Route planning has always been slow and expensive. We are going to change that.

It’s half past 7 in the evening, and you’re still fumbling with the paper run sheets spread out on your work desk in front of you.

Your phone, buried deep in your work, suddenly rings. It’s your wife, and yet another day you will have to miss dinner.

You explained that your customer has sent the manifest file late today — just like any other day — and you are rushing to get the routes planned out for your drivers before they start their runs at 8 the next morning.

All the work has already taken your appetite away so you don’t mind missing another dinner — it’s the kids that you miss.

You go back to planning your routes, hoping that things will change tomorrow.

After all, your customer has promised that they’ll send the manifest earlier the next time.

At Detrack, we hear this very often. Maybe too often.

Our associates would lament how their customers always send their manifests late, and how last minute changes to a delivery address or an urgent job request would throw a wrench into the routes that they’ve painstakingly planned the night before.

Sounds familiar? It actually puzzles us, a lot.

You see, Detrack is a delivery tracking solution and over the years we’ve become really good at what we do, enabling more than 24 million jobs to be completed (in just 5 years) using our platform. And this was achieved even without a route planning module.

It’s not that we can’t build a routing engine, but we really don’t want to when there are existing solutions out there, and we feel that there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

We prefer to stick to what we do best.

However for some puzzling reason, we continue to receive a lot of requests for a route planning module from our clients — even after recommending them some of the most popular route planning solutions we found online.


The Revelation

It wasn’t until a long-time Detrack client visited us at our head office (in sunny Singapore!) and revealed to us the real challenges they faced with route planning that we finally understood the pain — and the apparent impossibility of the situation.

Yes, the word is impossible.


Route Planning Is Very Expensive

We all know that route planning is a very expensive function, and many small businesses struggle to afford them. Even for large enterprises, deployment of route planning solutions can easily cost six to seven figures, resulting in serious erosion of the bottom line.

Our story expensive

And it’s not just the dollars and cents.

In computing, route planning — or solving the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP)— is NP-hard.

In layman’s terms, it just means that the number of stops a computer can route in a single plan is very limited, assuming the machine can even complete planning in time for dispatch.

To overcome this computational complexity (or expensiveness), most solutions turn to using heuristic algorithms to make route planning possible for practical use. The goal is not to produce optimal routes, but to produce the plan in time.


The Challenge Really Is — Scale

Since not all algorithms are created equal, you will see different solutions producing different results within different time frames. But no matter how different they may be, they all face one common enemy — Scale.

Our Story scale

Almost all route planning solutions struggle to scale with the number of stops needed to be routed in a single plan.

In fact, our long-time Detrack client revealed to us that one of the solutions that we’ve been recommending can only route as many as fifty stops before it starts stalling.

Sorry, our bad.


We’re Here To Make Amends — And To Save The World

With this revelation, we found ourselves with a new mission. We are in fact, going to reinvent the wheel.

Route planning has always been slow and expensive. We are going to change that.

Team ElasticRoute at IoT Asia 2019

On March 27, 2019 at IoT Asia, we launched ElasticRoute, a highly efficient route planning engine capable of producing natural cluster-based routes at record speed using proprietary heuristic algorithms.

1,000 stops in under 5 minutes.

We’re excited to see what the world can achieve with such a fast and scalable routing engine, and are even more excited to see dispatchers returning home to their families, finally in time for dinner.

Come join us in saving the world – one route at a time.