Automatic sizing systems optimize distribution and shipping processes
Logistics and transportation organizations have always been looking to optimize the use of warehouses, vans, airplanes, containers and packaging to carry, or store, more. The lack of technology to automate dimensional calculations meant that this area was not properly business managed.
The introduction of solutions that determine the dimensions and weight of goods in a user-independent manner has made it easier and cheaper to manage goods throughout the supply chain, whether we analyze the area of warehouse logistics, e-commerce, or the road, sea and air freight sectors.
The result of using this type of system could be the introduction of an alternative system for calculating transportation rates, based on product dimensions rather than just weight.
Dimensioning (determining the length, width and height of the cargo) is the basis for systematizing the process of calculating transportation rates, which are then compared with weight rates. The customer is invoiced at a rate that is more favorable from the Carrier’s perspective. This allows Carriers to avoid transporting goods of large dimensions and light weight at unfavorable weight rates.
Speed of action and margin maximization
The theory outlined above sounds very compelling, but what is the real utility of such systems in a very dynamic reality? Carriers operate under time pressure, and introducing an additional process such as dimensioning seems to be quite complicated.
Automatic sizing is the answer!
Modern automatic dimensioning systems make it possible to determine the dimensions of the goods and their weight, without losing process efficiency. An additional advantage of dimensioning devices is the ability to determine the weight of the goods without additional weighing.
What is the benefit of this type of combination?
If the parcel does not exceed the specified dimension (the dimension of the parcel declared by the customer of the transportation company), and the transportation fee derived from the dimensioning is greater than the weight fee, the customer is charged the dimension fee. If the weight charge is greater or if the dimension provided by the customer was declared incorrectly, the charges are verified and charged according to the appropriate rate for this situation.
Dimensioning + WMS systems
Carriers are not the only ones using dimensional solutions to increase operational efficiency. Distribution centers and warehouses are another group of organizations benefiting from such systems.
Modern distribution centers can save sizable sums by involving product dimension data in logistics decision-making processes. Modern warehouses operate on the basis of ITmanagement systems of WMS class which by its functioning support the areas of receipt, storage and dispatch, ensuring a significant acceleration of work and reduction of errors and mistakes in warehouse management processes.
WMS systems that operate on incorrect or inaccurate data (and often in the absence of information) about the dimensions of goods become inefficient. Taking care of the right level of data on product dimensions and weights will increase the efficiency of WMS systems in the following areas:
- Selection of optimal product storage locations
- Choosing optimal packaging for products shipped from the warehouse
- Optimize the process of packing containers, or vehicles.
Shipments and fulfillment
The high importance of the area of determining the dimensions and weight of parcels is characteristic of organizations providing fulfillment type services. These types of organizations very often face the need to absorb additional costs associated with inaccurate determination of the weight and dimensions of parcels shipped.
This happens in cases where a small package by weight is finalized at dimensional rates, and the fulfillment service provider settles with its customer at weight rates. The difference in shipping costs due to applicable contractual conditions must be paid by the Fulfillment Operator, unless this Operator can demonstrate the necessity of other rates prior to shipment. Large sums of money can be saved by engaging equipment to automatically size packages before they are actually shipped as a permanent part of the fullfilment process.
One can also venture to say that without automatic sizing systems, fulfillment service companies may not be aware of the potential for savings that result from accurate parcel sizing.
How do automatic sizing systems work?
Dimensioning systems rely on modern ultrasound, laser, vision, or infrared technologies to determine the characteristics of the objects under examination.
These technologies are supported by other warehouse automation components to create full, autonomous systems that optimize specific warehouse processes.
Dimensioning systems, in order to realize their full potential, should also be integrated with information systems, especially with WMS systems (warehouse management system) and with TMS (transportation management system) systems.
On offer Cubiscan includes equipment for dimensioning almost any product in motion and in static mode, as well as for dimensioning packages and pallets.