Timeslot optimizer


This article gives an overview of the Timeslot optimizer, what it does and how to build tours automatically, while ensuring all bookings get completed on time within the requested timeslot.

The Timeslot optimizer takes into account the few variables: pickup duration, drop-off handover time and vehicle speed and merges bookings to give the most optimized tours. Dispatchers benefit from tours being built automatically and are able to plan in advance the workforce required to execute the day’s deliveries.



When to use this feature?

  • When you have fixed delivery timeslots per day and require bookings to be completed on time within the requested timeslot.
  • When you plan tours in advance and want to manage the number of workers needed for the day to execute the tours.
  • When you want to have optimized tours built for you easily and automatically, rather than manually selecting bookings to merge into tours.



  • You have the Timeslot optimizer feature enabled on your account. Please reach out to our Customer Success team for more information.
  • Each pickup stop e.g. hub/ warehouse requires a Saved place to be created in your MotionTools account.
  • Fixed delivery timeslots and timeslots must not overlap e.g. in 1 hour or 30 minute timeslots. The Timeslot optimizer doesn’t work for varying/ overlapping timeslots, such as if you offer 30 minutes and 1 hour slots for customers.
  • Bookings need to be structured in a certain way in order to be optimizable with this feature, such as defining timeslots, providing a hub_slug and hub_id in the booking metadata.



  • Create 1-stop bookings (drop-off stops only) that reference the hub they are served from. The 1-stop bookings created must contain only the drop-off stops, because a pickup stop per tour will be created with the Timeslot optimizer.
  • Define multiple parameters such as hub, pickup duration, drop-off stop handover time, vehicle speed and timeslot duration.



  • A pickup stop per tour is created automatically.
  • One or multiple tours created, sorted by timeslots and route-optimized for the shortest time per timeslot.
  • The optimizer not only takes the selected bookings as the input, but also automatically identifies all other bookings that are 1) On hold, 2) belonging to the same hub and are part of the same timeslot and 3) makes sure to dispatch those bookings into the automatically created tours.


Tour building algorithm

  • Tours are built based on the overflow logic — we bundle the bookings that can be completed on time within one timeslot. The remaining bookings in the same timeslot are put into a new tour as the first tour has reached its capacity for that particular timeslot.
  • This logic ensures that the productivity of drivers per timeslot is fully maximized and bookings get completed on time.


Step-by-step guide

  1. Go to the Operations page.
  2. Identify at least 2 relevant bookings from the same hub that should be grouped and optimized into tours. Selecting these bookings can be done easily by filtering for a service area or a place.
  3. Select bookings.
  4. Click on the tour builder Split button to launch the Timeslot optimizer. Click on Timeslot optimizer.
  5. Select the hub which bookings are served from.
  6. Define ‘Tour start time’.
    • Date of the scheduled bookings
    • Start time ⇒ The earliest time which the first booking starts
  7. Define ‘Tour end time’.
    • Date of the scheduled bookings
    • End time ⇒ The latest time which the last booking ends
  8. Define ‘Pickup duration’. This is the time needed for drivers to load items into their vehicles.
    • Note: This field influences the time a tour should start. If the start of the timeslot is at 08:00 and the pickup duration is set to 15 minutes, the tour will be created for 07:45 and earlier to account for the pickup duration and time taken to travel from the hub to the first drop-off stop.
  9. Define ‘Drop-off handover’. This is the time spent at each stop while handing over items to the recipient.
  10. Define ‘Timeslot duration’. This value needs to be the same for all tours being created.
  11. Optional: Click the checkbox ‘Consolidate checklists on hub stop’.
    • This is only relevant if you have the Custom content item attached to the stops, such as an order_id that the driver needs to confirm on each stop. See example:
  12. Click Optimize to run the optimizer.
  13. The created tours are immediately visible on the Operations page. Alternatively, if you’re viewing on the Bookings page, filter by Driver tours to see the results.
  14. Some tours could have too many stops which a driver can’t fit all items into the vehicle. To ‘unmerge’ the tours and build new ones, select the tours and hit the Undispatch button. This action cancels the tour and the pickup stops created, and its bookings will be undispatched.
  15. Reselect the relevant bookings and click on Timeslot optimizer, this time changing the variables from step 6 to give a different result of the tours created.



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