Dispatching Packages — a Handbook

Introduction

Packages created on MotionTools are delivered to recipients via tours. When a dispatcher adds a package to a tour, the platform creates two stops — a pickup and a drop-off — and attaches a package to both of them.

The pickup stop address is derived from the package details based on the package status. If the status is "Created," the pickup stop will be at the package origin. If the status is “At Hub”, the pickup stop will be at that hub.

The drop-off stop address depends on the dispatcher’s choice. A package can be dropped off at its destination or at a hub.

As of February 1st, 2024, building tours for direct package deliveries from the origin to the destination, as well as hub-to-hub deliveries, is only supported through the API. The Package Dispatcher on the Dashboard, which is covered in this handbook, only supports deliveries via a hub (Origin → Hub → Destination) and deliveries from the hub (Hub → Destination). The Package Dispatcher also only works with On Hold tours. To add packages to tours in other statuses, use the API.

Finding packages to dispatch

The package dispatch process begins on the Packages page of the Dashboard. Use filters to narrow down the list of packages that you want to deliver. Once done, select packages.

The Dashboard will show two options on the Action bar: "Add to new tour" and "Add to existing tour". Select the appropriate option to launch the Package Dispatcher.

Packages - Packages selected.png

Only packages in the statuses "Created" and "At Hub" are eligible for dispatching.

The "Select all" option only selects the packages visible on the current page. If you have multiple pages, you need to repeat the process for each page.

Package Dispatcher

The Package Dispatcher has a wizard-like form that guides you through the process of adding packages to a tour. It consists of multiple steps, which depend on whether you are adding packages to a new or existing tour and whether you selected any packages in the “Created” status.

Step 1a. Create a new tour

If the "Add to new tour" option is selected on the Action bar, the first step will be to create a new tour. Define the basic tour parameters, such as the scheduled time, service area, capabilities, and tour name, and click "Continue". The Package Dispatcher will create an empty tour — a tour without any stops.

Create new tour.png

If the tour remains empty for more than an hour, it will be automatically cancelled.

Step 1b. Select a target tour

If the "Add to existing tour" option is selected on the Action bar, the first step will be to find a target tour — a tour where packages should be added. Use filters or search to narrow down the list of tours. Once you have found the target tour, select it and click "Continue".

Select target tour.png

The Package Dispatcher currently only works with tours in the On Hold status. To add packages to tours in other statuses, use the API.

Step 2. Select a hub

If you have selected packages in the "Created" status, this step will be to choose a hub where the packages should be delivered on their way to the destination. Select the hub from the dropdown menu and click “Continue”.

Package destination.png

If you don’t see any hubs in the dropdown menu, go to Settings → Saved Places to create a new hub.

Step 3. Adding packages

In this step, the Package Dispatcher will start adding packages to a tour. If a tour already has stops with the suitable type and location, packages will be added to those stops; otherwise, new stops will be created.

Updating tour - In progress.png

You can terminate the process by closing the Package Dispatcher, but note that added packages won't be removed for a tour.

If a package can't be added to a tour, it will be skipped, and you will see a message under the progress bar. The message will indicate the shortcode of the package, the reason for the failure, and a link to the package details page.

The Package Dispatcher currently ignores vehicle capacity restrictions.

A single stop can’t have packages to pick up and drop off. If the location has both packages, a tour route will include two separate stops at the same location: one for picking up packages and the other for dropping off packages.

Step 4. Review tour

In the final step of the Package Dispatcher, you can review the resulting tour. Here, you have options to optimize the route, remove some packages or stops, as well as add a new stop.

Review updated tour.png

To remove a package, click on the trash icon and confirm the removal. A package will be automatically removed from both stops it’s attached to.

To remove a stop, remove all packages attached to it.

To add a stop, click "Add Saved Place" and select a stop location from the dropdown. This feature is particularly useful if you want your driver to return to the garage or hub after completing all the other stops.

Merging tours with packages and deduplicating stops

Like any other tour, a tour with packages can be merged with other tours. However, when merging tours with packages, especially when they start or end at the same hub, it’s recommended to deduplicate stops. This will consolidate packages into a single stop.

To remove duplicate stops, open the Tour details page, scroll down the route, and click the "Deduplicate stops" button.

Alternatively, use the "Instant Merge into On Hold tour and Deduplicate" 1-click action on the Operation page to merge and deduplicate stops simultaneously.

During deduplication, the platform will evaluate route consistency. Deduplication won’t be performed if it would result in packages becoming undeliverable.

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