Circular Supply Chains Inc.

Collaborative Distribution Networks – Patent #9932170

Welcome to Circular Supply Chains

Module drwg.   CCS - Hanger 

    Racking                                     Hanging                                           Bulk

Collaborative Distribution Networks – The Cargo Carousel System

The two biggest problems with today’s supply chains are a lack of visibility and wasted space. The Cargo Carousel System (CCS) virtually eliminates wasted space throughout the value chain and provides “true” Control Tower visibility.

The only way to achieve true visibility in the supply chain is to keep the merchandise with the sensors and their readers continuously and between all modes of transport (ship, rail, truck). The Cargo Carousel System achieves this kind of visibility by changing value chains to value “networks” in the cloud while keeping all merchandise with their sensors (RFID, GPS, temperature, humidity, light exposure, O2, CO2, ethylene, etc.) and their readers continuously and between all modes of transport. With this degree of visibility, combined with one of our modules that is opaque, lockable and sealable, collaborative or pooled distribution can be realized without the need for a neutral, third-party intermediary; that module is no different than a package. It can now be handled by any LSP anywhere in the world and we can monitor unauthorized door openings in real-time or unlock a module for anyone with the proper authorization anywhere in the world. We can even initiate instant video streaming of perpetrators if desired.

Nextrust is a collaboration of thirty-one European supply chain companies participating in an R&D project that aims to remove 40% of lorries/trucks and 15% of delivery vehicles from the road, reduce GHG emissions by 70% and increase load factors by 50%. They use a neutral trustee to act as an independent, third-party intermediary to “orchestrate” the entire process and to ensure fair trade practices. The Cargo Carousel System (CCS) achieves the same results as Nextrust without the need for a trustee and it also doubles the available cubic space utilization in  warehouses (see below) while better protecting the merchandise being shipped and adding a reverse network to the same system using the exact same assets to help develop a circular economy.

Eliminate Aisles in the Warehouse

With regular racking, shown on the right, aisles are required (grey area) between the racks for forklifts to maneuver. This takes up more than half of the available cubic space in a warehouse. Add in the taxes, maintenance and heating bills that are paid on this  unnecessarily wasted space and the cost per pallet position escalates dramatically with no increase in efficiency, flexibility, sustainability or scalability. The same number of pallet positions in the same cubic space area is shown to the left using the Cargo Carousel System but more than twice as much space (grey area) is available for the same number of pallet positions. The wireless sensors and controls (IoT) built into each module identifies the contents and atmospheric conditions in real-time to store and maintain a variety of merchandise with alerting capabilities and continuous logging for historical auditing of operational metrics. Now, consider the effects on the efficiency, flexibility, sustainability and scalability of your supply chain when these same modules are taken on the road where they can eliminate empty back hauls by handling reverse logistics (recyclables, store returns, shelf pulls, overstocks, perishables, etc.) with the same system and at the same time to create the backbone to a circular economy. Since loading docks are not required and intermodal containers are weatherproof merchandise can be stored much closer to the consumer stacked in the parking lot of retail stores while peak season volumes are easily absorbed without the need for costly leases that go unused in the off season. These modules can be double-stacked without crushing products underneath to maximize cubic space while in transit too.

Returnable Packaging

Returnable packaging isn’t very effective if it doesn’t get returned. The Cargo Carousel System guarantees the return of your packaging by allowing delivery and pick-up at the same time and at any stop up or down the value chain. Each time a “module” is removed from the Carousel it opens up a position for another module to take its place insuring your reusable packaging is returned while also keeping it protected from theft. These standard sized reusable modules are lockable and replace pallets and plastic wrap to offer superior protection and are suspended from the Carousel to better absorb shock.

Standardization allows any retailer, 3PL, distributor, producer, military or disaster relief/humanitarian aid agencies to use these same modules in any leg of their supply or reverse chains. Each module can be closed, locked and sealed so anyone can use or transport them and the same “sized” modules go to all chains, regardless of products. Interoperability is one of the hallmarks of the Cargo Carousel System.

Modules can be built as racks to carry trays or built with cross-bars at the top to transport and store or display garments. In more general applications they can replace pallets to carry totes or other returnable packaging or stand alone to carry consumer packaged goods that are still being shipped in cardboard boxes. Regardless of their purpose, all modules fit on the Carousel to allow full height utilization of the trailer or container without crushing the merchandise underneath.

By consolidating or pooling LTL shipments, companies can achieve organic growth by increasing the utilization of wasted space on their trucks or in their warehouses. Keeping trucks full by continuously pooling LTL shipments can eliminate empty back hauls while achieving end-to-end visibility in both, the supply and reverse chains. Learn more…