Why You Need Cartonization in Your Fulfillment Center?

If you are looking to upgrade your WMS or if you’re getting a new WMS or switching to another WMS or if this is your first time WMS, here’s the another feature to consider. This feature is called cartonization. Cartonization is done among the different carton box sizes that you have for your order, whatever items that are being shipped in that order, you find the smallest box that will hold these items of the order in a pretty tight fashion with enough dunnage. Cartonization helps you to reduce your transportation costs significantly and especially if you do a lot of parcels. If you do rate shopping between FedEx, UPS and USPS you could get even more savings.

cartonization-best-practicesCartonization has a lot of other capabilities such as nesting logic and there are a lot of things that come with that you could take advantage of. We had an interesting problem with one of our clients. Their WMS will figure out the fit of all the items in a small box but sometimes the operators would struggle to put it together. That was a very fascinating issue to see and then we’ll teach them and they will get it right eventually.

But it will take some time and that’s how smart the system was in terms of getting the right box. To come down to a smaller size box it would start with the largest box and try to fit all the items, and then it’ll go to the next lower size box and it will try to do the same thing and if it fits then it’ll go to the next lower size box and then if it’s still fits then it will keep going down and down to the most smaller size box. After doing the nesting algorithm which includes 3D cubing and everything else then it would go back and tell the previous box where everything fit nicely.

That’s how the logic works and when you make the box as small as possible you save in transportation costs, whether it’s a parcel or LTL whatever it takes right box and you can see that trend even in computers and also in smartphones making them smaller and smaller and thinner and thinner, so that that makes a huge difference in the logistics costs of all those products. That’s something to think about seriously when you are looking at your cartonization processes and in reducing your shipping costs. Please share your thoughts on Cartonization in the comments section below.

Puga Sankara
Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. So far, Smart Gladiator Wearables have been used to ship, receive, and scan more than 50 million boxes. Users love them for the lightweight, easy-to-use soft overlay keyboard and video chatting ability, data collection ability etc. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 17 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at puga@smartgladiator.com or visit the company at www.smartgladiator.com. Also follow him at www.pugasankara.com.
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