Chapter 25. Cargo unit - an element of the end-to-end logistics process
25.1. The concept of the cargo unit, the role in logistics and characteristics
One of the key concepts of logistics is the concept of a cargo unit. A cargo unit is a quantity of cargo that is immersed, transported, unloaded and stored as a single mass.
The cargo unit is that element of logistics, which, by its parameters, connects the technological processes of participants in the logistical process into a single whole. The cargo unit can be formed both at production sites and in warehouses.
Fig. 125. The shape of the loading list
The right solution for choosing a loading unit when designing a logistics process is provided by:
o Simultaneous transportation of more goods;
o efficient use of the area and volume of the warehouse;
o the possibility of using standard equipment for loading and unloading and transport-warehouse (PRTS) works;
o speeding up the work of the PRTS;
o minimizing the risk of damage to the goods;
o Improved security of logistics processes.
The essential characteristics of a cargo unit are:
o dimensions of the load unit;
o the ability to preserve integrity, as well as the original geometric shape in the process of a variety of logistic operations. Consider freight units in the context of their main characteristics.
25.2. Size of the load unit
The dimensions of the cargo units, as well as the equipment for their loading, transportation, unloading and storage, must be coordinated among themselves. This allows us to effectively use the material and technical base of participants in the logistics process at all stages of the flow of material flow.
As the basis, the platform for the formation of the cargo unit is used standard pallets measuring 1200x800 and 1200x1000 mm. Any cargo packed in a standard shipping container can be rationally packed on these pallets. This is achieved by unifying the dimensions of the shipping container.
In logistics, a diverse material and technical base is used. In order for it to be commensurable, use some conventional unit of area, the so-called basic module . This module is a rectangle with sides 600x400 mm, which must be stacked a multiple times on the area of the cargo platform of the vehicle, on the working surface of storage equipment, etc.
Using a single module allows you to harmonize the size of the material and technical base along the entire flow of material flow from the primary source of raw materials to the end user (Figure 126).
Fig. 126. Schematic diagram of the use of the main module at different stages of the logistics process
On the basis of the basic module, a unified system of standardized transport packaging has been developed. The principle of creating this system is that the area of the pallet is divided into a grid of multiples of the pallet dimensions that determine the outer and inner dimensions of the shipping container.
Some variants of schemes for placing transport containers on pallets are shown in Fig. 127.
Fig. 127. Examples of placement of transport containers of various sizes on a pallet 1200x800 mm (in plan): a - packagings of rectangular cross-section; b - round containers
There are two main types of cargo units:
o Primary cargo unit - cargo in transport packaging, for example in boxes, casks, sacks, etc.,
o enlarged cargo unit - a cargo package formed on a pallet of primary cargo units, i.e. cargo in the shipping container.
The primary cargo unit passes the channels of commodity circulation, as a rule, without reformation, i.e. box of corrugated cardboard with sweets, packed in a confectionery factory, is likely to pass all wholesalers and reach the store unopened. The enlarged cargo unit, formed from boxes with sweets in the same factory, at any stage of commodity circulation, is likely to be disbanded, possibly when selecting the assortment from the first wholesaler.
The dismantling of the cargo unit leads to additional costs. Since the probability of disbandment is directly proportional to the mass of the cargo unit, it is obvious that reducing the mass reduces the costs of this type (function f 1 , Fig. 128).
Fig. 128. Determination of the optimum value of the loading unit
On the other hand, it is known that the costs associated with loading and unloading vehicles are inversely proportional to the mass of the cargo units (function f 2 , Fig. 128). Thus, when choosing the dimensions of the load unit, a compromise is required.
The task of choosing the size of a cargo unit can be solved both at the level of the warehouse of an individual enterprise, and in the formation of an end-to-end logistics chain. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the tendency of consolidation of cargo units in transportation.
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