As part of route optimization, an attempt is made to allocate a large number of customers to be supplied, who can be served on different routes, to the individual routes as cost-effectively as possible. This should be done in such a way that the kilometers driven, the operating times of the means of transport and the personnel are optimized or minimized. Various restrictions such as the prescribed delivery time to the customer and legal traffic regulations (e.g. maximum speed, driver's driving times) must be observed.
To optimize tours, software packages are offered that use mathematical models to find the best possible division of tours, taking into account the restrictions. In the case of constantly changing customer delivery requirements (e.g. irregular purchases of goods), however, it often makes sense to use the experience and flexibility of dispatchers in addition to using route optimization systems. In this case, the tours are pre-structured by IT optimization and fine-tuning is done manually by the dispatcher.