The last step at a warehouse is shipping. Recent studies show that for 15 – 25 percent of the time trucks are on the road their trailers lay empty and 36 percent of the time they are driving with partly empty trailers. This means trucks are filled to capacity less 40% of the time.
Often organizations are underutilizing truck capacity because they are not getting shipments ready in time to leave the operation for a variety of reasons including warehouse delays and poor load design. The likelihood of underutilization is heightened if organizations fail to have the data to build and optimize freights based on analytics or the technology to adapt to fluctuating demand and operation challenges (broken equipment, employee callouts) in real-time.
Below are three areas to consider and help you identify where and why you are underutilizing your freight capacity and how to rectify.
The efficiency of your material handling route correlates to how efficiently you can move materials through your operation. To help maximize route efficiencies does your team:
Customer orders do not all come in perfectly square boxes that can be packaged neatly one top of one another nor do they have the same shipping requirements (fragile, heat sensitive). The factors greatly affect how many units you can load onto manual and autonomous material handling equipment and freight trucks. Is your team:
Collecting and tracking data is a necessary step to ensure improvement. Does your team:
New software tools, including Pivot.al, help address the issue of adjusting and planning through fluctuations in demand and operational challenges. Pivot.al distributes work based on real-time needs and redistributes a task to a human if a machine is out of order or reroutes a machine around a blocked aisle if there was a spill. These tools keep the workflow moving and orders shipping out.
Self-driving vehicles like Vecna’s Tugger, allow you to move mass amounts of “irregulars” through a warehouse at once, keeping orders moving safely and quickly no matter their size or shape. In addition, automation collects information that can be used to match picking practices with load designs, organize outbound inventory on equipment in the shipping area, and coordinate the timing of arriving trucks with scheduled shipments.
Maximizing freight capacity reduces the number of trucks on the road. This cuts down on business costs associated with gas, driver labor and the environmental impact from truck emissions. In fact, taking back just half of the underutilized space on a truck cuts freight emissions by 100 million tons per year.
Learn about Vecna Robotics’ entire self-driving vehicles from our Automated Material Handling and Hybrid Fulfillment brochures. We’ll be showcasing our self-driving vehicles, including our autonomous Tugger and Pallet, along with the technology that fuels them at booth #S4583 during ProMat 2019.
Register with us here!