New possibilities for trip planning in the food trade with PTV Intertour's new release 6.0

Less tension and stress is what many suppliers are longing for, in particular in times of high capacity utilisation and low stress tolerance of drivers - and, of course, during a hot summer, when people buy a lot of ice-cream, beverages and something for the barbecue. The new version 6.0 of the trip optimisation software PTV Intertour is intended to remedy this situation. PTV's software provides route schedules and trips that are both "fair and balanced" for the drivers. It is also said to allow users to speed up internal processes, while an integrated CO2 emissions calculator provides evidence of an environmentally friendly logistics.

A hot summer with long, sunny days and nice evenings - the perfect time for a garden barbecue. A heat wave also gives business hot issues when the demand for ice-cream and beverages suddenly surges. In general, logistics has to cope with special conditions. And ensuring optimum transport during the busy summer season is always a major challenge. Suppliers have to able to handle sharp fluctuations in demand -  as happened most recently when everyone was caught up in the World Cup and soccer fever and traders were selling large amounts of beer, grillages and charcoal. But how are the goods delivered to the stores on time?

Sophisticated planning is the key. The new PTV Intertour version assists transport service providers in planning their routes and vehicles in a professional and efficient manner. It offers a lot of useful features, in particular for the seasonal business.

Balance is better
Logistics providers can now improve work-life-balance for their drivers. With the new release it is now possible to balance work among drivers. This means that the duration of the different trips is evened out ensuring fair and equal trip times for all drivers. Disputes about "favourite delivery trips and routes" such as deliveries on Friday afternoon that end at 3.00 pm, are a thing of the past. In response to demand from numerous customers, PTV has developed and implemented the new Workload Balancing feature which allows them to plan optimum routes and trips with a motivated team of drivers.

The manufacturer promises revolutionary fast computing times with planning results that are provided a hundred percent faster. Until now, the dispatchers have had to wait between five minutes and two hours for complex situations to be completed before starting their scheduling process. This has been the time period required for creating the so-called distance matrix - the basis for optimised trips and routes. And now everything is completed within a few seconds. This outstanding functionality is the result of a two-year cooperation between PTV and the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT). They developed a routing method that is extremely faster since it is based on an intelligent thinned out road network ("contraction hierarchies"). Based on search graphs which can be individually configured, this method provides faster and more reliable results.

Eco-friendly logistics
CO2 reporting is another new feature. The software calculates not only carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but also other pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon or nitrous gases. Users receive detailed analyses of the emissions of their vehicle fleet for each stop and route. They can specify the criteria to be used for further processing of results by considering their own settlement mode (e.g. according to quantity, weight, customer or volume). Thanks to a comprehensive overview, planners can then take appropriate measures in order to further reduce emissions, if required.

Each transport operator is thus well prepared to cope with future demand for green logistics and to position its company as green logistics provider in the market.

New functions
PTV Intertour version 6.0 offers a number of updates: new data allows dispatchers to calculate the toll costs more precisely. A user-friendly map and improved data supply, connection and geocoding are further useful features. Moreover, the Road Editor helps them to edit the road network by closing roads or integrating a module for cargo accounts settlement, for example.

The new software allows transport operators to optimise their trips and route schedules even further, meaning they are well prepared to face the challenges of this competitive market and to manage periods of high workload.

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