexibility to view each driver's route individually, including start/end times, distance, and duration. Additionally, you can compare the routes of different drivers. You can modify individual shipments or make bulk changes using a variety of tools, such as a cropping tool, to reassign shipments, manually adjust the sequence, change time windows, update addresses, and more.
This dispatching mode allows the system to take full control regarding planning and dispatching of shipments to drivers. It is especially built for on-demand operational needs such as express, food, and grocery deliveries. Our real-time route optimization engine does the all the heavy lifting, always re-shuffling and re-optimizing planned stops to find the best driver for the job.
Auto-pilot mode can be activated on the shipping method level, which means that as an organization I can have different dispatching techniques for every shipping method created. An example of that would be a company that delivers both food and parcel. For food deliveries, the dispatching technique chosen might be auto-pilot, while for parcels the dispatching happens semi-autonomous through planning scenarios.
To activate a shipping method with auto-pilot dispatching, first visit the “Shipping methods” section under Shipping in the settings page. Click on “New Shipping Method” or “Edit” and existing one. After that, click on the checkbox that mentions “Dispatch Orders Automatically”.
Every order assigned to a shipping method that has the auto-pilot preference will be automatically sent to the real-time route optimization engine for planning and assigning. Make sure all the routing constraints on the level of the order, driver, vehicle and shipping method are inputted correctly to ensure accurate and optimal results.