COLUMBUS, Ohio – For decades parcel carriers have realized the benefits of automated parcel dimensioning; with advancements in technology these carriers and others can realize these same benefits for larger freight. Until recently, freight carriers relied on hand measurements or no measurements at all for freight. Now with the use of legal for trade, laser accurate pallet dimensioners, carriers can dimension quickly to ensure the most accurate measurements possible. METTLER TOLEDO offers the CSN840 Pallet™ dimensioner to provide carriers as well as shippers with quick, reliable and accurate measurements of large freight for revenue recovery and revenue protection.
The CSN840 can accurately measure a piece of freight and send those measurements to a host database in a matter of seconds. When compared to the amount of time it takes for manual measurement, this time savings alone could justify the integration of one of these systems. Recent studies have shown it takes 15-30 seconds to manually measure a piece of freight and record those measurements on a piece of paper, compared to the 5 seconds required for the CSN840. Depending on the operational flow, this manual process also requires the forklift driver to get off the forklift to measure this freight or an additional associate on staff to do these measurements. This does not account for the time it takes to manually key this data in to the host database and the potential for human errors during this process.
When data drives your revenue stream it is vital the data is as accurate as possible. When measuring freight manually there is a risk of inaccurate data due to human error, perspectives and assumptions. Human errors are a major factor because a manual process requires the associate to read the measurements, write them down, and then key them into a computer; this offers many opportunities for errors. Perspective is another major variable in accurate data collection. Typically freight is palletized, larger and irregularly shaped. For an associate to manually measure a piece of freight they have to hold a tape measure and stretch across, around and up the freight to see what the furthest measurement is and record this data. The larger, more irregular shaped freight is likely to have inaccurate data just due to the point of view the associate has when measuring; also this data could be different from one associate to another depending on height, reach and perspective of each individual. The other factor that is eliminated by utilizing automated freight dimensioning is assumptions. The CSN840 dimensioner captures three separate images of the freight from three separate angles. With these images, there are no assumptions as to where the tallest, longest or widest points are, like there are with manual measurements. As mentioned earlier, with various associates measuring large, irregular shaped freight, there is a need to make assumptions as to what points on the freight are measured for the most accurate data. The only way to truly ensure all measurements are done accurately and consistently is with a “Legal for Trade” measuring device that can see and measure the entire piece of freight from multiple angles.
Automated dimensioning has been a staple for parcel carriers for years and is quickly becoming the same for freight carriers. During a recent test, one of the largest LTL companies was able to quickly see the ROI potential of automated dimensioning. The pilot test was a joint effort between the LTL company and METTLER TOLEDO. METTLER TOLEDO installed the CSN840 dimensioner in one of the LTL company’s major break bulk facilities. The test standard was that the forklift drivers were to measure approximately 400-500 pallets of freight a day without any prejudice as to size, shape or any other characteristic of the freight. After a month of data collection the LTL company was to compare this data to the actual bill of ladings to determine how much revenue an automated dimensioner could recover just by integrating it into an existing operation. The results were better than METTLER TOLEDO and the LTL company could have ever assumed.
After the first month and the additional months to follow the stats looked like this:
Average number of pallets measured per day
Average number of pallets that could be reclassified based on density
~ 11 pallets
Average potential revenue recovered on the pallets that could be reclassified based on density
~ $130 per pallet that was reclassified based on density
Average daily revenue recovery just by automatically dimensioning 450-500 random pallets
Average monthly revenue recovery
ROI of integrating a CSN840 dimensioner
~ Less than three months
As the results show, the LTL industry needs automated dimensioning. This test was completed without any assumptions made by the LTL company or the forklift drivers that were measuring the freight to determine which freight was more profitable to measure. If an LTL company can determine which freight is classified based on density and increase the number of pallets that are reclassified, or if they install this equipment where their freight is moving outbound via air or ocean and dimensions are always required, they can achieve the benefits even quicker.
The benefits of automatic freight dimensioning do not stop with the carriers, they are beneficial to the shippers as well. In many cases companies who rely heavily on LTL carriers are already dimensioning manually. As discussed earlier, this is a time consuming manual process that fosters many opportunities for error. Shippers who utilize automated dimensioning can speed up their manual processes at the shipping dock as well as eliminate the cost of potential of human errors. We know freight carriers are auditing freight to ensure the weight and dimensions are accurate, and for any inaccuracies the carriers are required to incur the cost of the reclassification.
If part of your supply chain requires freight shipping or if you are a freight carrier and you are that part of the supply chain, you need to consider automatic dimensioning. Automatic dimensioning can save companies time and money by ensuring accurate data is transmitted quickly and reliably every time. For freight carriers, this type of equipment is required to bill their customers properly and is essential for revenue recovery. For shippers of freight, companies need to make sure they are charging customers properly and protecting their revenue, while ensuring they are getting billed correctly. Companies invest a lot in the volume of products and services they provide, let METTLER TOLEDO assist in measuring the volume of those products by incorporating an automatic dimensioner in your supply chain!