PC*MILER Web chooses the best routes by minimizing a cost equation that combines distance, certain factors times distance, and certain fixed factors.
You can customize routing by choosing among the different routing options described below. Options must be changed for each new route, unless you save them as Default Options in the top toolbar.
To change the options for an individual route, click on Route Options in the Route window.
Select from three route types:
Practical routing: Calculates distances and driving routes that a driver would normally take to minimize time and cost. Practical Routes model the tradeoff between taking the most direct path and staying on major, high quality highways. Practical routing consider distance, road quality, terrain, urban/rural classifications, truck-restricted roads, and designated principal and secondary through routes.
Shortest routing: Calculates distances and driving routes that a vehicle would take to minimize total distance traveled while still following a reasonable route. Shortest Route mileage and routes will also avoid truck restricted roads and, in some cases, may favor a beltway rather than traveling directly through a city.
Fastest routing: Calculates the quickest route. Users who ship time-sensitive freight can select a Fastest route that may be longer in distance but save time over the standard Practical route. For Premium accounts, Fastest routing uses the day of the week and time of day that has been set in the route window in conjunction with Inrix® real-time and/or historic traffic data to calculate the quickest route to the trip’s destination(s). For Standard accounts, it uses PC*MILER’s average road speeds.
The Route Type can also be selected in the drop-down in the Route window.
Discouraged avoids toll roads, where possible, without taking long or impractical detours to avoid toll bridges and tunnels.
Allowed includes ferry distances in mileage and cost calculations. When Discouraged, the ferry portion of a route will not contribute to the mileage and cost. The setting does not affect the actual route on the map and travel time is not affected.
NOTE: The Total column of the State/Country report always includes ferry distances, even if this option is turned off here.
Governor Speed Limiting
Choose Enabled to use a maximum average road speed in route calculations (use the 55 mph default or enter your own custom speed). This speed overrides all other road speeds used in route calculations when they are higher than the governor setting.
Choose Enabled to allow Site information, including entrance and exit gates, to be used in Routing. Sites are created in ALK Content Tools and shared with PC*MILER Web for use in routing.
(U.S. only) The State + National Network option will calculate routes that stay on the National Network to the maximum extent possible. Additionally, roads that permit 53'/102" trailers or twins will be used. The National Network is a U.S. government-designated system of highways originally established by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (STAA). Given that many areas are not directly served by the National Network, the origin and stop offs on a route may not be on the Network.
Open borders will ignore international boundaries when generating the best route. Closed borders will minimize the number of border crossings on a route. For example, if all your stops are in the “lower 48” United States, the resulting route will stay in the United States even though the most practical or shortest route would normally involve some Canadian mileage.
If Enabled, hub routing calculates the distance from the origin to every other stop on the route (like the spokes of a wheel, with the origin as the hub).
(Premium only) Select Discouraged Above and enter an elevation to set a customized limit on the elevation of the roads a route will use. Elevations at or above this height will be avoided on a route unless 1) it is extremely impractical to do so, or 2) a stop or destination on the route is located at the higher elevation. No warnings are issued when a road that exceeds the elevation limit must be used.
(Standard accounts are always Highway Only) The Highways & Streets option uses local streets in route calculations. Highway Only routes are calculated using a straight-line distance from your stops to the nearest truck-usable highway segment; and routes to stops that include a street-level address are calculated to the truck-usable highway-level road that is closest to the entered address.
PC*MILER normally takes road restrictions into account in route calculations. Choose Override to generate routes that waive truck restrictions pertaining to specific sizes and weights, but that continue to avoid truck-prohibited and truck-discouraged roads. When this option is active, all height, length, width and weight restrictions will be overridden. If a route uses roads that have any of these types of restrictions, the Detailed Route Report and Driving Directions will indicate them. This allows you to determine the largest or heaviest vehicle you can assign to drive that route.
Side of Street Adherence
Side of Street routing looks to find a route that approaches the destination on the same side of the street as direction of travel.
- Off (Default) - Will not reroute according to side of the street.
- Minimal - Will increase the route by up to a maximum of 1/4 mile to avoid ending up on the wrong side of the street.
- Moderate - Will increase the route by up to a maximum of 1/2 mile to avoid ending up on the wrong side of the street.
- Average - Will increase the route by up to a maximum of 1 mile to avoid ending up on the wrong side of the street.
- Strict - Will increase the route by up to a maximum of 5 miles to avoid ending up on the wrong side of the street.
- Adhere - Will increase the route by up to a maximum of 10 miles to avoid ending up on the wrong side of the street.
- Strong Adhere - Will find a route by any possible means to reach the location on the same side of the street.
(Premium only) Select a HazMat category to avoid restricted routes.
NOTE: Hazmat regulations for a particular tunnel on a route should be checked if there is any doubt about which materials are permitted, as regulations may change over time and might not be included in the version of the PC*MILER database that you are currently using. The shipper of hazardous materials is legally responsible for determining the U.S. DOT Hazmat Class for their shipment and communicating that class to the carrier in their shipping papers.
U.S. DOT Hazmat Classes and Corresponding PC*MILER Hazmat Types (in bold)
Class 1: Explosives – Explosive
Class 2: Compressed Gases
2.1: Flammable Gas – Flammable
2.2: Non-Flammable Compressed Gas – General
2.3: Poisonous Gas – Inhalant
Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquid – Flammable
Class 4: Flammable Solids
4.1: Flammable Solid – Flammable
4.2: Spontaneously Combustible Material – Flammable
4.3: Dangerous When Wet Material – Other
Class 5: Oxidizers – Other
Class 6: Poisons
6.1: (part) Inhalation Hazard – Inhalant
6.1: (balance) – Other
6.2: Infectious Substance (Etiologic agent) [“Biohazard”] – Other
Class 7: Radioactive Materials – Radioactive
Class 8: Corrosive Liquids – Corrosive
Class 9: Miscellaneous – Other
The sets of Route Modifiers (avoids, favors and closures) that you have created in ALK Content Tools are displayed here. Click on the button next to the sets you would like to apply to your route.
(Premium only) These settings will help to determine the best route and minimize or avoid any restricted roads based on your specific vehicle type. Selecting the Car vehicle type will disable the dimension fields.
(Premium only) Report Data Version allows you to choose an earlier version of PC*MILER data for use in calculating distances. Current is the most recently released quarterly release dataset.
NOTE: This will not change the display of the map, route line, or the driving directions. This only affects the route mileage calculation.
(Premium only) Use this option if you want estimated times of arrival or departure (ETA/ETD) to be calculated for a route. If an arrival/departure time is set, PC*MILER will return the ETA/ETD at each stop on the route along with drive time and mileage information.
- Choose Depart Now to set the time of departure from the origin to the current time (local time), or choose Arrive By... or Depart At... and then enter a specific day of the week or date and time in the Day/Date and Time of the Day fields.
Traffic Speeds (Premium only)
- If no departure or arrival date/time has been entered, travel times and ETAs are calculated based on PC*MILER’s average road speeds for each class of road.
- If Depart Now is selected or the depart time is within 15 minutes of the current time, real-time traffic data will be used for the first 15 miles and Historic Traffic will be used for the remainder of the route. "Historic" data reflects how average traffic patterns affect road speeds on a given day of the week, with each day divided into 15-minute time slices.
- If a departure or arrival time and date are entered, travel times and ETAs will be calculated based on historical and/or real-time traffic data, depending on the arrive/depart and day/time settings.
Arrival/Departure setting can also be changed in the Arrival/Departure drop-down in the Route window.