How to Plan a Delivery Route

Robin L. Jessie-Green

Deliveries are the driving force of this nation. From medical supplies to groceries, flowers to newspapers, there are routes made up of regular stops and those that vary on a daily basis. No matter the type, a delivery route must be efficient. Planning a route so time and fuel are not wasted is of importance to the delivering company. Just as important is having customers pleased with the service of a timely delivery.

Acquire contact information of each account on your delivery route. This goes beyond the physical address. By having the current name and telephone number of your point of contact, you can directly address the proper source with any questions, concerns or updates.

Analyze your itinerary, checking for the most urgent stops. Additionally, look for special notations or instructions specific to any stops. This includes delivery by a certain time or instructions on procedures for delivering to a side entrance, dock or other specific area.

Identify the distance standpoint, verifying which stops along the delivery route are closest and progressively further away. This is done while viewing a map of the geographical locations on your route. By performing this task, you "map out" your route.

Work in clusters, grouping the stops along your delivery route that are close in proximity to each other. This will minimize unnecessary step retracing. This is cost efficient when it comes to fuel, saving the company money. It also effectively cuts down on delivery time.

Factor traffic, construction, fuel stops and inclement weather possibilities into your planning. Attempting to prepare for the unexpected allows for flexibility. By spacing your delivery times to accommodate all stops, leaving a cushion for things beyond your control may result in your being early or on time every time.

Deliver to the nearest designations unless there are indications for prompt delivery to a location with a pressing deadline. Target any exceptions first. Move on to the next nearest stops, progressing to the furthest stops until all are complete.

Verify the order prior to physically removing the merchandise from your vehicle and delivering it to its final destination. Alert your customers of your anticipated arrival when you are near that stop, if it is customary for that location. Check the order once more with the person accepting the delivery and go to your next scheduled stop.


  • For regular delivery routes with new stop additions, it is important to familiarize yourself with the new stops by relating them to nearby locations already on the route.

    If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent a timely delivery, contact your customers to reschedule for a time most convenient for them.


  • Delivery workers can be targets for robbery; be observant and safe.


About the Author

Robin Jessie-Green writes creative pieces and provides informative articles on a variety of topics, including parenting advice and tips. Most of her work appears on Newsflavor, Beyond Jane, GeoClan and other online publications. She received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Temple and later obtained her M.B.A. from American InterContinental University.

Photo Credits

  • Robin L. Jessie-Green