In the past, UPS drivers have not been known for their promptness and effectiveness on their daily routes. With lost packages and late delivery times, UPS has made a conscious effort in recent years to quicken its delivery routes, include safe drop-offs, and avoid customer complaints. Since UPS has struggled to solve efficiency issues for years, their decision to invest in route planning tools has paid off in a major way.
Due to the increased focus on customer satisfaction and the inclusion of new route planning tools, UPS has benefited from its investments. Focusing on updated technology has provided numerous benefits for this postal titan, such as increasing delivery times, reducing daily costs, improving worker productivity, and boosting daily effectiveness.
One of the main focal points of UPS has been to include hands-on tools that drivers can use to easily plan routes, navigate crowded cities, and reduce wasted time on the road. Delivery drivers that use route optimization software and apps can complete their routes quicker, more effectively, and easier. By utilizing features like automatic route uploading, real-time updates, seamless communication with management staff, and a user-friendly setup, route optimization apps help make the lives of UPS drivers much easier.
Let’s see some of the newest tools that all new UPS drivers should have.
After 2018, thousands of UPS drivers decided to make the switch to the new route-finding technology, UPSNav. Prior to the innovation of UPSNav, On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation was the staple for UPS drivers - a technology also known as ORION. Although this app was time-tested for many years and provided organization for drivers, UPSNav has a greater ability to include more detailed information, provide real-time updates, and alter the route based on minute-by-minute changes on the route.
But are there any other benefits to using UPSNav over ORION or other route optimization apps? In some ways, yes - UPSNav provides UPS with data analytics that helps the company operate at a more efficient level. By optimizing routes, organizing storage, and saving money across the board, UPSNav helps the company run more effectively - while claiming this technology will help the corporation save $50 million by taking one mile off of every single driver’s daily route.
Another route optimization app that can be useful for new UPS drivers is Route4Me, a route planning app that is known for its user-friendliness and automation factor, making it an ideal choice for new drivers. Every feature in this app is customizable and can be altered to fit each driver’s and business’ overarching needs.
Plus, Route4Me allows drivers to view and organize their routes in various ways. This route optimization software can work with the time windows of businesses, since not every company is open between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. You can input the time the customer is available, and the app does the calculations for you.
In addition, you can choose how you want to adjust your route, using criteria like predictive weather, max revenue per route, max weight per route, max pieces per route, avoidance zones, max cube per route, max distance per route, max stops per route, and left-turn avoidance.
And it provides live tracking and tracing. Route4Me makes the lives of delivery drivers easier by including an in-app GPS truck navigation app that prevents having to switch back and forth between various screens while you are on the move. This app integrates route optimization, dispatch, and navigation processes to help create the best possible route depending on your vehicle and time of day.
The only drawback of this route optimization app is the pre-programmed start and end times, limiting the functionality when it comes to UPS drives who may start in one location and end in a separate location. Basically, the drivers will have to start and end in the same location - which can be unrealistic in certain delivery sectors.
Even though this app is fairly basic, Flightmap is an easy-to-use tool that provides a free plan of up to 200 stops per month. While 200 stops might be too low for most UPS drivers, this free app can help new drivers get familiar with route planning and the delivery industry. If you need to add more stops, the price is only $0.04 per additional stop - a deal that won't break the bank.
The Benefits of using Flightmap include the integration with Toucan, an efficient management app, compatibility with data spreadsheets, and route optimization controls.
- When using Flightmap, you can optimize routes based on vehicle type - this allows the app to automatically calculate the types of roads your vehicle will be allowed - and able - to drive on.
- Toucan integration - Toucan is a popular delivery management solution that helps streamline delivery processes to make real-time delivery requests, at-home services, and other customer-based queries easy and quick. By integrating with Toucan, Flight map can work with various delivery business sectors, such as the food and healthcare industries.
- Drag and drop interface - The interface of this software app makes it easy to see, simple to use, and great for new delivery drivers who are new to multi-tasking while on the go.
- Easily share routes - Flight map lets you easily share routes with other users by exporting to a file that is compatible for you.
RouteXL is a free software that lets you include 20 addresses, or up to 100 addresses for a minimal fee.
- Customize your routes - For UPS drivers who have less than 100 addresses per route, this app lets you customize your routes, which makes it easier for the FedEx management staff to organize routes between multiple drivers.
- Split your stops - Instead of using Google Maps, which doesn’t have route optimization capabilities, RouteXL lets you split your stops between various routes and multiple drivers.
- GPS tracking - Management staff can track their delivery drivers to ensure they are on the correct route, they are on schedule with the delivery process, and they are not confused about their delivery order.
- Easily import addresses - You can easily import your addresses into RouteXL by using a spreadsheet or the time-tested copy and paste method, making it simple to add hundreds of stops at one time.
- Send routes via email - To make the lives of delivery drivers easier, the route can be sent to the driver’s phone via email or printed and given via hard copy.
The ultimate choice for UPS drivers that is essential to get from Point A to Point B - along with multiple stops in between - is Straightaway. This route planner and optimization app is customized and perfected for UPS drivers to operate at the most efficient level possible during their daily routes.
Straightaway is an easy-to-use app that makes the lives of delivery drivers much easier than in the past. Instead of having to manually input their manifest, recalculate the route after each successful delivery, or toggle between apps while operating the vehicle, Straightaway does all of this for you.
You can snap a photo of your manifest to automatically upload to the Straightaway app - and the app does the rest. The app finds the fastest route and provides turn-by-turn directions to avoid any confusion or slowdowns on the road.
But why do UPS drivers love this app? There are plenty of reasons to choose Straightaway over other route optimization apps - even the in-house UPSNav software.
- Birds-Eye View - One of the main perks of using Straightaway is the easy visibility of your entire route with the birds-eye perspective. Using this feature, drivers can easily see where your truck is, where you are going, and the length of your route.
- Simple, Clean Interface - Straightaway provides a clear and easy-to-understand interface that provides a seamless experience for drivers.
- Even More Stops - A feature that makes Straightaway stand out among the rest is the ability to add even more stops! Instead of being limited to 20, 50, or 100 stops, Straightaway lets you add as many as 250 stops to your route.
New UPS Drivers need tools to make their lives easier
If you are a new UPS driver, chances are you want to find out how to make your driving experience as seamless and easy as possible. Instead of trying to troubleshoot technology and problem-solve along your route, you can use these five tools to help you master your route.
Forget the old days of printed out maps or having to toggle between various apps just to avoid the traffic jams. By using UPSNav, Route4Me, Flightmap, RouteXL, or Straightaway, your life as a UPS driver or fleet manager will be easier than ever.