SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PLANNING THE DELIVERY OF GOODS
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION  I. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to systems and methods for planning the delivery of goods. More particularly, the present invention relates to systems and methods for determining the route for delivering a requested good from a source location to a destination location based on one or more factors, such as scheduling information.
 II. Background Information
 Within the logistics process of a customer ordering goods from a supplier, one of the key success factors for the supplier is planning the delivery of the goods. Typically, an order requesting, for example, a part or other goods is received by a supplier. The supplier then determines a route from the source location of the requested part or good, such as a warehouse, to the destination location, such as the customer's location. The term "route" refers to a geographical description of the flow of a good, such as the requested part, from a starting point (or source location) to an end point (or destination location). For example, a route may be represented as New York to Miami via Atlanta.
 In the past, systems typically stored routes between a source location and a destination location for planning deliveries. When there was a need to delivery the requested part or other goods between source and destination, the supplier would schedule a trip based merely on the stored route information. The term "trip" means a specific instance of a route. Returning to the previous example of a route from New York to Miami, a trip may further define a specific date, time, carrier, and/or vehicle, e.g., October 30, 0900 hours, via Carrier X, and Truck Y. The term "carrier" means an entity or object that transports or conveys.
 Typically, requested goods have an associated timeline or schedule. For example, a part requested by a customer may have a material availability date (MAD) that represents when the part is available at the source, such as a warehouse. The part may also have a load date representing the time when the part is loaded, e.g., boxed in a shipping container and/or loaded on a pallet ready for loading on a vehicle. The part may also have a goods issue date representing when the part may be on a loading dock ready for pick-up by a carrier. The part may also have an associated transport time representing the duration of the trip from the source to the destination. Lastly, the part may have a requested delivery date representing when the customer has requested the product, and an actual delivery date representing when the part was actually delivered to its destination. All of these dates form a timeline representing a schedule for the requested part.
 If a part is available from different sources, each warehouse may have a different timeline. For example, a warehouse may be closer to the destination or have a MAD that is sooner than another warehouse. However, with past approaches, the route was determined independently of the overall schedule associated with the requested part. Because the route and schedule were determined independently, changes in the schedule did not effect the determination of the route. For example, the route of New York to Miami via
Atlanta would always be used from a particular source to a particular destination, not taking into account any scheduling differences that may permit a different or better route in terms of cost or schedule. Moreover, if a customer requested a part or other goods, and then later requested a different time for delivery (e.g., sooner), past systems were not able to flexibly determine a new route.
 There are other factors, such as cost and environmental concerns that vary when the route is changed. For example, some routes may take a longer amount of time but cost less in terms of dollars per mile. Some carriers may not transport hazardous cargo. As such, past systems that did not integrate scheduling and route determination were not able to flexibly account for such factors.
 In view of the foregoing, there is a need for improved systems and methods for route planning and determination. For example, there is a need for systems and methods that integrate route determination with scheduling. There is also a need for route planning systems and methods that include the ability to handle a broad variety of restrictions including, for instance, restrictions relating to the geographic route, the schedules, and/or carriers associated with transporting goods requested by the customer.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 Consistent with embodiments of the present invention, systems and methods are disclosed for planning the delivery of a requested good, including scheduling the route that the good will travel from a source location to a destination location.
 In one embodiment, consistent with the present invention, systems and methods are provided for planning a delivery of at least one good. Moreover, systems and methods are provided for receiving a description of the good, a destination location, and a requested delivery date, and for selecting a source location for the good. Furthermore, systems and methods are provided for determining a set of trips based on a set of geographic routes, transportation service provider information, and scheduling information. In addition, systems and methods are provided for selecting a trip from the set of trips based on a set of criteria, and then scheduling the trip such that the good is scheduled to be delivered from the source location to the destination location substantially close to the requested delivery date.
 It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only, and should not be considered restrictive of the scope of the invention, as described and claimed. Further, features and/or variations may be provided in addition to those set forth herein. For example, embodiments of the invention may be directed to various combinations and sub-combinations of the features described in the detailed description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this disclosure, illustrate various embodiments and aspects of the present invention. In the drawings:
 FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary system environment, in accordance with systems and methods consistent with the present invention;