2006-11-15 Customised truck loading solutions
Logistics systems provider ICA is now configuring customised truck loading/unloading solutions for retailers, wholesalers, transporters and third-party logistics suppliers shuttling high volumes of pallets within a 50km radius.
This technological development has all but eliminated warehousing for this materials handling sector and is expected to save anywhere from $7 to $12 per pallet for the user.
According to ICA, it has responded to demand by companies that receive at least 50% of stock from the one supplier before transferring pallets in high trip-rates on truck and van fleets. The biggest gain is the elimination of costly double handling on such short dispatch distances.
ICA solutions work well with any high-rate truck/van shuttle fleet where the vehicles¡¦ delivery zone radius is approximately equal to or less than 50 km because these tailored systems turn around a fully laden semi in about 12 minutes rather than the previous industry best of 30 mins (by forklift).
No truck has to queue up to be loaded and unloaded at a dock anymore. Double handling is eliminated as palletised goods are conveyed directly on the dock without using forklifts.
A series of conveyors sorts and arranges the pallets into specific loads prior to them going onto a vehicle, hence each load is sorted before the next dispatch vehicle arrives.
This also gives an immediately visible inventory of all bulk transfer performed, so paperwork is fast and simplified.
From the moment product is palletised and packaged at the end of the production cycle, the pallets are arranged ready to be loaded onto the truck, a task easily performed by the driver.
Previously, without double handling taken out of the bulk transfer equation, pallets would be loaded by forklift at the production point; they would then travel to a third party warehouse for unloading and temporary storage. The next step would see these loaded onto another vehicle for delivery to the eventual recipient.
But now, using ICA's bulk movement technology, pallets are simply loaded at the production or packaging point and delivered directly to the end customer.
By taking stock of the load while it is pre-arranged on the dock, not only is the inventory perfectly clear but management can also measure the size of the freight and secure it all in advance.
ICA's transport loading systems for bulk movements includes a range of different transfer devices.
Manual, which uses a system of skates on the loading bay track bed for individual pallets.
Powered methods, where the trailer has a powered floor that skates in and out of the truck for a unified, complete load transfer. This can be powered by aluminium slats, chains, rollers or anything that suits the application.
Considering an average of 22 pallets is carried by a fully laden 40-foot truck, at $7-$12 per pallet there is considerable savings.
By revamping the process to eliminate double handling ICA has cut costs for both the retailer and supplier.
This solution has already received interest from breweries that manage high volumes of bottle movement as well as packaging suppliers that need to meet fast job turnaround times.
The real profit potential is evident to those businesses operating a delivery cycle time, where each truck would make several repeat trips per day, therefore it is especially efficient to those running within a 50km radius.
The system can also facilitate mixed types of loads simply by having ICA engineers to split each trailer vertically to create multiple temperature zones. It can cope with any truck configurations including standard trailers, pan-techs and vans.
There is little limitation as it is purely down to meeting the bulk handler¡¦s individual needs. It always improves workplace safety and provides excellent payback, so the customer is saving money while improving workplace conditions.