Route Optimization

How To Plan The Most Efficient Multi-Stop Routes On Android Phones

Zach Blank

Straightaway

January 15, 2021

The Android operating system is the most popular smartphone platform in the world, garnering nearly seventy-three percent of the mobile phone market. Not surprisingly, many last-mile delivery drivers use an Android-powered smartphone as their main device for navigating their vehicles during delivery routes. For navigation purposes, most regular Android users access popular apps such as Google Maps or Waze.

While Google Maps and Waze are great for single trips with only one or two stops along the way, these apps cannot process a robust delivery job containing possibly hundreds of stops. If you are performing a delivery shift and have a manifest containing multiple pages of stops to organize, Google Maps and Waze simply don’t cut the mustard. Both apps are limited in the number of stops that can be included on a route, and there are few (if any) real-time features to optimize routes, such as changes in road conditions or traffic congestion patterns.

Whether you are a gig worker, an independent contractor, a small business driver, or a delivery courier for a major shipping and delivery company, you know limitations in navigation apps are detrimental to your time and resources. To increase productivity while saving time on routes, you need a reliable app that can adapt to your deliveries in real-time. If you want to maximize efficiency and earnings, it is beneficial to invest in the best delivery route planner app on the market.

How Can I Optimize Multiple Stops Using Maps On Android?

A route planner app is paramount for drivers who have routes with multiple stops. While everyday drivers can use Google Maps or Waze to get around town or on short road trips, couriers need much more in their navigation apps. For last-mile and gig delivery drivers, Straightaway is the route optimization app they trust most. A delivery driver needs an app that can optimize hundreds of stops for a route, as well as monitor and update the map based on changes in traffic and weather conditions. We will explain how Straightaway provides the most efficient route with multiple stops on your Android device to save you time and money.

Navigating Multiple Stops With Google Maps and Waze


Google Maps

Google Maps is the most popular navigation app on the Google Play store, and is the default built-in navigation app on most Android devices. It has built-in voice recognition for drivers to enter addresses without typing, recognizes current traffic conditions, and provides time-to-destinations for multiple modes of travel (train, bicycle, and walking times). This makes the app versatile and very useful for delivery on bike or for couriers who need to navigate large campuses on foot after parking their van or truck on the main street. Google Maps also lets you set preferences for your routes––you can choose to set routes that avoid highways, toll roads, or ferries if near waterways. Though the app works well for trips with minimal stops, it is not able to organize trips for delivery drivers who make dozens or hundreds of stops. 

Google Maps allows for ten stops to be mapped on a given route. The true number of unique stops is only nine if your route concludes from where you started (like the truck warehouse for UPS or FedEx drivers). If your schedule has a small number of stops, Google Maps may be enough. But for most delivery professionals, ten stops is nowhere near the number of addresses contained on a shipping manifest. 

The process for using Google Maps as a delivery driver is simple, but inefficient. First the driver manually enters up to ten addresses into Google Maps. To do this, the driver opens up the app, taps on the “Directions” button, and enters the final destination before all other stops. Then the driver enters up to nine additional stops by tapping the settings menu (the three dots) in the upper right hand corner and hitting “add a stop.”

If a driver needs to make twenty stops, they must clear the app after the first ten and create a new route with the ten remaining stops by hand. This process is not only time consuming and impractical for drivers on tight schedules, but the route the user enters will not be optimized. Unless you have already organized the addresses in your head before manual input, Google Maps does not place the stops in the most efficient order. Instead, it arranges your delivery route in the order the addresses were added. If you are a corporate courier and consistently drive the same route everyday, this may not be a big deal to you. But to new drivers who are not familiar with their new territory, the lack of route optimization can lead to work days taking longer than necessary, wasting precious time and fuel.

Waze

Waze is a popular third-party app that looks and functions similarly to Google Maps. It maintains a near-identical user interface, including voice command and traffic recognition. While it does not calculate for different modes of travel (like public transit), some prefer Waze for its ability to change course in real-time based on traffic conditions or accidents on the current route.

Though Waze is similar to Google Maps in functionality, there is one glaring exception that makes it an inferior route planner: it only allows for one additional stop on a route. This means the app cannot be used for a delivery manifest containing many stops.

For those who only need to make one or two stops on a delivery route, using Waze is the same process as Google Maps. You enter an address into the search bar, and Waze provides you a variety of routes based on traffic conditions and your personal preferences. Like Google Maps, you can also avoid toll roads, ferries, and highways. Once the route has been set, you can add your one additional stop by simply tapping the blue oval with the white arrow pointing downward. Swipe up to select the “Add a stop” button, and add the second address to your route. Keep in mind that Waze will optimize the route based on the order you input the addresses, so make sure the final stop is set as the final destination of your trip.

Waze is a great app for everyday drivers that want an alternative to Google Maps. Unfortunately for last-mile and gig delivery drivers, the limitation on stops prevents the app from satisfying the needs of most package couriers.

Optimizing Delivery Routes With Straightaway Route Planner


Built to Deliver
 

Unlike Google Maps and Waze, which are designed for everyday drivers, Straightaway Route Planner is built with the delivery professional in mind. The application’s features are designed to plan the route of the courier’s entire day within seconds and provide active updates as the route progresses. 

Using Straightaway is simple and takes very little time to use. By utilizing any Android phone’s built-in camera and character recognition software, drivers can snap a photograph of the assigned manifest and Straightaway will organize the addresses into the fastest, most-efficient route possible within seconds.

Drivers who use Google Maps are limited to ten stops while Waze users are limited to just two manually entered stops, and both apps implement little route optimization. Straightaway’s industry-leading route optimization AI will automatically organize a delivery route with up to 250 stops in a matter of seconds.

Mapping The Route

Once a photo of the route manifest is snapped, Straightaway’s algorithms calculate the fastest route available, accounting for real-time traffic data, road conditions, detours, and any other factors impacting the delivery schedule. The data is updated instantly throughout the day, so if roads close or are impacted by traffic issues after the route is set, Straightaway will recalculate the course to keep drivers on an efficient schedule. The software also detects faulty addresses on the manifest and will flag outliers so drivers can manually correct addresses.

Here’s how Straightaway detects faulty addresses in a driver’s manifest: Say a driver is handling a route calling for fifty stops in New York City. The driver snaps a photo of the shipping manifest, which contains forty-eight addresses in NY and two erroneous addresses in Philadelphia. Straightaway’s algorithms will flag the two mistaken addresses and alert the errors to the driver. The driver will then have the option to swipe to edit the two addresses manually, and Straightaway will recalculate the route to account for the corrections.

User-Friendly Features

Not only does Straightaway contain powerful algorithms, it is also a user-friendly app. Like in Google Maps or Waze, new drivers can set preferences for routes, toggling on and off options like avoiding tolls, highways, or even busy intersections during peak traffic hours. There is also a to-do list feature that drivers can utilize to check off completed deliveries. This provides couriers a satisfying way to track their route progress while Straightaway records the progress data for better optimizing future routes.

The Straightaway Edge

When delivery professionals need to map routes with multiple stops on their Android device, Straightaway is the clear choice to get the job done. Google Maps only works for delivery to ten locations or less, requires manual address entry, and does not optimize routes for efficiency. Waze is even less helpful to drivers, as it does not map more than two stops on a route.

Straightaway Route Planner is the best route optimization software on the market today. The app’s robust features and user-friendly design has made Straightaway the most trusted route planner app for Android users across FedEx, UPS, and USPS

Use what the pros use. Get Straightaway.

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Straightaway

Zach Blank

Zach is the co-founder and CEO of Straightaway.

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