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Online truck route planning, a market overview

Gerhard Hänel
Gerhard Hänel04.06.2018 6 min

Table of contents

  1. Online LKW Routenplanung
  2. Truck route planning is not the same as car route planning
  3. Online truck route planning tools
  4. The illustration of the vehicle cost calculation
  5. Toll calculation
  6. Usability
  7. Conclusion

Online truck route planning

When it comes to route planning, the road map has long since become obsolete, and web-based route planning has become a much-used, free commodity for cars. Through numerous free navigation applications the first way leads to one of the numerous online providers, first of all to the Google Maps application. But route planner is not equal to route planner. The functional scope of the individual solutions differs considerably in detail, for example some planning solutions allow the inclusion of live traffic data or the advised departure time in the calculation.

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Truck route planning is not the same as car route planning

While planning for passenger cars usually satisfies lower demands, precise route planning in the transport industry is the key to the efficiency of the resources used and economic success. As a result, truck route planning in particular is not necessarily the same as car route planning.

The special requirements for the transport industry for route planning include not only obvious factors, such as longer journey times for trucks or several stopovers, but also more complex variables, such as hourly or kilometre rates for vehicles and their operating resources. In order to enable the scheduler to calculate a profitable tour-specific offer, far more information must therefore be included in the calculation.

Online truck route planning tools

A few applications, such as the free truck route planner in the IMPARGO Cargo Apps, the tool from reiseplanung.de or the map and guide, make it possible to work with truck profiles and thus observe truck restrictions or map specific truck driving times. This is particularly important for truck route planning, because while there are hardly any restrictions on the drivable route sections for passenger cars, vehicles over 3.5t in weight and above a certain height face a problem - they are subject to special restrictions which are not taken into account by the classic car routing providers. For example, the A1 Rhine bridge is not navigable for trucks, Google Maps and Falk do not allow a distinction here, while the truck routing tools Cargo Apps and Map and Guide skilfully bypass here. Despite its selectable truck 40t profile reiseplanung.de cannot convince here, restrictions like these are often not considered or are outdated.

The illustration of the vehicle cost calculation

In order to calculate the costs, material and personnel costs of the transport company must be allocated to the individual tours. A correct cost calculation is unfortunately not possible with Maps or Falk. Irrespective of the fact that the kilometres in both route planners do not correspond to a truck driving profile, the calculation of tour-specific costs based purely on kilometres leads to a partially fatal misjudgement. The standard of vehicle cost accounting is based on a two-dimensional calculation according to operating time and kilometres. For this purpose, in addition to the correct kilometres, the correct operating time is also required.

Both PTV's Map&Guide and IMPARGO's Cargo Apps allow a detailed setting of various vehicle parameters and the mapping of a two-dimensional view over kilometers and time. Thus, the Cargo Apps can display the complete vehicle costing from tire consumption to expenses.

Toll calculation

Another major uncertainty factor is the complex structure of toll costs in the EU countries. In the case of car-focused route planners (Maps, Falk, etc.), all calculations for the route sections have to be carried out or estimated manually; this leads to a high error potential.

The chargeable Map&Guide, as well as the truck route planner in the freely available Cargo Apps are able to calculate a precise forecast of these tolls for the tour in advance, and thus provide the scheduler with a tool with which he can quickly, transparently and individually adapt the tour-specific costs to his company, transform them into an offer. Unlike the Cargo Apps, Map & Guide already offers a toll calculation for the whole of Europe.

Usability

Google Maps and the Falk route planner stand out particularly in terms of usability. However, the simple operation also results from the reduced functional scope of the applications. The Cargo Apps combine the usability of an intuitive web application in the Internet browser with the functions of professional software.

Conclusion

Thus, truck route planning with most free online map providers often leads to fatal misjudgements and offers only a simplified view of the actual situation.