1) Improved trailer utilization through improved packing choices and packaging changes
Within the last 5 years, various large international shippers and producers (Walmart, Del Monte, etc…) have made huge gains in efficiency by reducing packaging, and better aligning their packing techniques to suit their existing trucks, and managed to improve efficiency by almost 70% while increasing the volume they shipped. Some examples should have been obvious, such as Del Monte managing to use 23% less packing materials and 30% less warehouse space by packing fruit cups (smaller at the bottom) alternately upside down and right side up. This managed to save them around £180,000 per year in their North and South American operations.
The lesson is simple: shipping and storing empty space or packing material costs you money. Pack smarter.
2) Get more product onto each truck by more accurately defining a full load.
Load planning and containerisation doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It just isn’t sexy. It’s also quite demanding in terms of product intelligence and consistency.
How accurate are your figures on the stackability of your pallets? It is all common to set policy based on a guess or a manufacturer’s rating that is itself too conservative. If you ship a lot of a few particular products, make sure the containers are standardised, and get those standards actually tested. Know the weights, dimensions, and densities precisely, and develop a really scientific system for load management.
In practice, many loads can be increased by 10 or even 20% without any changes in packaging or packing. Combined with #1 above, how much could you save? It’s worth spending a little money to get these answers.
With these two methods of getting more product into a warehouse, and more on each truck, you’ll also be saving fuel and packing materials, and both will lower your carbon emissions, always a bragging point these days.
If you are looking to save money on your logistics in 2014, contact DMG Freight Services to see how we can help on 01279 452 468