Guided Tour: Rate Tables
Although MPMileCharter can use Microsoft® MapPoint®'s built-in cost estimates, these are limited to a simple "per mile" or city/rural calculations. MPMileCharter also supports custom rate tables that specify different rates for different mileage ranges.
Using a Custom Rate Table
This example is similar to the business example, but this time we are working in the Western USA. This example has one supply depot and many customers. The supply depot is defined in a different pushpin set to the customers. The roads are not displayed for clarity.
MapPoint is capable of calculating route costs, but these costs are based on a simple "miles per gallon" (or liters per kilometer) basis. MPMileCharter supports the MapPoint cost options, and an example is shown to the right.
However, MPMileCharter also supports more sophisticated costs based on distance. These can apply specific costs (or rates) for different route distances. These cost options are particular useful if you wish to calculate the costs to charge a customer. For example, many businesses charge delivery costs according to distance ranges, eg "$50 for delivery with 20 miles". MPMileCharter lets you specify a particular cost schedule using the Rate Table function. Rate tables let you specify the cost in fixed bands, or on a per-mile rate for each band.
Rate tables are specified using a text file with comma, space, or tab separators. This example was created in Notepad, but you could also create one in Excel and save it as a "CSV" file.
The first column specifies a distance, and the second column specifies the rate to apply for the preceding distance interval. In this example, the rates are "per mile", but you can also use these tables to specify absolute costs for the route (ie. "deliveries of 5-10 miles cost $10.00").
Press the Rate Table button in MPMileCharter to display this dialog box to set the rate table options. We need to specify the rate table file, and set the type of rate table.
There are three different ways of applying the rate table. Here, we apply the "per mile" rate to all route miles. Ie. A distance of 100 miles has a rate of $0.37/mile, so the final cost is 100x0.37=$3.70
Here are the route distance results. The axes have been swapped for clarity. This is performed using a checkbox on MPMileCharter's main panel.
Here are the corresponding route costs. MPMileCharter applied the above rate table to the distances to produce these costs.
Next, we look at the MileCharter's ability to only report the closest destinations.