optimized routes

Optimized Routes: How Are They Restricted?

Optimized routes are one of the most essential parts of logistics and are created through the process of finding the most efficient ways of moving freight, whether it’s worldwide or simply throughout the United States. Because when we’re speaking of efficiency we mean, finding the most time-efficient and cost-effective solutions. Shipping partners have found multiple ways of optimizing routes, including different software, better communication, knowledge and experience and collaboration.ย However, we realize that there are a ton of factors that can stand in the way of an optimized route in logistics. Here are some of the more common issues carriers can be faced with that can make optimizing routes a complex and challenging task ๐Ÿ˜ฐ.

Optimized Routes & Problematic Factors

1. Truck Restrictions ๐Ÿšš

  • Weight & Height Limits Certain road types, and infrastructures have set weight and height limitations. For example, bridges may only be able to carry a certain weight and tunnels can restrict vehicle heights. These can directly impact suitable routes, and these factors need to be considered when planning a truck’s journey. So there are no unexpected delays like trying to reroute on the fly to avoid them, or fines due to surpassing permitted limits.


  • Hazmat Routes –ย When transporting dangerous goods or hazardous materials in the USA, there are designated and preferred routes to ensure the safety of the general public. These routes tend to skip driving through cities, near schools, hospitals and sensitive environments like lakes and rivers, etc. The designated routes in place, won’t alwaysย  be the most optimized routes. But they’re in place for a reason and this must be considered when planning the movement of these types of goods.


  • Roads & Truck Bans –ย  Some roads are classed as truck only lanes, whereas others prohibit the access of trucks entirely. Another consideration when planning optimized routes, is to ensure you’re making full use of the truck only lanes where possible for a speedier transit time but also avoiding those prohibited routes.


2. Delivery Windows โฐ

optimized routes

Some customers demand a particular delivery time frame and sometimes they’re tight delivery windows that leave little to no room for delays. This can severely impact the efficiency of a route. Most heavily used roads will suffer from congestion at some point during the day and will also have far quieter off-peak times, when they’re best to travel.

However, if a customer needs delivery by 9am, then it’s more than likely the truck driver will hit rush hour congestion at some point along their journey! Communication with the customer is a MUST, and as long as this is factored into timeframes, then it shouldn’t be too big of an issue, careful planning might be able to help reduce stand still time, but unpredictable, heavy traffic may not be avoidable.

3. Outdated Systems ๐Ÿ’ป

Softwares need constant updates to stay completely up to date on road conditions, like closures, construction works, poorly maintained roads etc.ย  Optimized routes are mostly planned out using these applications. But when the truck driver gets further into the route, the on road reality may be different to what the software states. Quick thinking can get them out of a tricky situation, and alternative routes are sometimes required.

4. Toll Roads ๐Ÿ›ฃ

Toll roads more often than not offer a faster and more direct route however, these routes come with an extra cost. Route optimization softwares and navigation apps (example: waze) usually provide two route options. One including toll roads and one avoiding them, it’s down to each independent business to decide if it’s worth the extra cost. If not, the route might just be slightly more convoluted and add time onto a journey.

5. Multi-Stop Route ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ“

A simple point A to B shipment (obviously) has a more efficient and quicker route than a multi-stop complex route. Usually the most optimized routes are the fastest and shortest distance. In multi-stop cases optimizing means something a little more different, it involves figuring how to efficiently order the stops to minimize unnecessary miles.

6. Unpredictable Traffic ๐Ÿšฆ

Traffic congestion is extremely unpredictable and it’s one of those factors that’s entirely out of our control. Even with real-time updates of current traffic statuses it’s unavoidable because sudden disruptions happen daily, including RTA’s, road closures and events causing heavy traffic. Unfortunately delays due to traffic stand stills are a reality for truck drivers daily.

Minimize the Impact of These Restrictions on Your Optimized Routes

Restrictions are sometimes unavoidable, but all of these things can be minimized. How? I hear you asking…

Open Two Way Communications ๐Ÿ“ป

The best way to minimize delays is communication between dispatcher and truck driver. Effective communication could be the difference between getting stuck in upcoming on route congestion and a simple detour to avoid delays entirely.

โ€œIf you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.โ€Jim Rohn, author, speaker and entrepreneur.

Experienced Drivers ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™‚๏ธ

Everybody has to start somewhere, but with experience drivers can use knowledge they’ve gained over their years on the road to react to upcoming potential problems effectively.

Dynamic Software ๐Ÿ’ป

A ton of carriers invest in a dynamic software that can monitor real-time traffic, weather and road conditions to adapt to the most efficient routes on the fly.

How Does All of This Help?

By investing in software, utilizing two way communications effectively and leaning on the experience of drivers, mitigating delays is much more possible. Another essential part to streamlining efficient routes is planning and adaptability, they are KEYย in the world of logistics, smoothly moving your shipments and avoiding truck drivers from looking like this โฌ‡.


So, How Can PEI Help You? ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

We’ve written another super helpful blog about “How To Ensure Great Route Optimization“, which also runs through how route optimization can benefit you, your business and your customers.

We’re experts at streamlining everything trucking and would love to help with any “non-standard” shipments you may have coming up. Let us take the stress out of your logistics ๐Ÿ˜Š because we don’t let roadblocks, unpredictable traffic or road restrictions derail our delivery schedules.

You can call us 24/7/365 on Phone: 888-SHIP-911 to have a friendly, no strings attached chat or use the link below with your inquiry ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ“ฒ

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