Truck Routing: Unleashing the Potential of the Routing API

Set truck-friendly parameters including height, weight, width, and road conditions

Using Routing API for trucks to solve logistics tasks efficiently
Using Routing API for trucks to solve logistics tasks efficiently

Efficient truck routing plays a crucial role in the success of logistics and transportation operations. The ability to optimize routes, minimize costs, and improve delivery times directly impacts a company's profitability and customer satisfaction. In today's fast-paced world, where every minute counts, businesses are increasingly turning to advanced technologies like the Routing API to streamline their truck routing processes.

The Routing API is a powerful and universal tool that facilitates route calculation between multiple locations enabling businesses to leverage sophisticated algorithms and intelligent decision-making to create optimized routes tailored explicitly for trucks. By considering various factors such as vehicle specifications, traffic conditions, and road constraints, the Routing API offers an opportunity to unlock the full potential of truck routing, helping companies achieve greater efficiency, cost savings, and improved overall performance.

In this article, we will delve into the world of truck routing and explore the role of the Routing API in unleashing its potential. We will uncover the key features, integration process, and best practices for effectively utilizing Geoapify's Routing API. Additionally, we will examine real-world examples and future trends to provide a comprehensive understanding of how this technology can revolutionize truck routing operations.

What makes truck routing different?

  • Size and Weight Considerations: Trucks are bigger and heavier, which means they can't always take the same route as cars. Truck drivers need to avoid low bridges or those with weight restrictions, and they need to be aware of the truck's turning radius so they don't get stuck somewhere!
  • Legal Requirements: Drivers need to think about legal requirements. A truck carrying certain hazardous cargoes will need to avoid waterways. Trucks in Germany with a GVWR greater than 7.5t and trucks with trailers are subject to a traffic ban on Sundays, and public holidays from 12pm to 10pm. Truck routing must take this into account to prevent drivers breaking the law.
  • Road and Weather Conditions: As well as being aware of the truck's dimensions and legal restrictions, truck routing needs to take into account road and weather conditions including traffic, road closures, gradients and crosswinds.
  • Transportation Conventions: Trucks traveling in Europe need to stick to the European Convention on the International Transport of Hazardous Goods by Road tunnel restriction code. This classifies tunnels on a scale from A to E. A rated tunnels don't have any restrictions for hazardous goods. Each rating above that has increasing restrictions, with E rated tunnels banning the transport of all hazardous substances with very few exceptions.

Leveraging the Geoapify Routing API for Truck Routes

Geoapify offers a highly efficient and reliable Routing API specifically designed to calculate accurate and optimized truck routes. You can take advantage of a range of parameters tailored to the unique requirements of trucks. These parameters enable you to customize the route calculation process and generate routes that adhere to truck-specific constraints and regulations.

Here are the API parameters that let you create routes for trucks and other commercial vehicles:

Truck travel modes

We offer a range of travel mode parameters specifically designed to cater to different types of trucks. Here are the travel mode parameters available for trucks based on their weight and height specifications:

  • Light Truck Mode: Maximum weight: 3.5 tonnes; maximum height: 3.2 meters.
  • Medium Truck Mode: Maximum weight: 7.5 tonnes; maximum height: 4 meters.
  • Standard Truck Mode: Maximum weight: 22 tonnes; maximum height: 4 meters.
  • Heavy Truck Mode: Maximum Weight: 40 tonnes; maximum height: 4 meters.
  • Hazardous Goods Truck Mode: Maximum weight: 22 tonnes; maximum height: 4 meters. Designed explicitly for trucks carrying flammables or solvents, considering the associated risks and legal requirements.

Route types

The Geoapify Routing API offers different route optimization types to fine-tune the routing calculations based on your specific needs. These parameters help you optimize the routes for trucks. Here are the available options:

  • Balanced: The "balanced" route optimization type aims to provide a well-rounded and efficient route that considers factors such as distance, travel time, and road conditions. It strikes a balance between the shortest route and minimizing maneuver complexity, making it suitable for general truck routing purposes.
  • Short: The "short" route optimization type prioritizes finding the shortest distance between the origin and destination points. This option is useful when time is not a significant constraint, and minimizing the overall distance is crucial for your truck routing requirements.
  • Less Maneuvers: The "less_maneuvers" route optimization type focuses on reducing the number of maneuvers, such as turns or lane changes, along the route. It is particularly beneficial for large trucks or sensitive cargo, as it helps minimize the risk of challenging or complicated maneuvers during the journey.

Avoided route parts

The "avoid" parameter in the Geoapify Routing API allows you to specify certain elements or features you want to avoid during the truck routing process. It helps tailor the routes according to your specific preferences and requirements. Here are the available values for the "avoid" parameter:

  • Tolls: By setting the "avoid" parameter to "tolls", the routing algorithm will avoid routes that include toll roads or toll plazas. This is particularly useful for trucking companies looking to minimize expenses by avoiding toll charges along their routes.
  • Ferries: Choosing "ferries" as the value for the "avoid" parameter will exclude ferry crossings from the calculated routes. This is beneficial when trucking operations are restricted to land-based transportation or when specific regulations prohibit or limit the use of ferries.
  • Highways: Setting the "avoid" parameter to "highways" ensures that the calculated routes do not include highways or expressways. This can be advantageous for truck drivers or businesses that prefer alternative routes, such as local roads, to avoid potential traffic congestion on highways or when there are specific restrictions on truck access to certain highway sections.
  • Locations: The "avoid" parameter value "locations" allows you to specify specific locations or areas to avoid during route calculations. This can be useful for avoiding areas with known road closures, construction sites, or areas with high traffic congestion that may hinder efficient truck routing.
Avoiding road works
Road works, Brighton, City of Brighton and Hove, England

Ultimately, the "avoid" parameter empowers you to optimize truck routes based on factors that are relevant to your business, enabling efficient and cost-effective trucking operations.

Traffic conditions

The "traffic" parameter in the Geoapify Routing API allows you to specify the level of traffic information you want to consider during the truck routing process. It offers two options for the parameter value: "free_flow" and "approximated." Here's how these values can be useful for truck routing:

  • Free flow: When the "traffic" parameter is set to "free_flow," the routing algorithm considers traffic conditions based on free-flow speed, which represents the ideal speed of vehicles on the road without any congestion. This option is useful when you want to calculate truck routes based on the assumption of smooth traffic flow and minimal delays, providing an estimate of the best-case scenario for travel times.
  • Approximated: Selecting "approximated" as the value for the "traffic" parameter enables the routing algorithm to consider traffic conditions based on historical or real-time data. This option takes into account actual traffic conditions, including congestion, accidents, or road closures, to provide more accurate estimations of travel times. By factoring in real-time or historical traffic information, truck routes can be optimized to avoid heavily congested areas and choose alternative routes for quicker and more efficient deliveries.

By utilizing the "traffic" parameter and specifying the appropriate value, you can tailor the truck routing process to consider traffic conditions based on your specific needs.

If you have specific requirements or would like to explore the option of creating customized travel modes and API parameters for your truck routing needs, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our team is available to discuss your requirements, understand your business objectives, and provide personalized solutions. So contact us at [email protected], and let us help you.

Need to optimize routes for multiple vehicles?

Route Planner API finds optimal routes between multiple locations and vehicles.

Need to estimate distance and travel time for multiple locations?

Our Route Matrix API returns time/distance for multiple locations, up to 1000 values at once.

Try Our Truck Routing API

Try our live demo today to see how easy it is to create accurate truck routes. Choose your type of truck, and set the truck API to avoid features such as tolls, ferries, or highways. You can also choose your route type:

  • Shortest, for the quickest route from A to B
  • Less maneuvers for the least amount of turns and other maneuvers
  • Balanced for the ideal balance of time, cost and distance

For more information about Routing API parameters, visit the Documentation page.

Optimizing Logistics Efficiency with Routing API Results

The results provided by a Routing API can be highly valuable for logistics operations, offering various insights and data points that help optimize the overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the logistics process. Here are some specific ways in which the results of a Routing API can be beneficial for logistics:

  • Fuel Cost Estimation: The Routing API can provide information on the route's total distance, conditions, and estimated travel times. Logistics companies can leverage this data to calculate fuel costs accurately, allowing for better budgeting and cost estimation in transportation operations.
  • Elevation Information: Routing APIs often include elevation data along the route. This information can be crucial for logistics planning, as it helps identify routes with steep inclines or declines. By considering elevation, logistics companies can optimize routes to minimize fuel consumption, reduce vehicle wear and tear, and ensure driver safety.
  • Road Types and Conditions: Routing APIs can provide details on road types and conditions, including highways, local roads, toll roads, and more. This information enables logistics planners to select routes that align with specific requirements.
  • Turn-by-Turn Directions: Routing APIs offer turn-by-turn directions for the calculated routes. Logistics companies can utilize this information to provide clear instructions to drivers, ensuring they follow the optimal path and minimize detours or unnecessary mileage.
  • Delivery Time Estimation: With the help of Routing API data, logistics businesses can provide accurate delivery time estimations to their customers. By considering factors like distance, traffic, and road conditions, logistics providers can offer realistic and reliable delivery timeframes, improving customer satisfaction and communication.

By using the results and features of a Routing API, logistics companies can make informed decisions, improve route planning, enhance fuel efficiency, and optimize their overall supply chain operations. In addition, the data provided by the API helps logistics providers gain valuable insights that lead to cost savings, increased productivity, and improved customer service.

Examples of Truck Routing API in Action

Adjust our trucking API settings to calculate what matters most to your fleet.

Estimate Route Travel Time, Distance, and Costs

Imagine having a delivery truck with multiple stops in Paris. With our API, you can effortlessly calculate the optimal route, considering important factors like height and width restrictions. In addition, ensure the safety of your driver by avoiding low bridges and narrow roads.

For instance, if your driver is navigating Paris in a standard truck, it's crucial to steer clear of the East tunnel on the A86, designed exclusively for light vehicles with a clearance height of just 2m. By instructing our API to exclude that route and setting the appropriate height restriction, you will receive routes that are suitable for your truck's specifications.

Get Turn-by-Turn Instructions

With our API, you can easily visualize the route on a map and access detailed turn-by-turn instructions. Empower your drivers with advance knowledge of their route, ensuring they are well-prepared for their journey.

Let's say your driver has deliveries to make in Cornwall, England, known for its abundance of small and narrow roads. In such cases, it's crucial for your driver to have a route that provides clear turn-by-turn instructions. This way, they can navigate without the risk of taking wrong turns and inadvertently ending up stuck in a quaint seaside town with roads unsuitable for trucks.

Avoid Narrow Roads and Consider Turning Spaces

When it comes to wide load drivers, it's essential to provide them with a map that avoids narrow roads and ensures ample turning space. Consider a scenario where your driver is transporting a crane from Munich to Berlin. In this case, it's crucial to plan a route that prioritizes highways and minimizes urban areas. As long-haul trucking remains a prominent segment of the industry, the ability to accurately and safely plot routes of any length becomes paramount.

Avoid Tunnels Unsuitable for Hazardous Cargos

Consider a scenario where a driver is tasked with transporting a cargo of aerosols to Canary Wharf in London. A standard routing API may suggest taking the route through the Limehouse Link tunnel, which is commonly used to reach the Wharf from Tower Hamlets. However, this tunnel is rated as E, making it unsuitable for most hazardous substances. To prevent such complications, a specialized truck routing API becomes invaluable, as it guides drivers away from routes that pose risks or are incompatible with their specific cargo requirements.


Can Google Maps create truck routes?

No, and using Google Maps to get your truck routes could result in a route that isn't suitable. Because Google doesn't offer a truck-specific routing API, it could return a map with areas that are too narrow, too low, or not suitable for your truck's size or cargo.

How can I get truck routes on Google Maps?

We don't recommend trying to get a truck route on Google Maps. You'd need to double check each route manually to be sure it's safe and legal for a truck. That's time consuming for you and increases the risk of human error.

What is truck routing?

Truck routing is route planning that takes into account the special needs and restrictions of trucks. Because it makes allowances for height, width, restricted routes and more, you get a more accurate and drivable route.

Are truck maps free?

Our Freemium pricing plan means you can get started for free then scale as you need.

How can I plan a truck route?

Go here to register your API key and get started. Input places, waypoints, and parameters such as truck height or areas to avoid. The API will return the best route for your needs.

How is Truck mode different from Drive mode?

Truck mode takes into account specific road restrictions for trucks. It avoids residential areas and narrow roads, and prioritises routes with fewer manoeuvres.

Can your API help me build a route for heavy transport?

Absolutely! Our API is built on a very flexible and powerful engine. Get in touch and we'll create a solution that works for your business.

Can you provide custom conditions for high volumes of queries?

Yes we can. Contact us and we'll work out a plan that suits your needs.

World map

Optimize Your Truck Routes

Get accurate and safe truck routes - try our API today!

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