What Is Load Planning Software?

Load planning software refers to computer programs that carry out functions related to packing cargo. Typically, load planning software will quickly determine the optimal way to stack freight within given dimensions.

Container packing software also factors in things like axle weight requirements, trucking regulations, and loading strategies. By minimizing the potential for human error and streamlining load planning services, Syntelic’s Load Planning software accounts for multiple factors.

How Does Syntelic’s Load Planning Software Work?

Syntelic load optimization software 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.

Load Planning Software Features

Load planning is an inclusive term covering a wide range of other processes. Here are some of the key details and considerations associated with Syntelic Load Planning.

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 like totes, smallwood, or tray stacks. Some containers may have stacking restrictions based on the products in each container. Certain product types may be mixed, others may not. Specific products may be stored in defined locations within the trailer.

Customer Constraints

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

Bulk Selection

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.

Axle Load Management

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 be 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.

Load Planning Software Benefits

Simple User Interface

Load diagrams generated by Load Planning are displayed in an easy-to-understand graphical interface. Load assignments may be displayed in a variety of formats, both in 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.

Save Load Planning Time

Creating diagrams manually can take up to 10 to 30 minutes per load. Diagrams are often 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 out of the office, the load plans suffer because the replacement may not have the proper skills, introducing additional inefficiencies into the workflow. Creating diagrams using Syntelic Load Planning can take just seconds per load and will increase the project efficiency without the need of a manual drawing.

Save Loading Time

If you do not have planned load diagrams, 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, products 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

A clear load plan ensures 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 made. 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.

Streamline Unloading Process

One key characteristic of a well-loaded trailer is its ability to be unloaded. Cargo should be stacked in a way that things can be quickly and easily removed once it reaches the destination. If things are stacked in a way that they could topple, or certain things are wedged and difficult to extract, it could add unnecessary hurdles that make the process take longer.

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 to 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.

Better 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.

Reduce OS&D Issues

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, over, short and damage (OS&D) counts will decrease.

Avoid Breaking Regulations

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.

Improve Tractor Trailer Utilization

Warehouse operations constantly push to keep the maximum cube or weight limits per load to a manageable 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, warehouse operators gain confidence to increase the capacities because everyone will know that, if the diagram says it will fit, then the load will fit.

laptop with graph dashboard

Integrations With Other Tools

Load planning software is an essential tool in today’s world, but it is not the only trucking software that can help improve your business. Other programs can help with route planning and transportation analytics to provide a comprehensive upgrade to your system.

These applications can couple with the load planner to drastically improve productivity and customer satisfaction. They will help you get what you need to where you need in the best way possible.

How Does Syntelic’s Load Planning Software Compare With Competitors?

Here at Syntelic, we pride ourselves on understanding our clients. We’re not just here to sell a product, we’re here to improve the trucking industry. Our deep knowledge of what it takes to run a solid delivery company helps us cater to your specific needs.

Use Our Load Planning Services to Optimize Your Truck Loading Process

If you are looking to grow your business, improve your delivery service, and optimize your loading process, Syntelic’s software is exactly what you need. We offer customizable plans that will integrate straight into your existing load system.

Reach out to our team if you’re interested in our services or simply have more questions about how we work.

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Load Planning Software FAQ

What is load optimization?

Load optimization is the process of consolidating and arranging cargo to a container’s full capacity. Finding the most efficient load sequence will save the loader time and effort that can be put towards other tasks.

Load optimization has become a necessary part of running a delivery company. To keep up with growing delivery demands, you must maximize every opportunity to create a more efficient process.

What does a load planner do?

A load planner uses an algorithm to determine the best possible loading method for filling up your tractor trailer. It will show you how much can fit, how the cargo should be loaded, and how to distribute the weight.

Should I use software to perform load planning?

Even for situations that require complex loading patterns, a load planning software can greatly increase the efficiency of your business. Our software does not cut corners, it performs the same function as a person would in a fraction of the time. It factors in trucking regulations, weight restrictions, and many more metrics that a human could miss after repetitive tasks.

The attention to detail and speed of our program make it a great option no matter what loads you need to optimize.

What is the load optimization algorithm?

Our software searches through a variety of different options to find which is best suited to your specific situation. Instead of using fixed templates, the software will design a custom plan for each individual load—taking into account the size of the vehicle, the weight it can hold, and the dimensions of the cargo.

How do I implement Syntelic load planning software?

When you choose to move forward with our product, our team will help you integrate the application with your existing system. Our staff will show you how you can use Syntelic’s software to your benefit. Once we feel that you are comfortable with the program, we will turn it over to you and remain ready to provide further assistance if needed.

What is the difference between FCL/FTL and LCL/LTL shipping?

Full container load (FCL) and full truckload (FTL) shipments are packed directly by the shipper for the carrier. This happens when a shipper can fully fill the tractor trailer and it doesn’t need additional rearranging before continuing in the process.

Less-than-truckload (LTL) and less-than-container load (LCL) shipments occur when the cargo must be packed multiple times with different items before it’s shipped. Many times this requires the help of a 3PL or consolidation company. There may be multiple stages throughout the shipment when cargo will be palletized, removed, rearranged, or added.

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