Commodity Flow Bundling
In most cases transports between one service point to another are not done optimally. As far as transport by truck is concerned most shipments only use about 50% of the available capacity. Bundling would significantly optimize transports since fewer trucks are needed to sustain the same service level to customers. Ideally modes of transport should be utilized to near 100% of the design capacity.
Some modes of transport are less attractive because of capacity shortages. Bundling proves to be an effective solution to this problem but as a consequence additional coordination is needed. The Province of Antwerp is home to several economic clusters that offer a valuable asset to improve bundling strategies. Companies and plants located in these clusters can ship goods together, therefore lowering the total number of transports.
When bundling concepts were introduced, many companies were reluctant to implement these new strategies. Initially logistics service providers projected only limited commercial benefits when bundling would be applied. Most companies would not risk exposure of operational and commercial data to other competitors. If this data is handled by a standalone neutral agency or facilitator, these objections are cleared as bundling is available to non-competing companies as well. Different pilot projects have staged bundling strategies to significant success but back-haul operations tend to remain cumbersome. When a shipment has been delivered to a certain customer the truck would still have to return home without any cargo. A communication platform would allow logistics service providers to decrease these empty transports when retour cargo can be shipped.