10 Variables to Dispatch Deliveries Like a Pro

Dispatching deliveries is a procedure for assigning employees (workers) or vehicles to customers. Industries that dispatch include transport, logistics, couriers, emergency services, as well as services such as cleaning, plumbing, handyman, mobile tanning, mobile massage, pest control and electricians

To design an efficient dispatching system and to be able to estimate reasonably accurate delivery times, a large set of variables need to be taken into account.  

"An efficient dispatching system needs to quickly rank a set of variables relevant to the industry: time, distance, load capacity, traffic, weather, perishability of items, and carrying capacity and then model it against previous data for similar delivery routes in order to dispatch efficiently and accurately estimate time of arrivals” says Keith Urquhart, Chief Technology Officer of Swift dispatch management software.

Here are 10 variables you should consider to create an efficient dispatching system:

How quickly does the job need to be dispatched?

Is it same day or does it need to be done in 60 minutes? Routing and dispatching can become extremely efficient when understanding the time sensitivity of a job.

How big is the load of the delivery?

Furniture, envelope or there might not be a load measurement for service based businesses. This impacts who can move items form A to B in your fleet.

How are the traffic conditions for the suggested route?

This is important for managing arrival expectations for your customer if traffic conditions are not normal and alternative routes need to be taken

Are the items perishable and require priority?

If a courier is carrying a pizza and a case of beer, the model should consider whether dispatching and assigning the pizza delivery first is more efficient than delivering the alcohol delivery second. The key calculation to consider is what is the perishability of the items being carried and set a multiple against certain items. Pizza might stay optimal hot for 20 minutes so if the system calculates the beer can be delivered first and pizza second all within 20 minutes then a directional distance smart route would then take priority.

Who is the fastest courier?

Before dispatching, your data can tell you who is quickest in the area. It might be because their vehicle is a bicycle in the middle of New York City and so the system should place higher value on bike messengers if they can carry the required load.

Who is the closest courier?

After ranking the fastest couriers it is then time to calculate who is nearest to pick up.

Which mode of transport do they have and can they carry this item?

You should do a detailed study about their procedure of dispatch; does their transport vary according to the goods that need to be dispatched? If so, then find out what kind of transport they use for different items and then rank vehicle multiples against the required load to be dispatched.

What is the current job capacity of nearby couriers or drivers?

If you are an on-demand delivery company then the dispatching system should identify who is the least busy in the area. Perhaps you set a maximum carrying capacity of 3 so the software needs to identify who is full and who is available. A transport dispatch system might have a carrying capacity of 1 person or a ride sharing app might set a limit of 3 persons if those people are travelling in the same direction.

Is there a driver moving in the same direction that could deliver faster?

Sometimes it is more efficient to move a good with a busier driver if they are moving in the same direction and all other parameters line up. This simple math can dramatically reduce your driver costs and maximise delivery margins.

Probability of another delivery job in that same area being received within 5 minutes based on previous data?

After some months of data collection, Swift can accurately calculate the the probability of an order being received in any location within the dispatching area. This becomes extremely important for assigning tasks in the same direction whilst utilising the carrying capacity of your fleet


Once jobs have been dispatched effectively, you can then use a smart delivery management software that tells your driver which jobs to complete first based on the above parameters. 

Have any questions about the above or how Swift can help improve your current dispatching system?

Get in touch with one of us today!