Using the Return to Depot Feature

When configuring default routing behavior for vehicles or territories, you can specify whether your vehicles are automatically routed back to their depots for re-loading when they do not have product capacity aboard to meet the requirements of a stop, or whether to avoid stops that demand more product capacity than the vehicles are carrying.

For example, a stop requires 100 cases to be unloaded, but the vehicle used on the route will only be carrying 80 cases by the time it reaches this stop. You can specify whether the vehicle should return to the depot to load more cases ahead of the stop, or whether to avoid the route stop and move on to another stop requiring 80 cases or fewer.

You can also specify the default duration that vehicles will spend at a depot loading or unloading their goods during these return stops by territory and, if needed, set a custom return to depot stop duration for individual vehicles.

To use the return to depot feature you must first:
 

1.Define your capacity metrics, to make them available for configuration on vehicles and jobs.
2.Configure your vehicles, to specify the capacity limit of each vehicle in your fleet in terms of these metrics.
3.Create or edit jobs, to specify how much of the metrics will be loaded or unloaded from a vehicle at the customer site during the job.

 

These steps are described in the previous Managing Vehicle Loads topic.

To specify your vehicles' mid-route return to depot behavior:
 

1.Enable the return to depot feature on the territory that contains the vehicles, drivers, jobs and depots on your routes.
2.Re-sequence  or re-cost your existing routes to ensure the new vehicle and routing settings are taken into consideration by the optimizer.

Understanding the Route List Utilization Columns with Return to Depot Enabled

When you have configured the return to depot feature, the behavior of the "Weight Utilization" and "Volume Utilization" columns, when viewing routes on the Daily Routes grid, changes. Without this feature enabled, the bar graphs shown in these columns show a percentage of the vehicle's weight and volume capacity used for this route, based on the summed values of each job and the capacity of the vehicle. This can result in the capacity shown exceeding 100% if a vehicle collects additional goods on stops during the route while also delivering goods at stops. The quantity of goods delivered is not also taken into account, only the quantity loaded.

If the return to depot feature is enabled, these graphs no longer sum these job loads, but instead display the maximum weight and volume load during the "leg" of the route that demands the greatest weight or volume capacity of the vehicle. A "leg" is a sequence of jobs that are performed between the start of the route and the first return to depot stop; or between any return to depot stop and the next return to depot stop, or the last stop of the route.

When the load on the largest leg of a route exceeds 79% of the vehicle's volume or weight capacity, these graphs are colored yellow. When they exceed 100% of the vehicle's volume or weight capacity, the graphs are colored red. When using decimal values in your vehicle capacities, these are rounded up or down to the nearest whole number (for example a total delivery of 10.5 units on a route assigned to a vehicle with a capacity of 100 units will be shown with a load of 11% on the graph).

Enabling the Return to Depot Feature in a Territory
1.Select the Territories menu option from the Jobs & Routes section of the platform menu to the left of your screen. The Territories screen opens.

 
2.Select a territory in the left list. This territory should contain the routes that will use the return to depot feature:

 
3.On the Routing Settings tab, under Return to Depot Strategy, select "Return to start depot" or "Use nearest depot". Either setting enables the return to depot feature. The strategy determines which depot drivers will return to: the depot where they started their route or the depot that is located nearest to where they are when they need to return to a depot.

 
4.In the Return to Depot Time On Site field, enter the default stop duration (time on site) in minutes, or in hours and minutes, that vehicles returning to a depot will be allocated when calculating routes. This duration is a minimum of one minute and will be applied to all vehicles in the territory that do not have a custom stop duration specified.

 
5.Click Save. Return to Verizon Connect® Dispatch™ and re-sequence your existing routes to ensure the new territory routing settings are taken into consideration and reflected in the Jobs List utilization column values.
Configuring a Custom Return to Depot Duration for a Vehicle

If you want a vehicle to use a custom depot stop value, for example if a vehicle is larger or smaller than the other vehicles in your fleet, and therefore takes more or less time to load or unload, then you can override the default value specified for a territory using the following steps:

1.Select the Vehicles menu option from the Main section of the platform menu to the left of your screen. The Vehicles screen opens.

 
2.Click a vehicle name in the Vehicles grid, and then from the contextual menu that opens select Edit Vehicle. The Edit Vehicle dialog box opens.

 
3. Click the Capacity Limits tab of the Edit Vehicle dialog box.

 
4.Select the check box beside Override Territory Defaults, and then specify the length of time that this vehicle spends at depots during a return stop in hours and minutes, or minutes.
5.Click Save. The dialog box closes. Return to the Verizon Connect® Dispatch™ screen and re-sequence your existing routes to ensure the new vehicle settings are taken into consideration when optimizing routes.