logistics load optimisation pallet loading software

Carton, Pallet and Load Optimisation with ORTECs logistics software

Review of business scenarios and benefits.

How can pallet and load space optimisation add value to my company?

Companies we talk to about Pallet and Load optimisation are usually looking to maximise utilisation of pallets, trucks, perhaps automate the logistic planning process and improve warehouse efficiencies. Certainly, these are primary goals for optimisation however, when considering pallet and load space optimisation, look at all processes that can be affected.

How and where cartoon, pallet and load optimisation capabilities are implemented in the planning process can have positive impacts on downstream processes. Think about the entire process including:

  • supply
  • sales
  • logistics planning
  • pallet picking (including warehouse layout and any automation that needs to be considering)
  • staging
  • vehicle loading
  • safety considerations
  • ease of unloading and
  • customer specific restrictions or wishes.

The mathematical algorithms in ORTEC’s load optimisation software enable companies to consider complex variables to quickly achieve the best results in terms of load optimisation to support decision making, operations, and achievement of business goals.

Load, pallet & carton optimisation – ORTEC

Pallet and vehicle optimisation scenarios

Carton, pallet and vehicle optimisation can add value to many areas in a business. Below are example scenarios where companies use these technologies to drive down costs and gain a competitive edge. When looking at logistics optimisation, consider that where it is implemented can support subsequent processes.

Savings achieved through customized optimisations

Optimising truck utilisation upstream, before order creation can bring substantial savings. When you are not limited to planning based on predefined orders a high degree of utilization can be achieved. Consider using an optimizer to maximise transports based on demand, need-by-date, VMI or other priorities.

ORTEC’s intercompany, demand-based FTL planning and optimisation

In the following example, the optimisation algorithm was given a list of products that needed to be shipped over the course of a few days with varying priorities. The challenge for this company is that they have a high variance in weight through a broad product range. Think about heavy peanut butter and canned soups being loaded together with pasta and cereals. The algorithm can balance these factors achieving high volume and weight utilisation, across multiple transports and assuring that the transports are within legal limits.

In the graphic (below) all Priority 1 items (turquoise) are loaded in the first transport and Priority 1 + 2 items (green) are loaded in the second transport.  The first transport has a 98.2% weight utilisation and 87.5 volume utilisation. The second transport has a 99.4% weight utilisation and a 90.3% volume utilisation!

The result was calculated in just a few seconds with ORTEC pallet solution software.

Order management – ORTEC load optimisation

Implementing pallet and load optimisation software at order entry can help businesses in several areas.

  • It enables sales teams and customers to take decisions on order quantities based on accurate utilization.
  • Truck and pallet utilisation can be visualised to provide a clear view of capacity.
  • Shipping quantity can be decreased if a transport is overloaded or increased to maximize utilization.

ORTEC’s loading algorithm can even suggest additional product quantities to fill remaining space/weight on a transport.

Load, pallet & carton optimisation – ORTEC

Higher efficiency through implementation of load optimisation software

The mentioned aspects can lead to improved customer service and higher efficiency in downstream processes.

Load, pallet & carton optimisation – ORTEC

Optimised transport planning & pallet loading

Consolidation of multiple deliveries on a transport accurately can be a difficult task. There are many goal conflicts that need to be considered to find the most optimal solution:

  • Can all products be stacked on one another?
  • What about individual customer requirements?
  • Do certain products need to be held together or separated on a load?
  • How about the delivery sequence in multi-stop trips?
  • Is the optimal truck size and type being used for the load and customer?
  • Will the truck or axles be overloaded?
  • Can more products fit on the truck?
  • Are the products staged efficiently for loading?

To answer these questions, ORTEC recommends a pallet and load optimisation solution that automates the planning process while incorporating business rules and best practices from your experienced professionals.

Warehouse quality loss

Using an optimisation program for pallet and load optimisation provides a sustainable way to produce optimal results in the Warehouse. We’ve been on warehouse walk-throughs before. In non-automated warehouses we are introduced to a veteran picker who shuffles through aisles placing products on pallets like a Tetris game. Forklift drivers zip around placing pallets in a pre-stage area before reorganising products for proper loading. In most cases however the picking and loading quality is not consistent and quality can vary from employee to employee.

Warehouse – pallet and load optimisation for better picking quality

With a logistics optimisation program the planning process can be automated so that there are clear plans for pickers, forklift drivers and AWSs. Products can be staged correctly the first time, leading to fewer product movements. New and seasonal hires will have tools to build pallets and load trucks optimally based on predefined business rules.

Pallet and Loading optimisers can automate the planning process to produce optimal, standardised and sustainable good results.

Efficiency increase in warehouse for picking – ORTEC

How to pick optimised pallets? Using an optimal pick sequence of course!

For several customers, we have developed strategies to build optimal pallets based on their unique warehouse attributes. This includes things like sending layer build sequencing to automated layer pickers and building pallets in an optimal way based on the warehouse layout.

As mentioned in the previous section, having clear pallet and loading instructions for warehouse pickers and forklift drivers enables efficiencies in the warehouse for picking, staging and loading as well as standardisation that is difficult to achieve without optimisers.

Load, pallet & carton optimisation – ORTEC

Carton Optimisation

With more and more products being shipped with paper cartons, carton optimisation has become a very important tool for load optimisation in reducing shipping costs as well as environmental impact caused by increased paper usage.

Given a set of different products, ORTEC’s 3D carton optimiser can select the most optimal size carton based on all available carton sizes. This capability can be implemented so that the selection is dynamic, with no user interaction. This will streamline the carton selection process and assured that the most optimal carton is used for any shipment.

Reimagine distribution through optimisation processes for pallets and loading

Companies use the power of our algorithms to achieve results that were difficult to image or were not able to be realised consistently in the past.

We have numerous examples of how companies save substantially by using our algorithms in new ways. One example is the following case with 2 transports (before):

In a new scenario, the company allowed the pallet algorithm to consider the trailer dimensions when optimising pick pallets. The result is that pick pallets can be sized in an optimal way to fit into 1 transport (after optimisation).

A similar approach is used at another company. Instead of pick pallets however, the company allows the algorithm to depalletise full stock pallets (production pallets) so that certain products can be “lose loaded” on top of other pallets in their transports.

The first graphic below shows that three transports are required without this top-loading technique. In the second graphic, the optimiser was able to fit the same quantity of products into two transports by depalletising a minimum number of pallets and lose loading products on other stock pallets.

Load, pallet & carton optimisation – ORTEC

A similar approach is used at another company. Instead of pick pallets however, the company allows the algorithm to depalletise full stock pallets (production pallets) so that certain products can be “lose loaded” on top of other pallets in their transports.

The first graphic below shows that three transports are required without this top-loading technique. In the second graphic, the optimiser was able to fit the same quantity of products into two transports by depalletising a minimum number of pallets and lose loading products on other stock pallets.

Pallet and loading solutions as added value for companies

These are only some example of how optimisers have been implemented at companies. There are many more. Do you see other ways that a pallet and loading solution can add value to a business?

Benefits of pallet and loading optimisation technologies – ORTEC solutions

The usage of ORTEC solutions can have many positive impacts on your Business. This section contains some of the potential benefits that can be achieved using mathematic algorithms to optimise in your cartonisation, pallet building and load planning processes.

Saving costs with ORTEC solutions

There are many ways for your company to save costs using  logistic solutions from ORTEC. Here are some of the cost savings benefits:

  • Increase in pallet utilisation/reduction in number of pallets and transport utilisation as well as reduction in fuel costs
  • Decrease in warehouse man hours for pallet and load planning & planning time/implementation of later order cutoff times.
  • Organisation of pallets to support the correct picking processes in the warehouse; g. layer line pallets vs. picked pallets
  • Enablement of further growth with regard to logistics

Further costs can be saved by reduction of administrative processes, increase in driver efficiency and improvement of warehouse efficiency. Please contact us if you need more information.

Safety on the roads and for your employees

Axle weight and center of gravity calculations lead to safer transports. In addition, overloading of trucks can be eliminated or reduced using well-engineered solutions.

Other benefits include:

  • Business rules implemented for pallet/loading building leads to safer more stable loads
  • Consideration for hazardous goods and relevant loading restrictions

I would be happy to share other ways companies are using pallet and load optimisers to gain value in their business. Additionally, I’m always interested to discuss new ideas to push these technologies further.

Please contact me at jason.lafata@ortec.com to discuss.


By reducing the number of pallets the customer has to receive and handle and enabling automation of pallet creation according to customer specifications and pallet types, as well as pallet heights and consolidation rules, the service can be improved.

A more streamlined process for providing the container breakdown for distribution and KPIs to measure optimisation to show potential savings might also contribute to improvement.

Quality with ORTEC

High quality through standardisation of palletising and loading and optimal planning of resources such as personnel and equipment.


  • the reduction of damage to goods due to improper stacking and loading,
  • new possibilities for the strategic usage of the staging area and
  • Enabling new ideas for innovation in planning

quality can also be continuously improved.

Reporting for business improvements

Detailed usage information (pallets, vehicles, etc.) can help businesses analyse areas for improvement and help companies to grow.

Promoting sustainability with ORTEC solutions

  • Reduction in the carbon footprint due the reduction of transports
  • Reduction in wooden/plastic pallets

You want to learn more – Contact us!

Learn more in a personal conversation with our expert for SAP solutions.

Jason Lafata

Jason Lafata

SAP Solutions

Senior Account Manager
Tel. +49 421 96039- 0
E-Mail: jason.lafata@ortec.com

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Learn how ORTEC’s SAP logistics software can help you save costs and maximise your profits.