Optimization of load in containers for higher utilization in global company

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Optimization of load in containers for higher utilization in global company

 

Author: Lam, Sui-kuen Irene
Title: Optimization of load in containers for higher utilization in global company
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2003
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Containers -- Space utilization
Loaders (Machines)
Unitized cargo systems
Cargo handling
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: viii, 65, xlviii leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1756597
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1705
Abstract: Against the background of a globalization market and the rapid development of international trade, corporations have substantially increased the scope and magnitude of their global production and distribution networks, which represent global integrated systems for serving various world markets [1]. Nowadays, companies can no longer satisfied with only the quality of its products, they have to deliver services as well in the best possible way. Transparent and fast information flow, encourage companies to make innovation in global distribution management with faster response and cost effective. Hence, cost reduction and flexibility will be given in high priority. This study is inspired by the problem facing the multiple container loading of a multinational manufacturer that uses standard containers to ship its products from China, and then onto its customers abroad. The logistics of arranging these shipments are complicated for such global company. It has to ensure good utilization of container loading otherwise the efficiency of the shipment department suffers. On the other hand, customer service is given high priority. Flexibility is very crucial for urgent and special shipments. The alternative of sending by flight is feasible but used only for occasional occurrences such as special deal with customer for seasonal sales. Transportation economics come into the equation. This case provides the background of how the company in Hong Kong manages its logistics functions and discharges its regional function in serving the global market from the China (Manufacturer of the World) to gain comparative advantage. There are many approaches to the distribution function studied such as Linear Programming. One approach is to use category management to streamline the shipment of container loads so that optimization in the container can be achieved. Hence, here presents a container utilization support system - SSIT which is an effective tool to facilitate decision making in logical and measurable way. For such approach, it can improve the container space utilization as well as operational efficiency to overcome some special limitations in existing way, such as shipment priority, shipment frequency, earliest arrival management and direct shipment arrangement. Computational tests on the company's actual data indicate an annual saving of over USD2.6M, which corresponds to 10% of the transportation cost. More importantly, our methods can change the loading operation from the current experience-based system into a systematic, accurate, reliable, and efficient system. The result can enhance operational efficiency and competitiveness by reducing logistics distribution cost and increasing customer service level. As firms look for a place in this diversified market, the need for providing the best goods and services with the minimum cost is of utmost importance by gaining competitive advantage. The global manufacturer with similar scale, or shipping forwarders, with shipping high variety products to worldwide destinations can apply same approach with higher volume utilization and flexibility to meet special shipment requirement.

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