Load building, also called Load planning, or Load optimization, is the set of processes aiming to optimize the use of truck capacity. More capacity in every truck means fewer trucks on the roads, decreasing pollution and saving money and the environment, so load building software improves sustainability.

The majority of supply-chain costs are transportation. So, when looking for savings, transportation has the most significant leverage. Both supply and demand and fuel costs heavily drive transportation costs. Many sources claim that a shortage of truck drivers and equipment pushes prices higher.

 

Supply chain costs – Source: CSC

Also, compared with the previous week and the last year, fuel costs in October 2022 were substantially up.

 

Future delivery prices are an indication of the direction the market may go. They specifically exclude all taxes.

Transportation costs drive consumer prices for almost all products and contribute to inflation.

 

Reducing transportation costs

Cutting transportation costs is challenging.  Shippers have limited leverage with a fragmented carrier base.  Fuel prices are set on a global market and, to a large extent, by OPEC+.  So shippers have limited levers to drive freight savings.  Importantly, there is one primary lever that is often overlooked:

Increasing load size

An analysis of trucks traveling across weigh-in-motion scales in Georgia shows that most trucks still need to be fully loaded. Therefore, it is the wasted capacity that load optimization software uses.

 

Many trucks are within 1,000 pounds of full
Many trucks are within 1,000 pounds of full

Why are trucks not full? Various reasons range from tribal knowledge of truck capacities being too small, the fear of over-weight fines, and lack of loader competence. But, by far, the biggest issue is most systems’ inability to build axle-legal stable, damage-free loads that use all the capacity, which AutoO2 knows how to solve.

What is optimized load building

As stated above, load building is the set of methods seeking to optimize the use of truck capacity. Truckload freight charges by the vehicle, more product on each truck mean reducing the freight cost per unit. Therefore, you ship fewer trucks over time with optimized load building.
Load planning builds legal solutions, increasing the cargo volume to the maximum possible, considering the product’s weight, stability, sequential loading, demands for the products’ handling such as stacking restrictions, and transportation rules that govern axle weights in some countries’ axle positions.
Load building software creates the best possible solutions for the least-cost delivery of goods.

Good for the bottom line and the environment

Applying optimal load building increases sustainability by reducing the number of trailers, landfill waste, and CO2 by increasing the payload volume and eliminating the possibility of damage. The more effective loads provide the economy and positively affect the environment.

Some load building elements

Item master data

Every product has parameters and dimensions, including stackability which is a factor of case strength. Therefore, load optimization should build pallets such that the more substantial / heavier cases are at the bottom of the pallet while weaker/lighter products are at the top.

Pallet built by AutoO2
A pallet built by AutoO2 load building

Equipment

Any load building software has many possible options, including the variables of trucks, carriers, and trailers/ containers and the number of trailers; the operators may add new ones manually, the same as the axle limits. AutoO2, rather than using some crude measure like total weight or cube, optimizing load building uses actual interior dimensions, axle placement, and more precise weight data of trailers/ containers and the tractors that pull them. Additionally, each trailer type can be limited by availability.

Transportation methods

Load optimization should know using transportation methods: road, intermodal, rail, ship, or aircraft.

Prioritization

Prioritization is the ability of the load building to load items in the needed order.

Visualization

Load building shows the results of optimization in 3D and in 2D diagram.

A truck loaded by load building instructions
3D diagram of the trailer loaded by AutoO2 load building

Load building integration – making it all work together

Ideally, load building software should integrate with any system (SAP, Kinaxis, OMP, DynaSys, BY, etc.) and any WMS to provide the needed load diagram to the loader. AutoO2 does.

The scheme of load optimization integration
The scheme of load optimization integration

Full integration with LevelLoad gives incredible results in smoothing transportation.  Read more about LevelLoad & AutoO2.

AutoO2 3D visualization with axles weight
AutoO2 3D visualization with axles weight

How to achieve possible efficiency and cut transportation costs?

Load building AutoO2 is the response. AutoO2 makes the most effective pallets. It solves the problem by appointing pallets to trucks with strict packing constraints concerning axle weight, stability, and sequential loading, among other restrictions. Hence, it builds the largest possible damage-free load and integrates with any system. In addition, AutoO2 creates optimization plans and provides instructions in 2D and 3D that warehouse workers may fully execute because the plans consider all possible elements, including minor details like pallets with overhangs.

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