Route optimisation firm offers reward for fastest Santa delivery route
The company running the promotion, Worcester-based IT company Postcode Anywhere, offers a range of software and services for planning more efficient routes for commercial vehicles and is offering £250 of Amazon vouchers for whomever can plan the quickest real-world route for St Nick this festive season.
Postcode Anywhere’s lead route optimisation developer, Richard Geary, said: 'It’s unlikely that Santa would be able to make his 92 million worldwide deliveries without the help of some kind of route optimisation software. Even then, he’s going to be cutting it fine, with only a thousandth of a second to make each drop-off.
'Fortunately, we’re not challenging anyone to calculate a route for every present Santa delivers – that would be far too difficult. But even given a simple scenario for Santa’s final 20 deliveries, it will take a person some time to figure out what the optimal route would be, whereas our own software found the result within seconds.
'This should go to show how much businesses can really get out of modern route planning systems. Of course, almost anything is better than plotting routes by hand. But one key difference between services offered by companies such as Postcode Anywhere and more traditional route planning software is that even with sophisticated route planning algorithms, real-world scenarios differ greatly from the maths.
'This is where augmented datasets such as TomTom Speed Profiles come in. By taking actual readings taken from millions of TomToms around the world, the data tells us which roads are busiest at any time of day, so we can adjust routes accordingly. Postcode Anywhere’s results are also informed by other factors such as vehicle height, weight and width restrictions for HGV-friendly routes.'
Fleet managers can enter the Santa competition online at www.postcodeanywhere.com/santa. The competition closes at midnight on 17 December.