We actually build Cargo Carousel Systems to be leased to supply chain participants.
As many supply chain organizations have spent years cutting costs and eliminating waste, incremental improvements are leading to diminishing returns. This is driving the need for supply chain executives to seek more innovative solutions. Companies that continue to rely on traditional supply chain models will struggle to remain competitive but with so much new technology how does one decide the best investment for the greatest return or quantify the benefits in a way that justifies spending the money? Mistakes can be costly and must endure the test of time. Decisions today may be out of touch with tomorrow as innovation and technology continue to disrupt in a constantly changing marketplace.
The Cargo Carousel is a “system” that is utilized end-to-end throughout the value chain; not just in transport or storage or retail or last-mile delivery but, throughout the entire chain. It transforms the value chain with a flexible and scalable system that represents a complete solution that is easily installed and modular by nature so customers can quickly adopt, see immediate benefits and ROI’s, and add to their systems as their needs increase. Best of all, this system is complimentary to existing operations so there is virtually no change to current infrastructure or processes and the need to upgrade equipment or train employees is basically eliminated.
The CCS is a framework developed to slide into and affix to an existing ISO intermodal container or truck trailer and can be built to fit into any sized container, trailer or truck box. The ISO intermodal container represents the most versatile application due to its already available stacking and handling capabilities. Each “module” within the framework of the CCS replaces a wooden pallet and is a cubic design which can also be built to fit any application desired. Each module is suspended from the Carousel to better absorb shock and protect contents. From a rack built to hold trays of produce to an enclosed rod to hang clothes on, the CCS can increase the efficiency, flexibility, scalability and sustainability of the entire supply chain.
Transport – the CCS allows deliveries and pick-ups at the same time without ever leaving the dock whether you’re transporting upstream or down. This can eliminate empty back hauls by combining the supply and reverse chains (shelf pulls, store returns, perishables, recyclables, freight damage, etc.) into one. Double-stacking pallets will often crush products underneath but the CCS eliminates partial loads by utilizing the entire available space and protecting merchandise far better than plastic wrap. Green House Gas (GHG) emissions are minimized to save on increasing, government mandated carbon pricing taxes.
Storage – the CCS eliminates the need for aisles that are reserved for forklifts to maneuver. Stacked side-by-side and nose-to-nose, the CCS offers automated deep storage and retrieval that is unparalleled in the industry and, since each module within the CCS stops at the exact same location for loading and unloading, robotic forklifts can combine GPS with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to easily identify the location of any tagged merchandise for unmanned pick & pack, put away, cross-docking or staging.
Retail – the CCS does not require loading docks. This allows inventory to be stored much closer to the customer in temporary clusters of CCS containers stacked right in the parking lot of the store or DC or even out in a fenced-off field. Containers can be added or removed to other locations as necessary adding flexibility and scalability to absorb seasonality without committing to permanent and costly structures that are underutilized in the off-season.
Last-mile delivery – adding a keypad or card reader to the CCS and creating openings at both ends allows store employees to load from one end while customers or couriers with authorization unload at the other end for customer pick-up or quick courier delivery. Creating an opening at only one end allows pre-stocked containers to be positioned anywhere as lockers for customer or courier pick-up that is quickly replenished by simply swapping out the empty container with a newly pre-stocked unit. Again, multiple units can be utilized at any location(s).
Pool Distribution – this brings together all of the benefits offered by the CCS. Each module of the CCS is weatherproof, opaque, lockable and sealable eliminating the need for a unique pool operator. Dimension-based pricing with a variable for weight allows pooling with multiple manufacturing, trucking, storing and retailing operations simultaneously and continuously while minimizing the need for route optimization programs. With its reverse chain capabilities, there are no more excuses for empty backhauls, partial loads or any wasted space on any leg of the value chain.
Visibility – although different interpretations and definitions abound, our definition of supply chain visibility is: The right information, in actionable detail, on events, orders, inventory, and shipments, up and down, and end to end, updated and presented in real time. This definition – ambitious by intention – sets the goal of having visibility through every tier of the supply base, with every supply chain partner, in real time. Software alone cannot achieve this but, when coupled with the CCS’s sensor and satellite communication capabilities (IoT), true control tower visibility is achievable throughout the value chain.
Bringing the Cargo Carousel System into the greater supply chain planning process offers tremendous strategic and performance potential. By leveraging the Cargo Carousel System as a callable capability and incorporating it into downstream transportation and upstream supply chain workflows, companies can enhance distribution/retailing operations, increase supply chain collaboration, optimize inventory, accelerate velocity, improve asset utilization, have fewer empty backhauls/partial loads, reduce fuel costs, automate business processes, and increase recycling and sustainability by an order of magnitude. The simplicity of the Cargo Carousel System makes it difficult to fully grasp its ability to reduce cost while simultaneously boosting performance.