It is a question that is easily overlooked by warehouse staff and managers: how do I determine the optimal loading sequence for transport? The difference it can make later on in the process is often heavily underestimated.
In some sectors the strategical determination and/or facilitation of a loading sequence can be a huge time saver, or even a life saver!
1. Efficient picking route
In most warehouses the picking route determines the order in which products are placed on a pallet or put into a container. There is nothing wrong with that, it makes sure your staff walks the shortest route and does not lose time. Bottom line there will be maximum output with as less people as possible.
Even on a scientific level different people have looked into this problem of the most efficient picking route. The result is a handful of strategies to calculate the shortest possible picking route.
2. Installation order
Another strategy is to adapt the loading sequence to the installation order. When different parts of a unit are delivered together, this brings the biggest advantage. Parts that are the base should of course be accessible first.
You can compare it to building a house. Of course you first want the cement for your foundation, your roof tiles you would not need until the final stages of the project. Some obvious examples are the installation of large machines, the furnishing of a warehouse, the installation of conveyer belts or the placement of a sewer pipe network.
3. Based on priority
Some products are needed immediately when they arrive, others can wait. In many situations it is very useful when products with the highest priority are accessible first.
An extreme example is Defence. Soldiers take part in overseas missions in hostile territory. Containers with equipment, e.g. weapons, medicine, tents, bulletproof vests, etc. are sent to the area. What if the bulletproof vests are in the 3rd container? There is a big chance that these are needed immediately.
Wouldn't it be better if the loading master takes this into account while preparing the shipment? It could be literally a matter of life and death here!
StackAssist proposes efficient loading sequence
To determine and/or facilitate the loading sequence companies make use of graphical, cloud based loading software tools as StackAssist. One of the powerful features is that next to the determination of the most efficient loading, also customer demands and specific product and packaging properties can be taken into account. In this way StackAssist can provide you with the best loading sequence for every shipment.
Do you want to know more about StackAssist and our way of working?
Bart van Dijck can tell you all about it:
Bart van Dijck
Project Manager FPC