Load Planning

Lower Expenses

Build a better hand-off from the warehouse to transportation and reduce expenses on both sides of the house through an effective load planning process.

Improve Customer Service

Improve customer service by reliably building loads using configurations that match specific customer requirements. Consistently follow product mixing restrictions, side door or unloading dock requirements, or specialized container rules.

Dynamic Diagrams

Empty trailer 2

Syntelic Load Planning determines where each and every case should be placed on an outbound load. Every load is examined uniquely, based on its own particular order volume and product mix characteristics. Load Planning uses Syntelic’s advanced optimization techniques to search through thousands of options to select the best configuration based on your business rules without the use of fixed templates. The result is a custom vehicle configuration constructed dynamically for each load.

Highly Configurable

Mixing board at a concert

Physical Constraints

Load Planning adapts to the needs of a wide variety of real-world operations, and is especially flexible when it comes to understanding equipment constraints. Trailer equipment may be automatically selected based on the load’s order volumes and other characteristics. Load Planning dynamically sizes compartments (for example, freezer, cooler, dry) to fit each load’s order volumes. It also follows other physical features and constraints such as side doors, center-divide bulkheads, and capacities.

Product Constraints

Business rules also apply to the products being loaded. Some products might require specialized containers such as totes, smallwood or tray stacks. Some containers may have stacking restrictions based on the products in each container. Certain product types may be mixed, other may not. Certain products may be stored in only certain locations within the trailer.

Customer Constraints

In addition, certain customers may have restrictions of their own. Such as requiring certain stops not to be mixed with other stops (for example, for dock deliveries). Certain customers may have a different way of combining or handling certain product types altogether. All of these requirements are easily handling by Syntelic’s flexible mapping rules.

Bulk Selection

well placed pallet packs 3d rendering with clipping path

Load Planning sifts through each load’s order quantities to uncover items that should be selected in bulk rather than by-stop. Bulk selection and loading saves considerable warehouse labor as compared to case-by-case selection. Multi-stop bulk containers are positioned in the trailer at points that can be reached by the driver for unloading each stop without blocking access to non-bulked items for the same stops. Like all Load Planning features, the bulk process is highly configurable and may optionally be deactivated for certain product categories, specific items, or customers.

Managing Axle Loads

Axle weight overview

Load Planning also configures loads to avoid overloading vehicle axles. As Load Planning evaluates each potential load configuration, it also calculates the resulting weight that will placed on each axle of the assigned vehicle. Overweight configurations (and even near-capacity configurations) uncovered by the algorithm are used by the search process to seek alternate configurations that reduce the burden on heavily loaded axles. If no configuration is feasible within the axle weight limits, Load Planning clearly displays an alert to notify the user of the overweight condition.

Benefits

Load planning provides immediate tangible benefits for outbound distribution operations.

  • Save Planning Time

    If you create diagrams manually, it may take you from 10 to 30 minutes per load. Creating diagrams using Syntelic Load Planning may take just seconds per load. Diagrams are oftentimes drawn by a highly skilled member of your staff, sometimes a manager or supervisor, whose skills could be put to better use elsewhere. Sometimes when the employee responsible for diagrams is on vacation, the load plans suffer because the replacement does not have the proper skills and additional inefficiencies are introduced into the workflow.

  • Save Loading Time

    If you do not have planned load diagrams, then the loaders must take the time to review each pallet (or other container) to determine where the product should be stored in the trailer. If there are more pallets than footprints in the trailer, product must be down-stacked and re-stacked to achieve a set of pallets that will fit. Both of these tasks require substantial time during the loading process. The double handling resulting from re-stacking also subjects cases to a higher risk of damage or misplacement in the load.

  • Lower Selection Time

    By having a clear load plan, the selectors know exactly where to place each case. There’s no time taken to consider how to split an order across pallets, or how many pallets should be allocated to a stop or compartment. Those decisions have already been make. And because the pallets are built according to exactly how they will be loaded, there is more opportunity for direct select-n-load operations, possibly eliminating the staging process altogether.

  • Save Driver Time

    Because the location of every case has been consistently and clearly defined, the driver takes less time to locate the proper cases for each stop and complete the delivery. Also, because the cases are better organized, there is less chance of a found-later-on-truck which results in costly re-deliveries or credits.

  • Improve Customer Service

    Because special customer requirements are built-in to the Syntelic configuration, you can be assured that each customer’s delivery will be built correctly every time.

  • Lower OS&D

    As noted above, because the driver can depend on knowing where each delivery’s product is located, and because there is less need for double-handling on the loading dock, OS&D counts will decrease.

  • Avoid Axle Overweights

    Syntelic’s Load Planning lets you build loads designed to scale-out properly. This will consistently reduce or eliminate overweight fines and the time required for reloads.

  • Increase Trailer Utilization

    Warehouse operations constantly push to keep the maximum cube or weight limits per load to a managable level. That’s because it’s hard to know ahead of time how the load will flow and how much will really fit on the trailer. With Syntelic Load Planning, the warehouse will gain confidence to increase the capcities because everyone will know that, if the diagram says it will fit, then the load will fit.

Easy to Use

Load diagrams generated by Load Planning are displayed in an easy-to-understand graphical format. Load assignments may be displayed in a variety of formats, both at a detailed or summary fashion. The user may even manually adjust the diagrams using intuitive drag-n-drop techniques. Diagrams may be printed for use by warehouse or transportation staff.

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