When operating in a high-pressure business like delivery, you need to ensure your entire courier process is as efficient as possible. Couriers as a whole deliver millions of parcels a day, but they wouldn’t be able to hit these numbers without effective route planning, preferably with software.

How to Effectively Plan Courier Delivery Routes With Technology

A manual route planning process may work for your company in the beginning, but once you scale, you’ll quickly lose out on delivery opportunities. Here’s how technology can help.

1. Make Sure Your Route Planner Offers Unlimited Stops

The average UPS driver makes 120 deliveries per day, but this number can vary depending on store popularity, courier, and location. Still, route planners that put a limit on the amount of stops your drivers can make will severely limit the number of packages you can deliver in a day.


For this reason, it’s a good idea to purchase a route planner that doesn’t cap your stops. You can try a route planner for free, like Circuit Route Planner, and get up to 10 stops per day. However, you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan to get nearly unlimited stops (up to 500 a day). 

2. Don’t Rely on Free Route Planning Software 

Startups may start their route planning journey with free software or apps, but they’ll prove to be inefficient in the long run. That’s because they won’t come with premium features. For example, Google Maps isn’t able to coordinate a large fleet nor handle large volumes of deliveries.


Delivery fleet managers will get more out of their route planning if they start with a paid software that accesses all angles of the shipment process. Most free planning apps won’t account for weather conditions, car accidents, or sudden delivery changes, which you’ll need to scale.

3. Collect Location and Traffic Data/Analytics 

Your drivers will pass the same streets, neighborhoods, and businesses almost daily, but that doesn’t mean they’ll know how to maneuver in and around them effectively. You’ll need to collect location and traffic data if you want to have a positive impact on your driver’s well-being.


Without real-time data, your drivers may feel more stressed, which may cause aggressive driver behaviors that put them at risk. With a GPS, constantly refreshing route planner, your drivers can adjust to unexpected traffic jams the moment their route automatically updates.

4. Keep Track of Your Drivers for Full Visibility

There will be times when you need your drivers to return to the fulfillment center for a priority delivery. While you could call around to see which driver is closer, it’s faster to use GPS fleet tracking technology to find the driver you need, so you can ping them on their device.


GPS tracking can also track specific packages, which can help customers predict the estimated time of delivery. When you have a full view of where your vehicles and drivers are at all times, you can strategically plan your routes based on availability, improving your dispatch speed.

5. Use Software to Find Route Improvements

Even with a manual route planning process, you’ll know why deliveries are late. But without technology, you won’t be able to pinpoint where improvements can be made. Something as small as driving down a different street at a certain hour can help you meet your deadlines.


Route planning software will actually show you what streets you should use to shave seconds off your schedule. Those seconds will quickly add up to minutes, even hours, once you account for all of your drivers. With careful planning, you could squeeze in an extra 10 deliveries a day.