Automatic planning for Package tours


Pickup and drop-off tours for packages are usually planned by dispatchers manually, which could give them more control over the packages to be dispatched into tours. Planning tours manually doesn’t only consume a lot of time, it might also not result in the most optimized route since these packages are added by hand. For more complex business operations that take into account the weight of items, availability of vehicles/ drivers, their shifts and delivery locations, the ability to plan tours automatically could alleviate the pain dispatchers face daily.

The auto-planning feature for drop-off tours helps dispatchers solve their problems related to building well-optimized tours and ensures that the rate of successful deliveries is maximized, with the least amount of effort in planning.


How this feature works

  • This feature is currently available for package drop-off tours only.
  • When triggering the automatic tour builder, be sure that the packages are in the ‘At hub’ status. Packages in the other statuses e.g. ‘Created’ will not be considered. Read Package statuses to learn more.
  • Dispatchers will trigger the tour builder and provide the relevant tour planning parameters, such as the hub/ warehouse to pickup from, date of delivery, vehicle availability, vehicle shift duration, vehicle type for maximum weight capacity and start time for the tour.
  • Once these parameters are filled in, the required tours are automatically created. The system dispatches the relevant stops and calculates optimized routes based on the available vehicle count, vehicle shift duration and ensures that the weight restriction is being respected.


Step-by-step guide

  1. Go to the Packages page in the dashboard.
  2. Click on Plan drop-off tours button.
  3. A pop-up window is triggered, where you can configure the tour planning parameters accordingly.
    • Pickup at date/ date range: Select packages with the specified pickup_at date
    • Hub: Select packages that are in the specified hub
    • Capabilities: Define the capabilities for executing the tour e.g. vehicle type. With the chosen vehicle type we derive a maximum weight capacity for the tours that had been configured for the vehicle.
    • Vehicles per hub: Specify the number of available vehicles per hub for executing the tours. The planner will not create any additional tours that would exceed the maximum number of tours that can be executed in parallel. If tour is already full due to the maximum weight restriction, the planner will create a follow-up tour and scheduled for later. The driver can proceed to execute the follow-up tour after completing the first tour if the specified shift duration allows it.
      • Note: The default value is 1 and cannot be 0.
    • Vehicle shift duration: Specify the shift duration per vehicle. This has an impact on the amount of stops a driver can deliver in his tour.
      • Note: The default value is 8. It cannot exceed 24 hours and cannot be 0.
    • Start time: Define the date and time to schedule the drop-off tour(s). The service area for the Ops configuration is detected based on the hub location.
    • Return to hub: Enable “A driver should return to a hub after visiting all stops“ to add a return to hub stop at the end of each tour. This is to cover the case when drivers must return vehicles back to a hub after each drop-off tour.
  4. Hit the Plan tours button on the pop-up window to trigger the tour planning.
  5. The dashboard will display a ‘Success’ message if all packages are planned. An ‘Error’ message will be displayed if the planning has failed — for example, if some packages were left unplanned or if none of the drop-off tours were created.
  6. The results of the planned tours can be viewed from the Operations page when you click on Open Operations. Alternatively, you can dispatch the tours immediately by clicking on the Dispatch tours button from the displayed message.


When would tour planning fail?

Scenario 1: The selected hub or pickup_at date doesn’t contain relevant packages to be dispatched into tours.



Scenario 2: The parameters configured in Step 3 didn’t allow the remaining packages to be planned into the tours. This could be due to the restrictions related to vehicle availability and/ or shift duration.

To re-plan the tours, you will need to cancel the existing drop-off tours and repeat Step 3 to re-configure the parameters.



Scenario 3: This error message could appear if the single package is over the limit of the vehicle’s weight capacity, since we ensure that the weight restriction is respected. For example, if you’re planning for a tour that contains 1 package and weighs 500 kg, whereas the maximum capacity of the Capability selected is less than 500 kg, the tour planning would fail.

To re-plan the tour, you will need to select a higher Capability that has the capacity to hold the weight of the package. See here for more details regarding the weight restrictions per Capability.



Additional notes

  • Every ‘vehicle type’ Capability has a standard capacity (max_weight) applied. Please reach out to our Customer Success team regarding configuring and/ or adjusting the capacity of the vehicle type.
  • This feature is not enabled by default. Talk to us if you’re interested in having this feature on your account!
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