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Industry Solutions Transportation and Logistics

The Value of Space Optimization in the Transportation Industry

Increasing demand for service, customer expectations around rapid delivery, and free shipping provided by online retailers have put pressure on shippers to do more, do it faster — but at the same time, keep shipping fees low. One way businesses are meeting this challenge is with space optimization solutions.

The cost of leasing or buying industrial warehouse space has increased by 25% over the past three years, according to Prologis Research. In addition, fees for shipping have shifted to a system based solely on weight to one based on the higher of two measures, weight or space. As e-commerce grows and the number of cartons shipped increases, carriers are exceeding space constraints before they reach weight constraints. Once dimensional pricing models were introduced, shipping costs rapidly increased — 42% in 2015 alone for ground parcel shipments. Complicating matters is the fact that shippers often provide inaccurate dimensions, which can lead to chargebacks and inefficiencies in shipping.

These rising costs have forced companies across the supply chain to place an increased emphasis on space optimization on the pallet, on the truck, and in the warehouse. When margins are thin and every cubic foot costs you more money, wasted space means lost profits.

Automated Dimensioning is Key

In order to better manage these changes and improve accuracy, companies are turning to automated dimensioning solutions. Manual measurement is inefficient, slow, and often inaccurate. Knowing the dimensions of every product can help optimize workflows like pallet building and picking/putaway.

Capturing accurate dimensions for every product on the truck or in the warehouse is a critical part of improving accuracy and reducing costs. Systems are now available that utilize dimensioning scanners and 3D depth-sensing technology to accurately measure objects. For example, the Honeywell AutoCube 8200 system can measure packages of any size, measure multiple items at the same time, and even detect bulges or protrusions. Intelligent dimensioning software can then be used to determine the optimal way to pack items in a carton (even items that are different sizes and shapes), and provide an accurate measurement to help determine and reconcile shipping charges.

Accurate dimensioning data also helps warehouse planners make better use of available space, predict future storage needs, and eliminate dead space in the racks/shelves so that merchandise doesn’t have to clutter up the receiving or shipping area.

In transportation, space optimization technology will help get more products onto a truck by providing an accurate view of dimensional weight when scanner and scale data are combined. It also provides shippers with the ability to give customers actual shipping costs rather than estimates.

Better managing the flow of inventory in and out of the warehouse with space optimization can also lower the cost of holding goods in a warehouse. For companies with limited budgets or that are geographically constrained and unable to expand existing warehouses or build new ones, space optimization also provides a way to do more with existing resources while still expanding warehouse/shipping capacity.

The Solution is More than Technology Alone

Dimensioning alone won’t fully optimize warehouse or truck space, however. The technology should be combined with strategies like smart slotting (storage based on the velocity of specific goods), dedicated pick lanes, full utilization of vertical space, intelligent transportation management software, and other approaches.

Moving forward, space optimization will continue to be a priority as customer demands and the price of warehouse/transportation space increase. For more information on how your business can operate more efficiently and save money with space optimization technology, contact omniQ.

Categories
Transportation and Logistics Warehouse and Distribution

Honeywell AutoCube 8200: The Future of Space Optimization

Space optimization is a critical part of properly managing a warehouse. It ensures optimal load planning and helps meet customer and partner requirements. However, most of the measuring involved in optimizing space and truck loads is done manually, with a tape measure. This is time consuming and — because not every employee measures consistently — can lead to costly errors.

Enter the Honeywell AutoOptimizationCube 8200, a fixed dimensioning system that uses 3D depth-sensing technology, instantly and accurately measuring objects and optimizing both storage and truck load space.

The AutoCube 8200 includes a dimensioner mounted on a stand that is connected to a host computing system via a USB interface.

The solution can measure packages from as small as 4 inches to as large as a 35-inch cube. It can even measure bulges/protrusions and non-rectangular objects (like cylinders). Items can be measured in less than a second and at any orientation, which can accelerate workflows and improve package velocity.

Users can measure multiple items at the same time, including items of different sizes and shapes. Using those measurements, the system can determine the optimal box size needed to ship multiple items in a single package.

The AutoCube 8200 has a small footprint (12.9-in. x 2.4-in. x 3.8-in.), USB interface power, and can be easily configured to use in a variety of environments and settings.

The AutoCube Software API and SDK enable the system to be integrated with a variety of applications and create customized workflows. Honeywell also plans to directly integrate the solution with the FedEx Ship Manager and UPS Worldship systems.

The system can be configured to capture measurements automatically or based on manual user input. It also stores image files of every scan to provide an auditable record for verification.

For courier companies, DC shipping stations, retail ship-from-store locations, or inbound receiving stations in a busy warehouse, the Honeywell AutoCube 8200 can provide a number of benefits that will help reduce costs and improve efficiency:

– It can measure products in a wide range of sizes, providing flexibility for volume shippers.
– Fast, automatic measurements can streamline workflows, improving productivity.
– The system’s optimal pricing provides a fast return on investment (ROI) and allows even small companies to leverage dimensioning.
– By automatically populating shipping systems with measurement data, the AutoCube 8220 eliminates time-consuming manual data entry, and reduces errors.

With faster, more accurate measurements, the system helps increase revenue capture, reduce shipping chargebacks, eliminate bottlenecks in the distribution center, and optimize storage, workflow, and load planning.

Automation drives shipping efficiency — digital scales, barcode scanners, and material handling equipment have helped companies drive costs out of their operations while providing faster service. Manual package and product measurement doesn’t have to be a bottleneck. With 3D dimensioning, companies of all sizes can improve cube utilization and reduce costs.

To learn more about how the AutoCube 8200 can help streamline your own storage and shipping operations, you can see the system in action here.