Thought Leadership

Ideas that design the supply chain of the future

Optimize your logistics processes with an efficient load planning software

Global supply chains are difficult to manage. Not only does it take a lot of time and effort, but there are also so many issues that could arise daily. And to add to that, it has become highly volatile too, with last-minute cargo changes causing headaches for transportation specialists to challenges arising from unexpected changes in consumer buying patterns and expectations. So, today to meet their delivery schedules and to keep costs down it has become quite essential that global businesses now have a solution that can respond quickly enough to not only plan but also execute their loads seamlessly every time.

The situation today can be boldly put together in one line - "Driving logistics optimizations through the necessary technological tools is no longer an option - It is a must!". There are many challenges ahead that logistics leaders of today need to prepare themselves for and in a way such that they have all the right tools and necessary data available at their fingertips to optimize and create a highly responsive logistics framework.

The logistics industry today thrives on automation. Without an automated system in place, given the situation of last-minute cargo changes, personnel must thoroughly re-calculate the balance and distribution of cargo for each shipment which is a time-consuming process that can result in costly delays or even ruin profits if done incorrectly! Freight costs take up the largest chunk of the logistics costs for businesses today. Unoptimized loads and ungrouped orders can lead to inefficient utilization of each truckload of goods shipped, which in turn leads to an unnecessary increase in freight costs.

Load planning software is an automated process management solution that helps to solve this by ensuring smarter delivery execution with optimized load plans/schedules according to order grouping, forecasts, pallet sizes, and many other parameters. The product’s core functionalities and benefits are something that most businesses today can not ignore:

  • Load planning software automates the consolidation of the orders in the same direction and within a range of delivery dates to maximize the capacity of your truck loads (volume-based or weight-based). Many businesses still think that a full truck holds the maximum number of orders. This is not true because a full truck can only carry a certain number of orders depending on their size, weight, and dimensions. So, it becomes very important to ensure which orders as per their load parameters can be combined for the maximum capacity utilization. Load planning software enabled with smarter algorithms and historical data, helps load planners to get the best combination of orders possible to be fulfilled in the current truckload to ensure you get the most out of your freight spend.
  • Load planning software automatically generates optimal loading or unloading sequences for pallets or containers. Optimizing the process of loading and unloading your truck fleet not only saves money but also saves time. Load planning software calculates the most efficient loading patterns and sequence to get the best combination of cargo stowage to not only ensure faster loading but also efficient unloading during deliveries. These optimal plans help the deliveries to run in a much smoother, faster, and more efficient way. It also reduces the necessary reworks or rearrangements of load after each delivery.
  • Load planning software is used to make changes to a load plan and generate a 'what if' analysis for specific scenarios. As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of volatility involved in today's supply chains, especially after these challenging last few years. With changes happening every now and then, load planning team needs to be equipped with resilient solutions to help them tackle these sudden changes. The software needs accurate data about the products that are being shipped, the weight of those products, and the dimensions of the shipping vehicle or container. If there are any changes to the product mix, weight, or dimensions, the software can automatically update the load plan to reflect those changes. This allows businesses to make changes to their shipments without having to re-plan the entire load. This can be especially helpful when a business is trying to determine how many products should be shipped in a given container, and the product mix changes often.
  • Load planning software can also plan and manage multiple load plans simultaneously. This allows businesses to run simultaneous loads that may have different constraints, such as weight or dimensions by performing a simulation on different vehicle setups and highly optimized and accurate capacity results can be obtained.
  • It also makes it possible for businesses to track shipping costs by individual product or load.This can be helpful when trying to identify which products are the most expensive to ship, and then change the way those goods are loaded or planned.

Putting all of these factors together, load planning software provides many benefits to businesses that are shipping goods within their base country, or even those that are doing international business. Load planning software allows for maximum capacity utilization in a shipping container or truck, which reduces the number of loads necessary to get an order shipped. It also optimizes load plans by consolidating orders, so it can save businesses money on their transportation costs. Along with this, it transforms how companies think about product mix and shipment weights, allowing them to make adjustments and identify how changing these factors can impact freight costs.

If you are facing any issues with higher freight costs due to unoptimized and inefficient load planning. Feel free to check out our Highway 905 ® Load Optimizer solution that helps you create a smarter way of planning your container loads and ensures a year-on-year decrease in freight costs, increase in maximum capacity utilization, and also boosts your order fulfillment rate in the long run. Additionally, we also ensure to go the extra mile by providing you an end-to-end load planning service to outsource your shipment load planning related woes to us. Highway 905’s Load Planning Service acts as your extended team of logistics experts and ensures to provide end-to-end strategic load planning services to facilitate overall carrier cost reductions and hassle-free shipment process.

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About the author :

Srini Vaidy

President and CEO, Highway 905

Srini Vaidy is the President and CEO of the award-winning, cloud-based logistics technology provider Highway 905. He is an established innovator in the Supply Chain & Logistics space, with an ever-dying passion for coding and technology. For more than 30 years he has been ideating customer-centric and efficiency-driven supply chain execution solutions for the Fortune 500 to help them optimize their logistics costs and strengthen their competitive market position. With one eye on technological trends and the other on the happenings in the logistics space, he likes providing readers with an interesting perspective on the future of logistics industry.

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