TourPro is a tool within TransMod that is designed to create multi-leg tours out of truckload or multi-stop shipments. Using a set of user-defined parameters, the system uses brute force optimization to check each shipment against others that match the criteria to see if a tour objective is met. At that point, users are given the ability to merge individual or all the tours the system created. Tours are shipments paired together into a multi-leg move. 

TourPro is used on a solution that has already been created through TransMod, or upon the initialization of a group of shipments. The TourPro menu is launched after a TransMod solution has been generated. 

With the solution files open, click TourPro from the main menu.

Easy Solve: Choose if only solving for Private Fleet assets (PF).

Solve: Option to define mode type (PF or TL) and trip type (roundtrip or one-way).

Tour Objectives

You are presented with a choice of objectives from which to select. Choose the option that best describes the desired results sought; cost savings, reduce empty miles, or use available private fleet trucks. 

  • Minimize Cost: Sets the system up to combine routes that provide a low-cost solution. Tours are evaluated based on potential cost savings; this savings is calculated by adding the cost of the individual shipments together and then subtracting the cost of the created tour. 

  • Minimize Empty Miles: Sets the system up to reduce overall empty miles of the solution. The system evaluates all feasible combinations in different orders and picks the one that generates a higher TVI (Tour Value Index). TVI is the percentage of Loaded Miles to Total Miles. The higher the TVI, the fewer the empty miles. 

  • Optimize Private Fleet: Attempts to move tours that are currently on common carrier trucks to empty, available private fleet trucks. This objective also looks at the TVI as calculated in Minimize Empty Miles.

  • Mode Selection (PF as head load, TL round trip, TL one-way): Allows you to select which mode of transportation they want TourPro to consider. You will get to define different parameters for different modes of transportation. If there is no problem with multiple modes of transportation, you can use the Easy Solve TourPro menu instead of the regular TourPro menu.

TourPro Parameters

These parameters act as disqualifiers during the tour creation process. If a group of shipments does not meet the criteria set by users, the shipments won’t be presented as potential candidates for merging into tours. The wider the parameters set, the more shipments that will be included in the tour creation process. 

  • Target TVI: Sets the minimum threshold for TVI (Tour Value Index). In Minimize Empty Miles Mode, this corresponds to a load ratio, loaded miles divided by total miles. The higher the TVI set, the more efficient tours are created (default = 0.75).

  • Maximum Routes per Tour: Allows you to designate how many individual shipments can make up a tour. (Set in # of Shipments, Default = 3). Maximum is 4. If a number greater than 4 is entered, the default is 4. 

  • Maximum Empty Distance Between Routes: Sets the maximum distance between the destination of a shipment and the origin of the next shipment to be considered candidates for tour creation (set in Miles, default = 100).

  • Maximum Wait Time Between Routes: Sets the maximum wait time that the system can create between shipments on a created tour (set in hours, default = 4).

  • Maximum Tour Distance: Maximum distance that a created tour can traverse. This includes all mileage associated with the shipments on the tour (set in Miles, default = 2000).

  • Maximum Tour Duration: Maximum length of time that can elapse during a created tour. This includes load/unload time, drive time, breaks, layovers, and pre/post trip time (set in Hours, default = 168).

  • Maximum Tour Work Time: Maximum on-duty time that can elapse during a created tour (set in Hours, default = 70).

  • Maximum Tour Drive Time: Maximum drive time that can elapse during a created tour (set in Hours, default = 60).

  • Maximum Tour Layovers: Number of layovers that can be created during a tour creation. Layover rules are set up in the truck file (set in # of Layovers, default = 7).

  • Minimum Route Duration: This parameter sets up the shortest (in hours) shipment that can be considered for the tour creation process. This parameter is used to exclude short, local runs from the tour creation process (set in Hours, default = 4).

  • Minimum Empty Distance between last leg and Origin: Sets the minimum distance the destination of a shipment and the origin of the next shipment can be to be considered candidates for tour creation (set in miles).

Merging TourPro Results

Once TourPro has run, you are presented with a results tab. The results are sortable by selecting the column header. Each column provides you with information regarding the tours that have been created. 

  • Routes: Route numbers of shipments being combined in the presented tour.

  • Cost: Total cost of each separately-run shipment.

  • Combined Cost: Total cost of the created tour.

  • Savings: Cost minus combined cost; dollars the created tour saves to the total solution.

  • Efficiency: Tour Value Index (TVI) result for the created tour (higher numbers equal fewer empty miles, or higher savings depending on Tour Objective selected).

  • Comments: Selected mode (PF as head load, TL round trip, or TL one-way).

You can select individual tours via the boxes on the left or can select all. Once Merge is selected, the tours are created and can be viewed in the route book.

Tour Statistics

Sometimes the savings presented in the merge screen may be negative; this indicates that the tour may be more efficient in terms of empty miles percent but may end up being more expensive than the sum of the individual shipments.