A review of 10 best apps for delivery route planning: eLogii, LogiNext, OptimoRoute, RoadWarrior, Tookan, WorkWave, BadgerMaps, RouteXL, Route4Me, &...
Switching from Route4me? Here are the 3 best competitors [Analysis]
Route4Me has been on the market since 2009. Does it still hold up? We compare it to 3 Route4Me competitors: eLogii, Wise Systems and Locus DispatchIQ
Route4Me is one of the oldest route management platforms on the market today, having been around since 2009. But can it hold its own against today’s up-and-coming alternatives?
In this blog, we compare it to our selection of the three best Route4Me competitors to find out.
- Route4Me is a reliable, tried-and-tested route optimisation tool that makes up for a lack of core functionality compared to its rivals with pricy add-ons
- eLogii achieves excellent balance - with a comprehensive set of features and flexible pricing to suit SMEs and enterprises alike
- Wise Systems has a great brandable customer portal, but its pricing model limits its appeal to larger companies
- Locus DispatchIQ has an excellent feature set, but the entry price is prohibitive for all but the largest of companies
What’s good about Route4Me?
Route4Me has survived this long in the competitive route optimisation software space because it has a fundamentally strong offering, with some valuable differentiators.
On top of the core Route4Me product, there is an entire ecosystem of add-ons that can be used to tailor the app to your business’s specific needs. These include:
- Curbside delivery
- Avoidance zones
- Ultra-high resolution map exports
- Routing for large and heavy vehicles
- Adapting routes for bad weather conditions
Some are free, some cost hundreds per month (eg curbside delivery is £399/$520 per month extra).
The native integrations between these add-ons and the main app make it very straightforward to set up a highly customised solution.
Not only that, Route4Me has perhaps the largest range of out-of-the-box integrations with third-party software tools of all the apps in this field.
There are so many that some of them are hard to imagine anyone ever using (an integration with webinar platform Demio, for example? Or Tumblr?).
Nevertheless, this is a big advantage for working Route4Me into highly specific stacks - particularly when there is a well-documented SOA API and a host of SDKs available for bespoke integrations as well.
What’s not so good about Route4Me?
Inevitably though, Route4Me does not fit the bill for every business.
Lack of Delivery Management Features
Route4Me is concerned primarily with getting drivers from one place to another efficiently. It’s less interested in what drivers do at those stops!
As we’ll see in a moment, it costs extra to add vehicle load optimisation features to your Route4Me package.
While the platform lets you add basic information about drivers and their vehicles, it doesn’t make it easy to ensure that the right teams are paired with the right loads - or to account for time spent out of the vehicle handing packages over to customers.
While Route4Me can be customised to suit a lot of industries’ needs, it can’t be ignored that it’s simply a route management tool at heart - and it suffers by comparison with more specialised alternatives.
OK, it’s not going to be a deal-breaker much of the time, but Route4Me looks its age compared to some of the competition.
The UI is complicated, with side and top navigation bars in the dispatcher app, and a huge amount of information displayed at once on the mobile app.
How much does Route4Me cost?
At first glance, Route4Me’s pricing looks attractive. But in the end, price is its biggest problem.
It’s important to note that:
- The £119 ($155) per month Route Management excludes automated route optimisation
- Every price quoted includes only ten users - each additional ten costs an extra £40 ($50) per month
- Many of the features that the Route4Me competitors include actually have to be paid for as add-ons. For example, if you want to optimise for vehicles’ cubic capacity, that costs an extra £39 ($50) per month; including time windows for deliveries adds a similar amount; even adding in driver breaks (a legal requirement in many jurisdictions) costs an extra £5 ($6.50) per month
If your needs are minimal and your business is small, Route4Me can represent good value for money.
But all the extra charges for the features that will give you the greatest operational efficiencies and customers the best experiences ultimately make it a pricey option for those looking to make the most of route optimisation software.
Route4Me competitors #1: eLogii
eLogii has been designed for delivery management and route optimisation in equal measure. It offers an exceptional cloud-based experience that is perfect for businesses that are scaling fast
How does eLogii outperform Route4Me?
eLogii pays equal attention to every aspect of the delivery process to provide optimum efficiency:
- As well as POD collection, eLogii lets you define delivery actions and associated timings (eg unloading) to provide really granular breakdowns of performance
- Loads can be matched to the most suitable vehicles based on volume, weight, pallet numbers - or the availability of specific features (eg refrigeration, tail lift, etc)
- Drivers can be allocated particular “skills” to match them with suitable deliveries (eg heavy items, defined territories, etc)
- Workflows for failed deliveries can be defined (eg return items to depot, return to delivery address, etc), saving money and increasing customer satisfaction
Branded, automated customer notifications are a standard part of all packages, with updates sent to customers based on up-to-the-minute ETA data. Route4Me charges separately for scheduled and “you are next” SMS and email alerts - that is, four charges of £16 per month each.
Not only that, eLogii handles more route planning use cases than Route4Me, including:
- Multi-day routing
- Custom start and end points, including pickups with no corresponding drop-offs
- Date range routing, allowing you to plan weeks ahead
eLogii has a best-in-class RESTful API and comprehensive webhooks, which are fully documented and considerably easier to use than most older products’ equivalent interfaces.
While this does require developer time - unlike Route4Me’s off-the-peg integrations - the solutions produced can be better tailored to your needs, more elegant, and less unstable.
Finally, eLogii’s user interface is clean, attractive, and easy to use - having been designed by UI experts for ease of learning. Unlike Route4Me’s old-fashioned and crowded interface, eLgoiii’s look and feel are slick, intuitive, and logical. Even the least experienced dispatcher will quickly grasp eLogii’s advanced functionality because of how smoothly organised the controls are.
What does eLogii cost?
eLogii doesn’t provide fixed pricing - it develops a tailored quote after a demo and consultation with a product expert to discover users’ specific requirements.
The entry-level Starter package is typically priced at around $359 (£270) per month, which includes 2,500 tasks per month and unlimited drivers, vehicles, and users.
That makes eLogii a more flexible and more affordable option than Route4Me, even before the greater functionality is taken into account.
The higher tiers - which include significantly higher action allowances - incorporate many more advanced features, which can be seen here.
Route4Me competitors #2: Wise Systems
Wise Systems began as a class project at MIT, but in the last few years, it has begun to carve a name out for itself in the last-mile delivery space.
How does Wise Systems outperform Route4Me?
Wise Systems Dispatcher prides itself on machine learning that is constantly improving its routes - something that’s always a little difficult to judge objectively!
Where Wise unambiguously outperforms Route4Me is in the fleet and inventory management areas, as you might expect from an app that began with a focus on trucking.
It also provides considerably superior performance metrics, route and driver analytics.
However, where Wise Systems stands out from Route4Me is with its Customer Portal - which can be branded and customised to meet your business’s needs, and which allows your customers to keep track of their deliveries in real-time and to be sent notifications.
This really helps businesses to focus on creating a great customer experience, not just on optimising their routes for cost-saving.
It’s worth noting that Wise Systems’ driver app does not have a great reputation - with a score of only 3 out of 5 on the Google Play Store.
Nor does it provide any of the native integrations that make Route4Me so flexible - just an API.
What does Wise Systems cost?
Like the other two Route4Me competitors we’re looking at, Wise Systems doesn’t provide off-the-shelf pricing.
If both of those statements are accurate, making the most out of Wise Systems Dispatcher would cost $1,250 per month (£950).
As we’ve often noted on this blog, per vehicle pricing is problematic for large companies because as your business scales, the cost of a system like Wise just goes up and up.
Businesses with large fleets are therefore far more likely to be attracted to solutions that are priced on an “unlimited users” basis, like eLogii, or that scale up in a non-linear way, like Route4Me and its added charge per ten vehicles.
Route4Me competitors #3: Locus DispatchIQ
Locus DispatchIQ is the route management element of Locus’ wider range of logistics solutions. It’s a comprehensive tool that has a lot of functionality at its disposal.
How does Locus DispatchIQ outperform Route4Me?
Locus DispatchIQ does almost everything that a delivery route management business could need, including:
- Vehicle allocation based on traffic, volume, vehicle type, stop durations, delivery times, etc
- On-demand ordering and on-the-go rerouting
- Driver skills
- Predictive alerts for delays, unnecessary halts, exceeded break times, etc
- Multi pickup and drop-off routing
- Territorial mapping for densely populated areas
That’s alongside standard features like electronic POD collection, GPS-based live tracking, advanced geocoding, and cost optimisation in line with more than 18 different variables.
One surprising omission is customer alerts, which cost extra.
Considering how essential to a good user experience it is to be able to notify customers automatically when there is a change of delivery time or some other problem, this seems like a major oversight on Locus’ part.
What does Locus DispatchIQ cost?
Locus does not publish pricing information - you have to take out a demo and discuss your specific needs to get a quote.
What we have been able to find out though, suggests that Locus DispatchIQ is very expensive:
- Capterra claims that pricing starts from $10,000 per year ($833 per month)
- On top of that, customer alerts cost extra
- On-demand delivery functionality is also an add-on extra
- The demo request form says that “5 to 9 vehicles” is the minimum size - suggesting that (if the price didn’t already tell you that…) Locus is unsuitable for smaller businesses
- There is no free trial available
The bottom line
Route4Me is showing its age, and it’s a declining number of businesses that are providing a mix-and-match approach to route optimisation solutions.
Newer, disruptive entrants like those we’ve looked at in this blog - names like eLogii, Wise, and Locus Systems - have all opted for an all-in-one approach in recognition of the many different factors that companies need to be able to consider to get the most out of their operations spending.
But while Locus has opted for an extremely high entry price and Wise Systems’ per vehicle model makes it unattractive to larger companies, eLogii has:
- Superior integration capabilities
- An extremely wide range of features
- An “unlimited users” pricing model that nevertheless begins from just $359 per month