Note: This original version of this article was written by Jon Bebus of Advanced Grower Solutions (AGS) for AGS’s Advanced Grower blog page.
The term “load factor” is used in many industries, from rail to air to electric transmission. The most basic definition of load factor is “the load that is actually carried compared to the maximum load that could have been carried in a load unit” or “the ratio of the average load to total vehicle freight capacity.”
I would like to tell you that, in my days working in a nursery, we understand these definitions and sat down and figured out how much of a truck was needed for each item in our inventory, but the truth is back in 1999 the J. Frank Schmidt catalog had a formula in the back explaining load factor and how many of each size tree would fit on a truck.
Armed with our new knowledge of load factor and the knowledge of our own loading crew’s ability to stack plants, we assigned each item in our inventory with a load factor. We then gave each truck a load factor. From now on when we created a sales order, we only had to do the math of quantity of items times their respective load factors to get a total load factor. Comparing this total to the truck load factor would tell us which truck to use to ship this order in the most economic way possible.
How did the team create a model to assign load factors? Click here to read the original post from Bebus.
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