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Load Planning Software – Your Doorway To Reduce Transportation Costs

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367 Views | 6 min | Published On: March 31, 2023 Last Updated: March 31, 2023
develop or build a load planning software

Freight management is a complicated process that not only demands active humans but cutting-edge technology as well. It requires error-free operations while keeping a check on the transportation cost.

Now when it comes to cutting transportation costs while eliminating errors, technology comes on top. A technology that can enable freight, delivery, trucking, and logistics companies to plan shipments, containers, and other loads in advance so that they can serve the purpose in minimum time and at a lesser cost while utilizing minimum resources.

When it comes to such technology, load planning software comes to mind. It can not only help you cut costs but errors too by a huge margin.

Some of you might be wondering what this loading planning system is all about and how it can cut transportation costs.

Well, let’s dig deeper to find out how it’s possible.

What is a Load Planning Software?

Loading planning or load optimization is the process to consolidate multiple shipments or arrangements of freight in a certain way to efficiently utilize the full capacity of trucks, railcars, pallets, or any other type of container. The software used for the same is known as load planning or load optimization software.

The main purpose of this software is to use fewer vehicles or containers for moving freight. Apart from this, it also serves the purpose of optimizing shipments. This prevents any damage to the cargo, saves loading & unloading time, and helps increase customer satisfaction.

What are the Types of Load Planning Systems?

Generally, two types of load planning systems are used depending on two different scenarios.

1.FCL/FTL Shipping

Full container loads/Full truck loads (FCL/FTL) shipping is a load planning system where manufacturers or shippers directly load the products to the carrier. Then the carrier ships the products to the destination.

However, this approach sometimes becomes complex when there are different types of products for shipment, as the manufacturer has to carry on the optimal load planning. In other words, the manufacturer has to decide on the order for loading the shipment.

Types of Load Planning Systems FCL/FTL shipping

2.LCL/LTL Shipping

Less than container load/Less than truckload (LCL/LTL) shipping is one of the cost-effective ways to ship products. In this approach, a 3rd party shipper arranges the products rather than the manufacturer.

It means the products are initially shipped using multiple carriers through the LCL approach. Then the consolidator groups the products through the FCL approach. Once the products reach their destination ports, they are again sent to the dispatchers through the LCL approach.

Types of Load Planning Systems LCL/LTL shipping

Why Develop a Load Planning Software?

You might be wondering what is the need to develop a custom load planning software like SeaRates Tools, Cargo-Planner,  Optioryx3D, TruckingOffice, and so on when there is a traditional method available for the same that has been tested over time. Needless to say, there is always room for improvement even with technology, but traditional methods have a lot of flaws. Let’s discuss the top 4 issues with traditional methods and how load planning software can benefit you.

Issue 1: More Time & Cost for Delivering Products

Planning hundreds of deliveries for various locations and that too keeping deadlines and compliances into account is a complex process. It becomes difficult to determine which product to ship, what means to use, and which route to follow for fast delivery. Moreover, if you employ more people you will have to pay more. Apart from this, it will consume a lot of time.

Solution

Dedicated load planning software can optimize your load planning operations within no time. Whether it’s about checking the real-time status of vehicles or optimizing load capacities for each shipment, everything will be automated, and that too with minimum to no possibility of error.

Issue 2: Errors in Accounting & Auditing

When it comes to the human workforce alone, managing overtime, undertime, total stoppage, leaves, variable workloads, and so on demands precise calculation as it is a complex process. So the possibility of error is higher. Now when the calculation is related to salaries and other crucial payments & taxes, even a minor error can lead to disastrous consequences.

Solution

Load planning software provides you access to all crucial information without any error and that too anytime you want. It doesn’t demand even data entry as all the required information is synched and recorded by the software in real time. Apart from this, salaries and other taxes are also calculated on an automated basis, and that too without any error. All it demands is an integration of the accounting module.

Issue 3: Inefficient Planning & Risks

When it comes to product delivery in multiple locations or through different channels there is a high-risk involvement. Risk of accidents during road transportation or threat of product exploitation through seaways. Apart from this, even the paths used on a regular basis can be damaged due to various reasons.

Solution

A load planning tool can easily predict transport mediums’ real-time routes. It also accepts your suggestions on safe ways or changing transportation methods.

Issue 4: Compliant Mismanagement

Logistics companies don’t get orders from specific locations only, it is a worldwide business where the orders can be from any location. In this case, following different regulations and compliances become a headache. As a result, there can be a scenario where you have to pay a hefty fine. Apart from this, it also hinders profit generation.

Solution

Custom load planning software can easily manage all legal documents apart from following various compliances. This will not help with safety but also ensures fast delivery at a lower cost.

It means if you are looking for increased efficiency, improved accuracy, automation, cost saving, scalability, or advanced monitoring capabilities, load planning software can be your best bet. Needless to say, this is one of the reasons why the global load planning services & solutions market is expected to reach 1555.7 million USD by 2029 with a CAGR (2021-2029) of 6.5%. 

top load planning software development company in the world

7 Essential Features of a Load Planning Software

Now as you are aware of how a load planning system can offer high ROI it’s time to dive into the features that can help your custom load planning software to provide high efficiency.

Essential Features of a Load Planning Software

1.Container Capacities & Assignments

There can be several containers with different classes (pallets, coolers, totes, etc.) in each position. Now as each container varies per its capacity, this feature lets managers assign products to various kinds of containers depending on their characteristics.

2.Axle Weight Balancing

This feature adjusts load plans in order to balance weight distribution to each axle on an automated basis.

3.Side-to-side Balancing

This feature lets logistics staff make sure that the trailer is balanced enough on a side-to-side basis.

4.Stackability

Managers can easily control product assignments to particular containers using this feature. Thus they can prevent any damage to other items especially when products are stacked onto each other.

5.Sequence Picking

This feature helps determine the exact pick sequence in order to reduce selection time, especially during busy days.

6.Bulk Products

This feature detects the goods in each load automatically to eliminate crate picking in the warehouse.

7.Capacity Overriding by Door & Position

This feature ensures that the cargo is placed efficiently considering limitations like limited capacity close to the door, restraints in the ceiling, and so on.

5 Advanced Features of a Load Planning Software

If you want to go with an MVP, the essential features are enough to take care of your load but if you are looking forward to taking one step ahead, there are some advanced features that can not only make the process easier but also ensure maximum ROI.

Advanced Features of a Load Planning Software

1.Automatic Stacking

This feature automatically identifies the single as well as double-stack positions within the trailer to load it to its full capacity.

2.Quick-Max Capacity

This feature allows managers to rapidly choose the maximum possible capacity that can be loaded while displaying all products on the diagram.

3.Flexible Unloading Sequencing

This feature employs a stop sequence that helps seamlessly unload goods at each stop. It also allows loaders to upload required products before others at various stops.

4.AI-based Chatbot

This feature reduces the operational cost of hiring more resources. It also ensures that your customers are getting real-time answers to their queries.

5.Smart Asset Tracking

This feature eliminates the possibility of theft and accidents. It also ensures the safety of the drivers.

Also Read: Top 5 Fleet Management Technologies to Accelerate Business

Why Must You Partner With Apptunix to Build a Load Planning Software?

Apptunix is a leading logistics & transportation app development company that has earned a solid reputation in the market by offering customized and scalable logistics solutions at a competitive cost.

Whether it’s cloud-enabled solutions, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, or so on we use an advanced tech stack in order to make your fleet management, transportation management, supply management, order management, or any other logistics management software stand out from your market competitors.

Bonus Read: Trucking Dispatch Software – A Gateway to Logistical Efficiency

estimated cost and time to develop or build a load planning software

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q 1.What Does a Load Planning System Do?

The load planning system consolidates cargo to maximize the capacity of the truck as well as the driver to deliver the maximum load with a minimum number of vehicles. 

 

Q 2.Can I Develop a Custom Load Planning Software From Scratch?

Yes, you can have your custom load planning software to ease operations. All you need is the best load planning software development company.

 

Q 3.Can I integrate Load Planning Software With Other Software?

Yes, you can easily integrate load planning software with other software like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Transportation Management (TMS) systems, Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems, and other such software.

 

Q 4.What are the Top 5 Benefits of a Load Planning Software?

Load planning software has numerous benefits. Some of the major benefits are

  • Increases delivery capacity
  • Reduces labor hours
  • Cuts shipping & delivery costs by a margin
  • Makes quick deliveries possible
  • Increases customer satisfaction

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