Loading planners can face many problems during this process. A large number of different-size cargoes makes planning time significantly longer. However, thanks to the tools available on the market, the proper distribution of goods in a semi-trailer can be much simpler.
Most often we operate on freight exchanges, so when the client issues an offer with a non-standard cargo, there is no time to think, count in the head or using the calculator whether the cargo will fit or not. Planning the perfect arrangement takes more time in the case of different sizes of cargo than in the case of euro pallets, which each forwarder can quickly calculate in his head,” says Bartosz Lenarczyk, freight forwarder at the transport company EURO-TRANS.
This problem applies not only to carriers but also to manufacturing companies that outsource transport.
The loads I have at my disposal are repetitive, but they are of various sizes, it is difficult to unify them in order to transport them to their destination,” says Agata Jamrowska, Distribution and Logistics Coordinator at RAPA manufacturing company.
One of the problems that planners have to face is a large number of non-standard loads that need to be placed in the vehicle. Less tech-oriented people do it with a piece of paper and calculator or Excel. However, it takes a lot of time, which is extremely important in the transport industry. It is therefore advisable to use loading planning software.
Fast and convenient loading planning thanks to software applications
Loading planning software can be compared to a calculator. We can calculate all mathematical operations on our own, on a piece of paper or in our head, but when we have a calculator, we do it much faster and easier. The same is true of the loading planning software,” says Bogumił Paszkiewicz, co-creator of Goodloading.com, a tool that helps forwarders in planning their loads.
The main advantage of cargo planners is time-saving. All you need to do is enter the cargo and cargo space data into the software tool and it will show you the best arrangement. In addition, the planner does not need to have extensive knowledge – he does not need to know specific types of bodywork, or calculate free and occupied LDMs, because many applications provide the planner with such information. The possibility of forwarding projects to another person, as well as generating a file for printing, facilitates communication between the principal and the shipper. To a certain extent, the software can also contribute to reducing transport costs.
I also use cargo planning on the basis of cargo spaces defined by the system, available on the transport market. Thanks to this option I reduced transport costs, because the forwarder of the transport company did not calculate correctly the size of the truck in relation to the number of cargoes and wanted to provide more vehicles than was necessary,” says Agata Jamrowska.
Other benefits pertain to the visual aspect. The project created in the software tool is usually more transparent, which significantly facilitates the work of people operating on ramps.
“I print and transfer the cargo projects to the warehouse, they are more intuitive and transparent than in the case of manual projects, which have been used by us so far. In addition, during the design process, I can edit loads, relocate them, or move them for a moment out of the cargo space. On a sheet of paper, when I used a pencil and eraser, it was not so clear,” explains Agata Jamrowska.
Planning software available on the market
The most popular loading planning software tools usually recommended by shippers are Goodloading and Easy Cargo 3D.
Goodloading is a free-of-charge browser-based application, all you need is a computer with Internet access. Basic features:
– option to adjust loads manually,
– export of the list of cargoes from a file
– option to share the project with another person
Easy cargo 3D provides the possibility to divide the cargo into 2- and 3-axle trucks and semi-trailers, as well as verification of compliance of the permitted limits with the distribution of weight. The software is paid but gives the possibility of unlimited calculation of loading plans.
Author: Martyna Strzoda