Atlanta Journal – Constitution Tightens Distribution Operations by 15%

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), a Cox Enterprises publication, saved more than a million dollars after implementing RouteSmart to plan and optimize its home delivery routes.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), a Cox Enterprises publication, saved more than a million dollars after implementing RouteSmart to plan and optimize its home delivery routes. Leveraging the combined solutions of RouteSmart Online and CarrierTrack® Technologies, AJC was able to decrease time and mileage, digitize route books, and streamline the delivery process for distribution managers and carriers servicing more than 550 daily home delivery routes.

AJC first contracted with RouteSmart Technologies in January 2005 with the goal of optimizing home delivery routes. The company’s prior routing system was based on a county-line structure, making it a struggle for distribution managers to update routes and make them balanced and efficient. AJC was able to implement advanced RouteSmart Online route restructuring tools to quickly build a modern, zip code-pure route structure. This allowed distribution managers to correct route alignments and remove routes which crossed over one another, decreasing route counts by 15 percent. The process was streamlined and the time to completion was decreased because of the tools available in RouteSmart Online. Using RouteSmart Online, AJC was able to centralize route planning and on-the-street distribution, utilizing dispatch functionality to manage daily carrier disruptions such as down routes.

For many years prior to the RouteSmart implementation, carriers were relied upon to manually update route cards, a slow and inefficient process requiring experienced carriers. Once the initial optimization was complete, carriers received PDF route books containing the new route information.

The route restructuring led to a significant decrease in mileage paid to carriers and the new route books provided a standardization of route updates throughout the market.

AJC continues to streamline its delivery operations by integrating CarrierTrack with RouteSmart solutions to provide a digital version of the route books for all carriers. With this partnership, AJC provides carriers with an app that displays turn-by-turn directions and provides audible instructions (or cues), further standardizing the home delivery process, and making routes more efficient and easier for carriers to learn. With RouteSmart providing the route sequence, the CarrierTrack device voices the location of the homes and delivery instructions (leave on front porch; put in mailbox, etc.). Experienced carriers are now given a standardized experience to make their routes easier to follow, and new and substitute carriers can pick up a route in no time, thus reducing complaints per thousand.

AJC was also able to provide a safer, more efficient training experience during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. AJC provided CarrierTrack to all new carriers to orient them on delivery operations as opposed to having them ride with a new carrier. Prior orientations required two people in the vehicle. CarrierTrack enabled AJC to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and protect their team.


AJC distribution managers greatly appreciate the functionality of RouteSmart Online to temporarily resequence or combine routes in the event of carrier absence. The Dispatching function of RouteSmart Online Standard and Advanced editions helps distribution managers react to and track daily changes to a route plan. RouteSmart Online Standard and Advanced also allows users to quickly send route revisions and updates created the same-day—using Dispatch: splitting, combining, resequencing, and/or recreating of existing routes—to CarrierTrack 5.0 without permanently changing the
daily distribution plan.


Using RouteSmart solutions allows AJC to maintain properly optimized
and aligned routes. Combined with CarrierTrack solutions, carriers are able to follow clear and definitive turn-by-turn directions. They are also able to put the routes in a delivery sequence preferred by the carrier. All these benefits help tremendously with carrier morale, as well as recruitment and retention of carriers.

Optimized routes provide delivery benefits with the reduction of time and miles to distribute publications. Carriers and distributors are empowered to optimize routes, sequence routes, print route books and use the digital replica of the routing information.


This allowed distribution managers to correct route alignments and remove routes which crossed over one another, decreasing route counts by 15%


The AJC traces its roots to 1868, the founding date of The Atlanta Constitution. The Atlanta Journal debuted in 1883. The papers have been under common ownership since 1950 and fully merged in 2001. The newspaper is owned by Cox Enterprises, a family-owned company that has been in Atlanta since 1939. It is the premiere provider of print and digital news and information in the Atlanta market. They boast more than 550 daily home delivery routes and have separate nonsubscriber and single copy teams.

“The ongoing benefits of working with RouteSmart are the ability to keep routes in proper optimized alignment.”

Matt Sabath, Senior Product Manager, Digital Projects

RouteSmart focuses on delivering powerful and scalable solutions to help reduce distribution costs and optimize efficiency across the newspaper industry. To share or save this case study, select one of the options below. To learn more about route optimization available through RouteSmart Online, connect with Jason Fry, Senior Business Development Manager or Lindsay Ringgold, Client Success Manager & WalkMe Certified Digital Adoption Solution Engineer.

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