Efficient Transportation Planning and Scheduling for Managing a complex Truck Fleet
Large fleet management
Running a shipping forwarder business with a large fleet of more than 10,000 trucks presents unique challenges. A significant part of the operations involves delivering goods throughout Europe, requiring careful planning and scheduling. This use case explores the logistics and solutions employed by shipping forwarders, as they efficiently manage their diverse fleet in an ever-changing market.
Handling of constantly new dynamic orders
Managing Regular and Dynamic Orders: Shipping forwarders often handle a mix of regular, repetitive orders and dynamic loads from the market. Regular tours, such as refrigerated goods, demand specialized trucks with cooling functions. Meanwhile, the company also operates different types of trucks to accommodate the varying requirements of dynamic loads. Approximately half of the shipping orders are constant business, while the other half involves seeking dynamic loads from the market.
High Flexibility and Capacity Requirements: To meet the demands of dynamic loads, shipping forwarders rely on a high level of flexibility and capacity. When someone requires a truck from point A to point B, the forwarder quickly books the load and assigns an available truck to ensure timely delivery. Successfully managing such a fleet requires meticulous planning and a robust logistics network.
Coping with European Regulations: Operating in Europe presents additional complexities, particularly regarding regulations. Shipping forwarders often employ drivers from Eastern European countries, including Ukraine and Belarus. These drivers embark on long-haul journeys throughout Europe, with exchanges occurring every few weeks. Managing these drivers and their shipments is a significant planning endeavor in itself.
Implementing Continuous Move Algorithm Planning
To address the complexities of managing this massive fleet, the company is utilizing a continuous move algorithm planning tool from flexis. This advanced planning algorithm optimizes routes and load assignments by considering multiple variables for each truck and their cargo. Unlike simple depot-based planning, this method evaluates not only the next best stop for an individual truck but also looks ahead to the next two or three stops to maximize efficiency.
The algorithm takes into account various factors, such as the type of shipment, the availability of each truck, and the least empty kilometers between shipments. By constantly analyzing the market and making informed decisions, the algorithm dynamically assigns loads to trucks, ensuring the most optimal combination of routes and reducing wasted miles.
After all, this planning approach proactively optimizes the assignment of trucks to specific orders, ensuring the best fit based on various factors such as volume, geographical area, and timing.
Automated Planning for Profitability
Employing an automated planning solution enhances efficiency and profitability for shipping forwarders. By automating the process of market analysis, order booking, and resource allocation, forwarders can adapt quickly to market demands and make informed decisions. This streamlined approach results in reduced costs, improved resource utilization, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Conclusion: Managing the planning and scheduling of a very large fleet as a shipping forwarder operating throughout Europe is a complex endeavor. By leveraging continuous move algorithm planning and automated systems, forwarders can efficiently handle regular and dynamic orders, comply with European regulations, and optimize their operations. With a well-designed and automated solution in place, shipping forwarders can navigate the ever-changing market and achieve long-term profitability.