Couriers are not only employees of the carrier, but also its subcontractors who use various vehicles. Each van has different dimensions of cargo space and different loading possibilities. Quick handling of load assignments means faster shipment release, thus hitting the road faster. Load assignment planning and arrangement is most effective with the use of packing planning algorithms.
Couriers usually work in designated areas which can be a housing estate, sometimes one street, other times a large area, but with a small number of inhabitants. In order to deliver all the shipments in the most efficient way, you’d better plan the sequence of all places to which packages should be delivered. Thus, the number of parcels on a given day and the layout of the delivery route determine the way the parcels are arranged in the cargo space.
How to arrange parcels in a van?
In most cases, the floor area of the van’s cargo space does not exceed 7.5 m2, and its height 2.15 m. In practice, the load capacity is usually smaller, because the cargo space is not a regular cuboid – in many models the space narrows towards the top. It seems that in such a limited space it does not make a difference whether the package is placed at the side (or rear) door or somewhere deep in the hold. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In practice, the necessity to enter the cargo space (instead of just pulling a parcel out) means the loss of several dozen seconds. Such a loss of time, when multiplied by several dozen, and often over a hundred deliveries, may be really significant. If, in addition, the courier has to search for a parcel in a pile of others, their working day may be extended by hours. And still, there are also traffic jams, breakdowns, absent recipients, dangerous animals at the property and many other “surprises” that await the courier every day.
The couriers themselves decide how to arrange the parcels. If there are few parcels on a given day, there is no need to use any system. However, if you are assigned the parcels with a total volume on the limit of your vehicle’s load capacity, the layout of the parcels plays a major role. Therefore, couriers arrange parcels according to the route: the closest locations close to the door and on top – the farthest locations deeply hidden in the cargo space.
For the algorithm, both the van and the package are space to fill
Thinking about the parcel layout in the van at four or five in the morning is not what couriers like best. The sooner they leave, the sooner they’ll finish their working day. And picking up packages and arranging them in a van often takes longer than assumed, resulting in stress and consequently the number of errors. You can significantly facilitate the work of couriers by using packing planning algorithms. For the algorithm, a van’s cargo space is the same “bin” to be filled as a cardboard box, container or rack in a warehouse.
Instead of having packing planned by couriers, you can have it automated using packing planning algorithms. Thanks to them, you can quickly answer the question of how many packages will fit in a specific vehicle. In addition, the courier will receive graphic instructions for package arrangement, so as not to waste time on trial-and-error. This is especially useful when the number of deliveries is small, but the goods are big. Furniture and large household appliances are a good example. You have got no chance of shifting and mixing packages, but the optimal use of the available space is very important.
You will never exceed the GVM
There are strict regulations in road transport applying to GVM, i.e. the Gross Vehicle Mass of various vehicles. Monitoring compliance with the regulations, which are applicable in a given area, allows you to avoid extremely severe financial penalties. In addition, you may steer clear of losses resulting from delays in the delivery of goods or from their deterioration during transport. They can be really severe when shipping perishable products that require constant temperatures or humidity.
While using any of our Single Container Packing, Multi Bin Packing and Maximum Filling of Container algorithms, you can enter the weight of the shipment and the maximum weight of the packed load. If you know the weight of the unladen vehicle, the available space and the weight of individual shipments, then by using algorithms you will avoid the risk of exceeding the GVM.
Facilitating couriers’ work and mitigating the transport risk translates directly into delivery efficiency and better customer satisfaction. You can achieve this quickly and without investment – all you need is a monthly subscription to use our packing planning algorithms. The trial costs peanuts and the profits can be immediate. We invite you to give it a try!