Businesses that make deliveries need to streamline the delivery experience from order to doorstep. This means using tools not just in the warehouse, central kitchen, or wherever you fulfill your orders, but it also means having tools for your drivers while they are enroute. The best delivery experience for your drivers and your customers relies on these tools.
Features like the ability to take photos of a completed delivery, notes to let your drivers know where to leave a package, and live GPS tracking of drivers as they make their rounds are just a few things that transform a good delivery operation into a profitable one.
The best driver apps solve multiple problems for route planners, and have benefits that include:
- Ease of use for drivers
- Live GPS tracking so you know where your drivers are
- Driver notes to improve customer service
- Ability to troubleshoot customer complaints with notes, signature capture, and photo capture
- Improving customer satisfaction and branding with a smooth delivery experience.
In this guide, we will be reviewing some of the most popular driver apps. We will go over their functionality, and take note of any limitations that may exist. And to remain objective, we’ve intentionally decided not to include Routific’s Driver app in the list.
Since you’re currently looking to find the best driver app, you were probably going to do this research anyway. We just thought we would save you the trouble. So, here’s what we found.
Driver Apps for Route Planning Software
Let’s start by making a clear distinction between route planning software and driver apps.
Route planning software is a web-based desktop application that focuses on building optimized routes using routing algorithms. This is usually done by a dispatcher, operations manager, or sometimes a logistics team. Some route planning software have more bells and whistles than others. You can actually check out a full comparison of route planning software we did earlier in the year.
Driver apps are mobile applications that are used together with existing route planning software. These mobile apps help improve the overall delivery experience for both your delivery drivers and your customers. While there are some mobile apps that are standalone and independent of desktop routing software, we will be using this guide to look closer at applications that are linked to route planning software. These applications offer a more robust experience for growing home delivery businesses, and for the delivery drivers they employ.
Package Delivery Driver App
We specifically want to take a look at package delivery driver apps. Package delivery drivers face some unique challenges and work constraints. From strict delivery time windows, to communicating with customers, to meeting expectations and special delivery instructions. A simple GPS or map service is not robust enough to incorporate all of the information that package delivery drivers need on the go. At the end of the day, we want to have the best delivery experience possible — and a great driver app will help you achieve that.
We’ll examine the key features, show you what the delivery app looks like, and explore any of the limitations in an objective way. We’ll be taking a look at:
Let’s dive in!
Route4Me Route Planner
App Store Description: Route4Me will put your visits, pickups, deliveries, and appointments into the best sequence thereby increasing your revenue, reducing your costs, and improving your mood. Our users include everyone from professional road warriors, field-sales reps, field-service techs, field-marketing reps, delivery drivers, and pretty much anyone doing multi-destination routes.
Route4Me is a usual suspect when it comes to route optimization software and their mobile app is an extension of their online offering. But there’s an important thing to note about Route4Me’s mobile app: it can either be used as a stand-alone route planner, or be used as a companion app for their desktop application.
The stand-alone app has its own subscription model, ranging from a very limited free version (routes can only have up to 8 stops) to upwards of $260 per year (with unlimited stops and turn-by-turn navigation). Using the app this way would require drivers to plan their own routes and manually input addresses.
When being used as a companion app to Route4Me’s desktop application, you can send routes directly to the driver app after you’ve planned them. A Route4Me desktop subscription is required in this instance. Those start at $159 per month.
From a route planning perspective, Route4Me’s mobile app is great at creating optimized routes that are easy to edit. When using the stand-alone app, drivers even have the flexibility of moving stops around and select where to start and end routes.
- Plan routes with unlimited stops
- Drivers can move stops on their phone and select where they want to start and end their route
- Voice-guided turn-by-turn directions in third-party navigation apps
- Drivers can mark locations visited and departed to keep track of progress
- Drivers can store and search information about any stop on any route they’ve been placed on
Turn-by-turn navigation is handled by a third party app, which means more switching around. Addresses from Route4Me are also sent to Google Maps and other popular navigation apps as a lat/long coordinate which can potentially be confusing for the driver, since they will be missing some of the address information, critical for a speedy delivery. There is also no “pin-drop” function —ideal for deliveries to places like construction sites where there may not be an address just yet.
App Store Description: Onfleet makes it easy for you to complete deliveries, quickly and efficiently. Onfleet Driver is used with the Onfleet last mile delivery platform.
Onfleet customers range from multi-national couriers, retailers, and distributors to on-demand delivery startups, trying to achieve the best delivery experience. Their customers deliver everything from food and beverages to parcels to pharmaceuticals.
Access to OnFleet Driver is by invitation only. This means that your company must have a subscription to Onfleet’s desktop app before you can start adding drivers with the driver app. While the app is free to download, your company must have an active account with Onfleet to use it. Onfleet subscriptions start at $149 per month.
- Turn-by-turn navigation from third party apps such as Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze or Here We Go
- Ability to communicate with customers or dispatchers through text or phone calls to make faster deliveries
- Drivers can collect proof of delivery with the option to scan barcodes, verify IDs, upload and collect signatures
Users who have left a review on Capterra are generally reporting a good experience with Onfleet Driver. The reviews on the Apple App Store also reflect this. One drawback is that the driver app often requires a lot of power to run. For some driver fleets that have older phones, the app may require too much capacity to function properly.
App Store Description: The OptimoRoute Driver App is for drivers whose dispatchers use OptimoRoute. The app gives you the route map, complete schedule, order information and navigation in one place. As you work through orders, the dispatching office stays up to date with your progress. View the complete route and all orders on one screen.
Like others on this list, OptimoRoute Driver is only available with a subscription to the desktop version where routes are planned and dispatched. OptimoRoute's delivery app is well suited for businesses that need to plan efficient routes and schedules, and used by companies of all sizes: from small family-owned businesses to $1B+ global logistics organizations.
Access to the OptimoRoute Driver app is also restricted until your company activates each driver’s mobile account. This means that an OptimoRoute subscription is required for use. Subscriptions start at $19 per month per driver.
- Turn-by-turn navigation through third party apps such as Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, Here, and Garmin
- The ability to work without cellular signal or access to Wi-Fi
- Changes you make on the dispatcher app automatically update in the driver app
- Uses a very minimal amount of data when navigating
When arriving at a stop, there is an added step drivers must take before marking it complete. Drivers must remember to hit “Start Service” to bring up additional order status options such as “Completed” or “Failed”. This is done for good reason, to accurately capture how long a driver spends at each stop. It’s a small detail, but represents one more thing for drivers to remember to do at each stop, which could get in the way of the best delivery experience possible for delivery drivers.
WorkWave Route Manager
App Store Description: WorkWave Route Manager builds optimal route plans that reduce planning time, drive time, mileage and costs while increasing capacity. Now you can easily improve response time by replanning routes in real-time and connect your operations to your drivers with the mobile app.
WorkWave Route Manager is best for logistics professionals involved in planning, scheduling, and optimizing routes and efficiency for fleets of 1 - 500+ vehicles. Many love the tool for its ease of use, with tons of praise on Capterra reviews and App Store reviews.
Like the other alternatives on this list, a subscription is required to use the app. WorkWave Route Manager, also known as WorkWave 360, has multiple subscription levels, with the lowest starting at $45 per vehicle per month.
- Routes are updated with traffic information and ETAs in real-time.
- Drivers have the ability to check in and out of stops, to more accurately capture the amount of service time at each stop.
- Sync with other navigation apps and get turn-by-turn directions to the next stop
- At a glance, dispatchers can see the status of the delivery, and whether a stop has been completed or skipped.
- Proof of delivery (Signature, Photo, Notes and Voice Recording)
There is currently no way to send a pre-programmed SMS message to clients in the instances where drivers need to communicate with customers. These are commonly referred to as customer notifications. Without this SMS feature, drivers must craft a new message every time, or scroll through older messages to copy and paste.
Best GPS app for Delivery Drivers
You made it to the end — congrats!
After taking a deep dive into some of the best GPS apps for delivery drivers, you should have a clearer picture of what’s available. Expert couriers like FedEx have been planning routes with many of these features in mind. We put together this guide to help you make a sound decision when it comes to finding the right delivery app for your route planning needs.
But be sure to do your own research as well. Every business has their own unique needs and use cases and only you and your team can determine what will be the best fit. Download some of your favorites from this list, set up trials and test them out. That is the best way to find the right fit.
By no means is this list exhaustive. But we felt that these apps represented a good cross-section of what was available out there for you, ranging from some of the more basic functions to the most complex and comprehensive. Let this be your starting point to finding the best delivery route planner app for your team.
Our hope is that this will help you speed up your search for the right tool, leading you to the most efficient routes.