Couriers have one of the toughest jobs in modern economies. They have to face difficult traffic conditions and huge pressure to get all deliveries done on time. Managing to make both dispatch and end customers happy is no easy task either. Couriers even struggle to gain access to toilet facilities when they are on the road all day! Courier apps should be designed to make a courier's life easier. In this article we look at the courier apps used by dispatch to optimize routes for courier drivers, track vehicles in the field and allow drivers to capture proof of delivery.
For couriers and courier companies route planning software is an absolute must. SmartRoutes delivery management dashboard and driver apps will allow you to control last-mile operations and just-in-time delivery drops and collections.
What you will learn about in this article:
- Package delivery apps and why they are important
- Courier driver apps - do I need one?
- How couriers plan their routes
- How to make delivery management easy
- Courier app case study - DeliverIT
- The 5 best package delivery apps
- Who uses courier apps beyond just couriers?
- Key features to look for in a courier app
Package delivery apps and why they are important
And because your customers are not only the recipients but also the client who has contracted you the critical piece of the puzzle to get right is reporting and insights on operations. SmartRoutes gives you the end-to-end features and functions you will need. Whether it is planning, routing, delivery management, proof-of-delivery or reporting we can do it all for you.
We know expectations are high on apps for deliveries. Your customers expect you to bring cutting edge operations to support their business, and that means delivering a quality service at the lowest possible cost. In other words, walking a last-mile logistics tightrope.
A courier business and its reputation depend on having a robust system and process in place. The benefits of courier apps include:
- 5-20% Reductions in CO2 emissions, mileage and driving time
- 30% Average increase in delivery capacity on each route
- 50% Reduction in time spent on route planning & admin tasks
Courier driver apps - do I need one?
If you are answering yes to two or more of these then you probably need to think about using a courier driver app.
- I manually plan routes for my drivers and hand over these plans usually at a meeting or by sending them a list or map
- I don't know whether my courier drivers actually follow my plans
- I don't know where my courier drivers are once they leave the depot
- I have a problem with missed deliveries that means they have to be redelivered
- I get a lot of calls from customers with questions about their delivery
- My courier drivers complain about the routes I create saying that they can find better routes
- There is no proof that a delivery has taken place other than the driver's word
- I have a problem with drivers leaving my company and having to hire in new drivers
How do couriers plan their routes?
- Cut hours of admin and planning time by having multiple delivery routes, created at the click of a button with optimization software
- Upload your stops routes by .csv .xl or input manually
- Utilize Zip codes, Post codes and GPS coordinates to quickly and accurately plan deliveries
- Create flexible geographical zones and automatically assign work within those parameters
- Optimize vehicle efficiency with smart load-balancing that means vehicles go out fully loaded
- Dispatch routes to drivers via their own app
- Include dispatch notes for drivers so they know what to do/expect
- Try to provide the best possible delivery experience for you customers
Delivery management software made easy
- Increase capacity and reduce fleet size with industry-leading route optimization
- Use Postcodes, Zipcodes, GPS Co-Ordinates & what3words to ensure accurate delivery addresses
- Flexibly zone your deliveries, incorporating vehicle and driver assignment to specific areas
- Get advanced insights and analytics from machine-learned routing data
- Save money with smart load-balancing so every vehicle leaves the depot full
- It is clear everyone now wants a green last mile delivery solution and this does just that.
Clean your data and get addresses verified
- Automate the cleansing and update of inaccurate addresses
- Automatically verify the authenticity and location accuracy of addresses provided by customers
Courier delivery app
- Automatically assign routes to drivers for efficient delivery using the courier app.
- Provide drivers with clear working hours information for the day.
- Share dispatch notes with drivers for each stop/customer, ensuring they have all necessary information.
- Help drivers navigate their routes effectively and reach destinations on time.
- Allow drivers to take notes for end-of-day reports without direct contact with dispatch managers.
- Record signatures, notes, and proof of delivery to maintain a detailed delivery record.
- Track driver routes in real-time to monitor efficiency and ensure all work is completed.
- Enhance data protection and security with a fully digital process for safe and secure delivery.
Reporting and insights on apps for deliveries
- Fully customizable and dynamic reporting
- Get frequent driver performance reports
- Seamless & automated Delivery On Time and SLA reporting
Get the most from integrations with SmartRoutes
- SmartRoutes has extensive experience working with third-party software providers, allowing for seamless integration with your current Telematics and Order Management Systems.
- Simplify the integration process by easily integrating with your existing Proof-of-Delivery solution.
Courier app Case Study
When Deliver-It, a prominent third-party logistics (3PL) company, approached us for a delivery route planning solution, they were facing a significant challenge. Having just secured a valuable contract from a new client, they needed to expand their fleet and hire more drivers to meet the increased demand efficiently. That's when they turned to us, seeking our expertise in optimizing their courier deliveries.
We started by analyzing the data provided by Deliver-It's new client, which included drop-off locations, predicted order volumes, and frequency. Leveraging this information, we implemented our cutting-edge SmartRoutes courier software, allowing Deliver-It to seamlessly upload and optimize their delivery routes and vehicle assignments. With this new capability, they could confidently assure their customers that all demands and obligations would be met without any hassle.
Once the new contract commenced, Deliver-It immediately integrated SmartRoutes' software into their daily operations. Every evening, their client would send over the order list, delivery addresses, and any specific dispatch notes. Previously, manually planning which vans would carry specific items would have been time-consuming. However, our SmartRoutes Desktop Route Planner made it a breeze for Barry and his team. With a simple data upload, the planner efficiently assigned routes to drivers, enabling Deliver-It to send all the necessary information to their drivers with just a click.
Initially, Barry was concerned about his drivers' receptiveness to the new app. But at SmartRoutes, we prioritized user-friendliness and intuition during development, and the drivers quickly embraced the technology. They found the app not only easy to use but also a valuable tool for their job. They could now access their routes in advance, track any undeliverable items, and securely manage all proof of deliveries (POD).
Throughout the day, Barry had complete visibility and oversight of all his vans and drivers through our route planning dashboard. This real-time tracking capability was crucial in ensuring smooth operations and giving Barry peace of mind. Moreover, he could provide his client with timely updates on the delivery ETA, enhancing their overall service quality.
"SmartRoutes helped me reduce admin planning time by 85% and fuel by 20%. However, what really sets SmartRoutes apart is the ease of implementation and the on-going support they provide."
Barry Rabbitt - Owner - Deliver-It
5 Best courier delivery apps
1. Google Maps
Google maps is the original and best navigation app but is it fit for purpose in professional courier companies?
Google Maps is the most widely used app and is familiar to everyone with a smartphone. They are the leaders in tech mapping of our world and the only ones with the resources to send vehicles to every road in the developed world to get a live-view of the Earth!
If you’re starting out in business, your routes might still be pretty small. If so, you can put in the addresses of your drops and be on your way in seconds. You can plan up to 10 stops in one go on Google Maps and it works pretty well. It isn't though a delivery route planner and if you go beyond 10 stops you will end up in trouble.
The second biggest hurdle is that it doesn’t actually ‘optimize’ the route, so it may not be the most efficient way to complete your deliveries.
Not a bad place to start for simple routing but if you are looking for a professional solution you might want to keep reading.
Best suited to: Individuals doing their own deliveries with limited drops for a new business
Advantages: Free, easy-to-use, desktop and mobile apps
Limitations: Only 10 stops per route, no route optimization, no delivery specific functions
So, Google Maps allows up to 10 stops and doesn't optimize the route. Well, RouteXL gets its place next on our list as it solves both those problems, while still being having a free version. For those starting out, a free option might be attractive.
Although there is still a cap of 20 drops, it’s likely you might not even need any more than that for a start. Another nice thing about RouteXL, is you can simply go to their website and start creating routes right away.
RouteXL also allows you to import a list of stops or customers so you can plan more quickly. RouteXL though is just a web dashboard and even though you can print out the routes you build, they do not sync with a driver app, you can't track your drivers and you can't really get insight into what is going on. For this reason RouteXL remains a tool for small courier operations or ones that just deliver infrequently.
Finally, it can be a little slow to create routes, so expect to be a little patient while it finds a route for you.
Best suited to: Small and new businesses that outgrow Google Maps
Advantages: Free, no sign-up, and more stops than Google Maps
Limitations: No multi-drop specific functionality, capped at 20 stops, and no mobile apps
Onfleet offers a pretty good route optimization and delivery management solution that will serve much bigger courier teams. It does, however, come with a big price tag.
Onfleet offers a desktop-based route optimization solution and combines it with a multi drop route planner app with lots of delivery-related functionality like proof-of-delivery, driver and customer communication, and reporting.
To pick fault with their offering, the pricing is a little complicated with functions like barcode scanning and customer SMS notifications starting at $799.
Onfleet's pricing can be a bit opaque if you are not sure how many deliveries you will be doing as they charge in bands based on these.
Best suited to: Large businesses with established eCommerce of warehousing operations
Advantages: A very comprehensive solution with desktop planners and mobile driver app
Limitations: Expensive pricing for full feature set and large drop volumes perating at very high volume so you can keep it cost effective.
RoadWarrior is an affordable option for basic route optimization needs. While it doesn't offer all the advanced features of SmartRoutes or Onfleet, it can effectively plan and optimize your routes.
With RoadWarrior, you pay $10 for the basic app, plus a per-user fee for each driver and admin staff member on your team. While the costs can add up, RoadWarrior remains very affordable overall. However, if you need more advanced features like proof-of-delivery or customer notifications, RoadWarrior may not be the best choice for you.
- Driver app
- Route creation and live-edits
- File importer
- Route optimization
- Team management permissions
- Time windows
- Fleet tracking
$10 per user monthly for driver app, route optimization and data export [Max Route Size 120 Stops]
$10 standard + $10 per user for team features and [Max Route Size 200 Stops]
RoadWarrior prioritizes the driver experience with its user-friendly app, which focuses on optimizing routes rather than an admin-heavy interface. With a low price point, RoadWarrior competes well against mapping software like Google Maps and RouteXL. Additionally, RoadWarrior integrates with FedEx data, making it an excellent choice for FedEx drivers in particular.
5. SmartRoutes Courier App
SmartRoutes is a comprehensive delivery management software that can meet the needs of courier teams of all sizes. With SmartRoutes, you can easily plan and optimize your routes, track drivers, and capture proof of delivery. In addition, SmartRoutes provides real-time delivery notifications and a delivery tracking portal to keep recipients informed and updated on their deliveries.
Couriers and courier companies are a central customer base for SmartRoutes and the platform is designed with them in mind. There are pricing options to meet the needs of small teams who simply want route planning and optimization but there are bigger packages that track the entire courier delivery management suite.
- Driver app
- Route creation and live-edits
- File importer
- Route optimization
- Insights and audit reports
- Team management permissions
- Zoned operations and load balancing
- Time windows
- Fleet tracking via GPS
- Delivery management suite
- Proof of delivery
- Delivery notifications and tracking portal
- Multi-depot structure
- Professional services
- Custom Builds
- Custom Integrations
- Custom Reports
$29 per vehicle monthly for the driver app and route optimization
$49 per vehicle monthly for full functionality excluding custom work or notifications
Enterprise pricing starting at $1000 monthly
*Drivers and admin staff are included for free with these plans, only the number of vehicles being used are counted resulting in huge savings for teams. No restrictions on numbers of drivers using the vehicle licences or number of routes planned within fair usage parameters.
SmartRoutes is a great solution for courier delivery companies and has a great mix of functionality and price points that just make sense for teams. There is a free trial for 7 days that allows teams to fully test and pilot the software on real routes.
Who uses courier apps beyond just couriers?
Anyone can use courier apps they don't have to be couriers. Even if you are just planning a visit to a number of customers and you want to make sure you have the most efficient route then you can use this type of tool.
Certain industries that are not associated with 3PL or delivery logistics do use courier apps regularly. These include distribution companies, pharmaceutical firms, healthcare, newspaper and print media, as well as food delivery and ecommerce businesses. Any business that has vehicles on the road that are serving multiple stops in a day can use this tech.
By removing the need for manual routing and planning, it can save hours in admin time and also reduces distance travelled and fuel consumed, resulting in time and financial savings for both business and driver.
Best courier app for deliveries
Save time and money in delivery management. Cut carbon emissions. Get oversight on your fleet. Increase customer satisfaction with superb communication tools.
Key features of a courier app
Inefficient last mile delivery planning can significantly increase your overall logistical costs, potentially rendering your operations unprofitable. Poor planning often leads to lengthy time windows and missed deliveries, ultimately resulting in customer dissatisfaction and churn.
Fortunately, using a delivery planning software can help alleviate these issues. By automating the route planning process, you can reduce the administrative overhead and free up valuable time for other tasks. With better planning, you can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.
Our route optimizing algorithm can significantly reduce the cost per delivery compared to traditional planning, with savings of at least 33%. With the ability to factor in complex variables such as time windows, load balancing, zonal territories, and even vehicle-specific requirements, our software can help you avoid missed deliveries and meet important deadlines.
By ensuring that your vehicles leave the depot fully loaded and with optimized routes, you can increase your profitability and reduce costs. With our advanced algorithm, you can achieve greater efficiency and better allocate resources, ultimately leading to a more successful and profitable operation.
Visualize your delivery fleet on a live map and manage and adjust routes in real-time with ease. Our software allows you to optimize delivery operations and be more efficient, taking the guesswork out of the process.
With a data-driven model of fleet tracking, you can reduce your dependence on a driver's local knowledge and achieve greater accuracy and consistency in your deliveries. Our software provides real-time updates and insights, allowing you to make informed decisions and adjust routes as needed to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Your drivers are a critical asset to your delivery operations, and providing them with effective tools is essential to their success. Our delivery driver app is designed to optimize and navigate their routes, ensuring that they reach their destinations on time and with maximum efficiency.
In addition to route optimization, our driver apps enable drivers to capture proof of delivery and maintain constant contact with the depot through dispatch and driver notes. By providing your drivers with these powerful tools, you can improve communication, streamline operations, and reduce the risk of errors and delays.
With driver turnover rates averaging at 25% annually, investing in driver apps can help you retain staff and boost efficiency over the long term. By giving your drivers the support they need to succeed, you can build a more effective and reliable delivery operation.
Effective delivery management is crucial for all types of businesses, regardless of size or industry. By investing in a comprehensive solution, you can control costs and protect the customer experience, ensuring that your deliveries are reliable, efficient, and safe.
Without proper investment in delivery management, businesses risk losing customers, with up to 38% churn rate reported due to poor delivery experiences. This can lead to spiraling delivery costs, particularly when missed deliveries have to be repeated, driving up operational expenses.
Elevate your customer delivery experience by providing them with real-time notifications and a live package tracking portal. Minimize missed deliveries and customer dissatisfaction by implementing an easy-to-use solution that can be utilized by anyone in your business. This will help increase customer return rates and enable you to control costs, particularly in the most expensive section of your logistics journey.
Proof of delivery
Automatically capture proof of delivery with a secure and compliant system using e-signatures, photos, or barcode scans. You can also automate email confirmations to customers or integrate with your ERP system for seamless tracking and data management.
Keep your customers informed throughout the last-mile with real-time delivery notifications and updates via text or email. Automate customer support processes and provide customers with peace of mind. Minimize delivery windows and increase successful deliveries to lower the cost per delivery and prevent customer churn.
By creating zones of delivery, businesses can better manage their delivery operations and optimize their routes within those zones. This allows them to reduce delivery times, increase delivery efficiency, and ultimately save costs.
With the help of AI, businesses can intelligently assign work to drivers based on their location and availability, ensuring that they are making the most of their resources.
Route and territory optimization all in one means that businesses can have a comprehensive view of their delivery operations, allowing them to better manage their fleet and resources. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction as deliveries are made more efficiently and accurately, resulting in fewer missed or delayed deliveries.
Transform your delivery operation into a data-driven team with our comprehensive end-of-day reports that provide insights into all aspects of your delivery performance. By leveraging this data, you can measure your success and identify areas for improvement, allowing you to continuously optimize your delivery process and achieve better results month on month. With this powerful tool at your disposal, you can make data-backed decisions to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the overall customer experience.
Expand your logistics team and efficiently manage large, distributed organizations with SmartRoutes' multi-depot management feature. This feature enables you to create a network of SmartRoutes accounts and assign Super Admin roles to manage your entire organization. Additionally, you can assign regional depot managers with specific permissions, depending on your organization's requirements. With this feature, you can scale your operations to reflect the scope of your logistics team and improve your overall performance.
Courier companies that are leading the way in delivery management in the UK
- JGS Couriers - JGS Couriers are based in Worcester and offer same-day delivery, bespoke delivery, secure delivery and storage facilities. The deliver throughout the UK and Europe.
- Links Courier Company - Links pride themselves on flexibility, reliability and customer service, their 24 hour same day service, means that you can rest assured that your delivery will arrive in a timely and secure manner.
- Gophr - Gophr use cutting-edge tech to provide quick, convenient and reliable last-mile delivery solutions across London and the UK for all kinds of business; from household name retail brands to local independent restaurants.
- Transworld Couriers - Sustainable logistics is important to Transworld and customers can book their next job on Transworld's electric van fleet.
Looking for the best courier apps for deliveries? Try SmartRoutes!
For couriers and courier companies, route planning software is an absolute must. SmartRoutes delivery management dashboard and driver apps will allow you to control last-mile operations and just-in-time delivery drops and collections. By leveraging the power of technology, you can streamline your operations, reduce costs, and provide an exceptional delivery experience to your customers. So, if you're looking for the best courier apps for deliveries, give SmartRoutes a try and take your delivery operations to the next level. You can try the platform with a 7-day free trial with SmartRoutes.
Frequently asked questions
1. What are the key features to look for in a courier app for deliveries?
When searching for the best courier app for your delivery needs, consider essential features such as real-time tracking, route optimization, proof of delivery (POD) capture, geofencing, and robust customer communication tools. These features can help streamline your delivery operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and improve overall efficiency.
2. Are there any free courier apps available for small businesses?
Yes and no. While there are free apps that could benefit courier drivers such as Google Maps or Waze, they do have limitations compared to paid versions. They can, however, be a great starting point for small businesses looking to manage their deliveries effectively without a significant upfront cost. But once your business starts to grow, you’ll need more features and flexibility that free apps can’t offer.
3. How can I compare different courier apps to find the best one for my needs?
To compare courier apps effectively, consider the following factors:
- Pricing: Compare the cost structures, including subscription fees, transaction fees, and any hidden charges.
- Features: Evaluate the features offered by each app and assess how well they align with your specific needs.
- User Reviews: Read user reviews and testimonials to gauge the app's reliability and user satisfaction.
- Integration: Check whether the app integrates with your existing systems (e.g., e-commerce platforms or CRM software).
- Scalability: Ensure that the app can grow with your business as your delivery needs expand.
4. What are some tips for improving delivery efficiency using courier apps?
To enhance delivery efficiency using courier apps, consider the following tips:
- Route Optimization: Utilize the app's route optimization feature to plan the most efficient delivery routes, saving time and fuel.
- Delivery Windows: Define delivery windows to manage customer expectations and ensure on-time deliveries.
- Automation: Automate order management, including order assignment and POD capture, to reduce manual tasks and errors.
- Real-time Tracking: Enable real-time tracking for customers to monitor their deliveries, reducing inquiries and enhancing transparency.
- Communication: Use the app's communication tools to update customers about delivery status and estimated arrival times.
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