Optimal tour start times

Start time of individual delivery tours can have a huge impact on tour efficiency, directly influencing distance traveled, number of tours and work time

Why are individual starting times for delivery tours needed?


Various parameters and constraints, which might impose contrary starting times, e.g. delivery time windows and traffic situation

Testing various start times in manual processes results in high workload and leads to sub-optimal various start times in manual processes

Resulting need

Sophisticated mechanism to plan optimal tour start times

Trade-off between parameters to define optimal start time

Automated planning process to avoid manual workload

How does Greenplan enable planning of optimal start times?

Greenplan simultaneously exploits the flexibility of possible starting times, stop sequences and shipment/tour assignments to calculate an optimum combination

Greenplan determines optimal start times based on shipment specific delivery time windows, time-of-day dependent flow velocities and working time constraints

Greenplan automates calculation of optimal start time and thus eliminates manual effort required in status quo, i.e. testing various start times in manual processes

Greenplan plans more efficient tours by defining optimal start times and thus enables customers to reduce delivery costs and carbon emissions – by driving “the best way”

Deliveries Metropolitan Area


Daily deliveries to retail stores in dense urban area

  • Scope of use case:
  • Single depot in central location
  • 500+ store locations supplied
  • Fixed delivery time windows at stores
  • LTL shipping

Unreliable (static) route planning due to heavy traffic congestion during the day

Fixed start times for single delivery tours prevent traffic avoidance

Results in delayed deliveries & missed time windows


Allows flexible tour starts between 5am to 6am

Calculates optimal start time based on e.g.:

  • Time-of-day dependent and street specific traffic flow velocities
  • Shipment specific delivery time windows
  • Working time constraints

Planning result provides optimal tour schedule :

  • A total of 33 delivery tours
  • A total distance of 3,081 km driven
  • A total driving time of 4,238 min across all tours

Google Maps - ToDo

Benefits provided

Planning optimal start times for individual tours enables:

  • Lower amount of tours
  • Less distance driven
  • Reduced costs
  • Reduced CO2 emissions

Automated planning of optimal tour start times ensures:

  • Reduced planning workload
  • No errors due to manual planning

What is Greenplan?

Learn more about our product.

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