Producers of industrial goods, subassemblies and components, as well as suppliers of raw materials often struggle with the problem of efficient delivery. It applies to large and very large orders. Individual components must reach the recipient within a specified time: simultaneously, in small batches or in the requested sequence. How to solve the problem of rational load planning? Automation with packing planning software is the answer.
Talking about large orders means product batches where it is not possible to deliver the entire order at once. The reasons can vary. In the case of bulk cargo, it can be a simple fleet shortage: the total cargo capacity of the entire available fleet is smaller than the total volume of all the components of the order. On the other hand, in the case of oversized cargo or exceptionally heavy loads which cannot be split into smaller ones, the problem may be the lack of vehicles with a big enough load capacity.
In either situation, the easiest but probably most expensive solution is to outsource transport services. A better solution is to use packing planning system. Purchasing a subscription to use the software is not only cheaper but also more effective.
How does the system help in splitting orders for shipment?
The need to break up orders results not only from the above-mentioned shortage of transport vehicles. A model example of a situation where it is necessary to split large orders into smaller batches are deliveries in an urban area. The most trivial difficulty is the ban on HGVs entering city centres. Also trucks and even LGVs, which have difficulty in moving in traffic, face significant restrictions in cities. The main problem is finding a suitable parking space (for loading and unloading). Cargo transport in highly urbanised areas is also highly dependent on the time factor. This applies not only to delivering on time, but also to smart usage of the time windows in which you can arrange deliveries most efficiently – without traffic jams or temporary changes in local traffic organisation.
Delivery destination may determine the use of specific means of transport and whether the specified time of delivery will be met or not. There are many more determinants, but it is the availability of the delivery place and time pressure that define the most important problems with splitting large loads for deliveries in urban areas. The challenge is always similar: to break up a large batch of cargo in such a way that the whole order reaches its destination on time, with the lowest possible risk of failure.
The first step is to select suitable vehicles for the task. The next is the arrangement of goods in the cargo spaces of these vehicles. The Multi Bin Packing tool is ideal for this purpose. It will plan packing cargo spaces instead of parcels. It is enough to enter data on the internal dimensions of the load space of your vehicles as well as the dimensions and number of loads. The task which may take a number of minutes, if not hours, when executed “on paper”, will be completed in a fraction of a second when using the packing optimization system. Not only will it specify how many and which parcels can be placed in a specific cargo space, but it will create a ready-to-print visualisation of such a load arrangement that minimises void space.
The system also takes into account the weight of parcels and GVM of individual vehicles, so you can avoid the basic problem of overloading which is a frequent violation in road transport. It is a derivative of acting according to the principle: if it fits, we’ll pack it. In the event of a roadside check which reveals a violation of the regulations, you should be prepared for severe financial penalties and serious disruptions in transport (the vehicle may be stopped, and in any case the excess load should be taken out). Accidents, often with tragic consequences, are a much worse consequence of exceeding the GVM.
What are the benefits of splitting large loads efficiently?
The benefits of using packing planning system has already been partially named: planning speed, reliability of results, transport safety. Additionally, you get the optimal use of the fleet, reduced fuel costs and increased work efficiency. The larger the truck (or other means of transport), the greater the losses due to under-utilisation of the cargo space.
So far, we have mainly emphasised the savings that result from the use of packing planning system. However, speed, certainty and greater reliability of delivery are an important element of building customer loyalty, and as a result, a real strengthening of your own competitive advantage. The packing planning system optimises costs allowing you to make higher profits, which may mean an opportunity for development. Once you try working with such a system, you will never go back to spreadsheets.