Using Costs & Carriers to Schedule Routes

How Costs are Used

In DiPS Vehicle costs are an essential part of both the supply chain analysis and all the vehicle scheduling programs. These can also be employed in Cost to Serve and Profitability reports and analysis with details available to individual drop level.

In the supply chain process, they play an important role in deciding the allocation of calls to depots as the cost for each call from each depot are compared before selecting a depot, whilst in producing route schedules the total cost values are used to choose the best vehicle, with the cheapest option chosen from a list of acceptable alternative types.

For route planning, user-defined Carriers can form the basis of a complex automated decision-making process for cost-effective planning considering dedicated vehicles, parcel carriers, and third-party hauliers. Parameters available for carriers are set to include the ability for the carrier to handle different product types, undertake collections, accept orders with a booked delivery time, and to pick-up goods.

Costs for all applicable carriers are compared and a lowest cost “Best Carrier” is found. Within the routing algorithm the total carrier cost for all orders on a route is compared  with the cheapest vehicle costs to decide whether the route is cost-effective. Individual orders may also be analysed to see whether adding them would make the route un-viable.

Orders can also be manually added onto any carrier that meets product and service criteria (products, postcodes, service level etc.) with any not on their cheapest being flagged as an error.

In addition specific carrier logic can be utilised to identify certain calls and prevent them from entering any of the planning programs. It is particularly useful for nominating isolated call points that would normally not be considered for routing, either due to their location or to the amount of product to be delivered.

Available Cost Parameters

Cost values can be input into three possible sections : for any of the vehicle types themselves, for the driver and for each mate. All costs are accumulated to produce the overall figure for a route.

Each section can have a Fixed Cost per day, Cost per Mile or Km and Cost per Minute. Where individual tractor and trailer types are in use, costs are broken down accordingly into tractor unit costs and costs involved with trailer operation.

Driver classes can also be used to allow payment schemes to be employed, providing options for setting various overtime rates depending upon the time worked each shift as well as fixed salary levels.

For the carrier cost calculations, two distinct types are available. A Rate calculation will allow a Fixed + Variable Cost to be calculated whereas the table represents the total cost of delivery based upon a given number of items Different cost structures can be used to represent service levels (for example before 1030), or different delivery types (such as sub-contracted booked deliveries).


For further information about DiPS software packages please contact us using the details below:


 Tel: 0333 577 0367