Logistics reboot: what the product will be like in 2021

18 November, 2020
Olga Voytikhovich

For quite a while already, Gurtam has been developing niche monitoring solutions for addressing specific tasks. Here we are talking about Hecterra, Fleetrun, NimBus, WiaTag, and some others. These tasks vary from personal monitoring and control of field works to passenger transportation monitoring and fleet maintenance.

We also have Logistics, the solution for delivery route planning and management. Many Wialon partners have been actively using it. However, due to different reasons, for a long time, we have been focusing on other solutions. Now, the situation has changed as the project got its own analyst. At Gurtam, it means that this app is currently among the company’s key projects.

In today’s article, Anton Voitenko will share the team’s plans for product development and talk about the changes that have happened to the app for the last several months.

Logistics product manager

Anton Voitenko

Business Analysis Specialist

My career in the sphere of transportation started four years ago in the delivery service. Over this time, I worked my way from the account manager to the head of the logistics department. Also, I took part in the company’s establishment in the international market.

Right now, I am a  business analysis specialist for the Logistics project, and I hope that my experience will help unlock the app’s potential and bring the solution to a whole new level so that it could bring even more value to the Wialon partners’ businesses.

Why do you need an automated route planning service?

Now, the delivery companies have to solve many tasks. They need to take into account the delivery time interval, warehouses’ working hours, the vehicles’ carrying capacity, the cargo’s weight and dimensions characteristics. The traffic situation is also to be considered. It’s hard for a human to keep track of all these parameters, and it’s where various automated systems step in. They plan routes and offer optimal solutions.

As a result of certain global changes, the world is facing the growing popularity of logistics arrangement solutions that not only tend to the new delivery market but also save the transportation market suffering from the pandemic. The Logistics app was designed to solve the tasks related to shipping arrangements, transport processes optimization, and cutting costs throughout the supply chain.

What has already been done

To support the solution that has to exist within the new external conditions, our team is actively developing it starting the second quarter of 2020. We closely follow the trends in the delivery sphere to release up-to-date functionality. Here are some of the latest developments and improvements:

  • Planned and actual routes. We added the option of displaying planned and actual routes on the map in reports.
  • Geocoding algorithm. We improved the search formula in a way that the addresses are found even more accurately, which simplifies the import of orders with addresses. 
  • Enhanced the mobile version of the solution. We increased its performance, polished the user interface and the location of elements in the orders’ dialog.
  • Custom fields in orders. We added the ability to create custom fields with any additional information on the delivery.

Plan/actual route comparison in Logistics

Plan/actual route comparison in Logistics

Find more details on the new functionality in the product update articles (use the tag Logistics).

The delivery route app perspectives

The new developments described above are just the beginning. In the future, we are going to:

  • improve the route optimization algorithm;
  • keep enhancing the app both specifically and globally;
  • add new features such as the ability to calculate the route cost;
  • revise the app’s design by making it more intuitive and user-friendly;
  • keep enhancing the mobile version of the solution.

The route optimization algorithm

While talking about plans, let’s focus more on the route optimization algorithm and elaborate on why the companies need it and what tasks it solves.

The optimization algorithm is the heart of any automated route planning service. In logistics, it is capable of taking into consideration multiple parameters such as the order location, delivery intervals, warehouse working hours, vehicles’ carrying capacity, cargo’s weight and dimensions characteristics, and building an optimal route.

Different companies have different business processes, and this algorithm should know how to adapt to them and offer optimal solutions:

  • The courier companies where couriers are always on the go, and new orders appear non-stop, need to distribute these orders across already existing routes taking into account the couriers’ location.
  • The companies that provide standard and express delivery where being late is unacceptable can’t work without the option of specifying the orders’ priority status. 
  • Shipping companies can’t transport foodstuff together with construction materials and need the option of specifying the cargo incompatibility.
  • The companies that transport, for example, medical waste can use specific vehicles only. Such companies would appreciate the option to match orders with corresponding vehicles.

We analyzed the users’ work in Logistics and found out that routes are distributed individually for each vehicle. The user knows beforehand which vehicle will be assigned to the route and what orders will be within this route. In other words, Logistics is used to get the sequence of points.

However, for the offered solution to be optimal (minimal total mileage, the route and time lags duration), the algorithm should be capable of solving two tasks:

  • assigning the most suitable units and efficient distribution of orders across routes with the help of several modes;
    • assigning the route to the closest unit;
    • taking into account the unit type, the units use value, and their priority upon building the route;
    • even creation of routes between units.
  • optimizing the sequence of points in the route.

Watch the webinar recording on all the route control options available in Wialon

The product vision: bringing value to the business

Right now, we are working on making the Logistics optimization algorithm more flexible. It will allow the user to choose the necessary optimization strategy at any given time: provision of the most quality service or cutting costs. To do so, we thoroughly examine different delivery processes, apply new approaches to the route optimization tasks, and interact with the partner community.

Eventually, we will define and add the essential modes that our system lacks. They will let Logistics solve even more complex problems such as defining the optimal number of vehicles taking into account their characteristics and use value. It means that the system will consider various business needs and offer the best possible solutions. The maximum cost saving or the 30-minute delivery interval without time lags? You are the one to decide, and we will be happy to assist you on the way!

Test the already implemented features and leave your feedback on the Gurtam forum. Also, write about the functionality that you want to have in Logistics to its product manager at voan@gurtam.com. Additionally, if you have a challenging Logistics-based project, we can’t wait to get it at marketing@gurtam.com to publish it in our use cases library.

Olga Voytikhovich
Olga Voytikhovich
Olga is a content editor at Gurtam. She proofreads and reviews other authors' materials, also writes about Gurtam products, presents partner use cases in the best way possible, and tells about the system updates. In fact, Olga helps out with the content of almost all Gurtam resources.


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