Loading units are collections of goods that are transported, transhipped or stored as they pass through the supply chain. In contrast to stationary units, mobile units can be freely transported, stacked and moved.

Mobile loading units

Good examples of mobile loading units are boxes, packages, pallets and drums, which in turn can be part of a larger loading unit. For example, a pallet consists of a certain number of cartons. A truckload in turn consists of a certain number of pallets. Different packing strategies are used to optimize the capacity of the different product blocks. A loading unit, whether mobile or stationary, is therefore an individual space container, which on the one hand is limited by special dimensions and on the other hand is suitable for receiving so-called filling units. In warehouse logistics, they describe the possibilities of packing and shipping goods cost-efficiently.

Many warehouses are set up in such a way that they can be used most efficiently if they are stocked with loading units. If they are, their individual spaces are designed exactly to the size of Euro pallets and each loading unit is given a unique label to clearly describe the contents. Ideally, the name, article number and EAN code, so-called identification data, are combined on each loading unit.

Stationary loading units

Stationary loading units are subspaces that are separated from each other at fixed locations for storing, buffering and providing storage units. According to their function, they are called storage location, buffer storage or distribution storage. In contrast to the mobile ‘subspaces’, these cannot be moved. Thus the storage areas in incomingand outgoing goods, as well as parking areas for cars, trucks or trains serve as stationary loading units. They are firmly integrated into the logistics, are filled and emptied and are also integrated into inventory planning. Goods that are on their way to the next process step are temporarily stored there.

The semi-stationary units are a special feature in terms of combined filling units. They are only moveable to a limited extent and in a fixed direction: drawers, mobile racks and storage locations in circulating storage systems are examples.

You can find more information on goods handling under Handling Logistics.

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