Commentary | IT Matters

Dimensioning on the Move

Tags: Bar-coding Systems, Transportation, Technology , Supply Chain

Jerry Stoll is Transportation & Logistics Market Manager for the Americas, Mettler Toledo, 614-438-4991

Growing fuel costs and capital expenses paired with a driver shortage have left companies shipping less-than-truckload (LTL) freight scrambling for ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, opportunities to counter fuel costs, eliminate capital investments, and reduce the manpower required to keep business moving are limited. That's why many shippers are turning to dimensioning technology to gain a competitive advantage and become more profitable.

Dimensioning and weighing systems are transforming the transport and logistics industry and driving growth in the businesses using this technology. Gone are the days of paperwork and tedious manual processes as shippers are turning to these systems to streamline processes and manage data. Here's a look at why this tool is garnering attention for its cost-saving ability in the transport industry.

Profiling With Dimensioning and Weighing Systems

Dimensioning, weighing, and barcode scanning can verify the accuracy of invoices. The systems can also simply and inexpensively provide companies with the information they need to make better business decisions.

By dimensioning pallets, freight companies can better plan their routes and profile their customers to make sure their business relationships are profitable. To do that, a freight company should measure all of its customers’ freight for a few months to get an idea of the real costs to service that customer. Using that profile, they could create a contract with the customer that is both fair and profitable.

This data-driven insight allows LTL carriers to create a profile of what the customer is typically shipping and what to expect from them on future shipments. These systems can provide a long-term return on investment.

Cameras to Control Quality

Quality control is getting a boost with cameras. For a minimal additional expense, automated-camera technology is gaining traction because it offers constant visual information. Cameras let companies know if damage occurred, when, and possibly how it happened. This information can aid immensely with damage claims. When businesses use a dimensioner, scale, barcode reader, and camera with the right software to manage all the data, they can have all of the information about a single shipment at their fingertips.

Dimensioning Goes Mobile

“Mobile” dimensioning is quickly advancing in the industry because of the flexibility it allows. Imagine a tape measure that quickly and accurately provides dimensions and PRO numbers of pallets on the spot. New mobile dimensioning devices are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and can be used to measure freight at any stage of operation.

Weighing and Research (W&R) or Weighing and Inspection (W&I) personnel can use the technology to quickly audit freight. Some freight companies are even providing this technology to their truck drivers to obtain the dimensions of a pallet immediately when it is picked up.

For quickly measuring freight at the point of pick-up, for reclassifying pallets, and for low-volume operations, mobile dimensioning is a low-cost game-changer that can help eliminate paper, verify measurements, and ensure accurate invoicing.