Orders, Locations, and Stops


Short description

Orders, Locations and Stops are basic Technical Concepts for Tour Planning.


In order to be able to use PTV xTour service to calculate tours with a PlanToursRequest general technical concepts need to be understood.

Detailed Consideration


Order Type Description
VisitOrder A request to visit a site. It involves one task - the visit of a specified customer.
TransportOrder A request to transport some quantities from one site to another. It involves two tasks - a pickup task and a subsequent delivery task of the transported quantities.

Each task is specified by the site, where it has to be carried out, and the service time it takes. Additionaly, transport orders specify the quantities to be transported.


Every location contains exact map coordinates. We distinguish between locations that are solely meant for locating vehiclesClosed The term vehicle describes what is being routed or planned for. Vehicles are used in route calculation, distance matrix calculation and effectively also in tour planning. In route calculation, vehicle properties like overall size, weight and speed are in focus. In tour planning, it is vehicle properties like capacity and availability. Commonly a vehicle is motorized, like a truck - including its trailer or a car. However also a bike or even a pedestrian are included in this definition. - so-called vehicle locations - and locations where tasks of orders may be carried out - so-called sites.

A vehicle can also be located at a site but a task cannot be carried out at a vehicle location.

Location Type Description
Vehicle Locations

Vehicle locations represent a location, where a vehicle starts or ends its tour. The vehicle start location does not necessarily need to be equal to the vehicle end location.

The vehicle start location and/or the vehicle end location may be omitted if they are irrelevant. In this case, the vehicle starts its tour at the first stop and/or ends it at the last stop.


Sites represent locations, where tasks can be carried out. Therefore, sites specify the boundary conditions for carrying out tasks at this location. Service is allowed to begin only within the site's set of opening intervals.

PTV xTour service supports two types of sites, customer sites and depot sites.

Depot sites

In contrast to customer sites, depot sites act as trip delimiters within tours. As such, goods are usually only allowed to be picked up at a depot if the vehicle is empty. And goods are usually only allowed to be delivered at a depot if the vehicle will become empty again. There is only one exception: Consecutive depot stops. So the correct definition reads as follows:

  • Goods may only be picked up at a depot site if no customer site was visited since the vehicle was empty for the last time.
  • Once some goods are delivered at a depot site, goods may only be delivered and only at depot sites until the vehicle is empty again.

Here, "empty" does not only mean that there is no load on the vehicle but also that there is no open transport order (e.g. without any specified quantities). For more details on trips, see Tours and Trips.


Stops group subsequent tasks of orders within a tour that are carried out at the same site. If there is more than one task at the same customer site, tasks are grouped to one stop and scheduled in order of their type: DELIVERY tasks before VISIT tasks before PICKUP tasks. If there is more than one task at the same depot site, all DELIVERY tasks are grouped to one stop and all PICKUP tasks are grouped to another one. These two stops will be part of two different trips. Please note that a depot site cannot be visited, i.e., there cannot be a visit order which references a depot site.

The sequence of tasks at a stop with multiple transport tasks with same task type will be sorted by Last In - First Out (LIFO). If there is more than one transport task of the same task type at a stop, the order of those tasks is dependent on the position of the corresponding partner task of the transport order within the trip: If a pickup task p1 is in front of another pickup task p2 at the same stop, the corresponding delivery task d2 is scheduled before d1.

Opening intervals of sites hold stop-wise, i.e, just the first task of a stop has to start within some interval of a site (see Service Times for details).

Technical Concept Tours and Trips
Technical Concept Unscheduled Orders
Integration Sample Planning a Round Trip