The first step is the routing of your wagons. Which orders can you combine, taking into account all required stops plus maintenance and cleaning stations?
When you plan round trips, are you able to take into account that there are some wagons you could re-use instantly after unloading? Can you manage the exceptions, such as customer-generic wagons and tank cars that require special maintenance or cleaning after unload? Your plans need to show you when you can’t load a new shipment because it could be compromised – for example you can’t load liquid food in the tank cars after they’ve been used to transport oil. And you need to allow for proper maintenance of the wagons before loading new transport.
The inherent uncertainty of wagon planning adds to the complexity of the planning task. Read more about the power of intelligent wagon planning: (un)certainty and cost optimization.
The best plan for your business takes all these elements into account, improves your KPIs, and maximizes the use of your rolling stock and network. It means you can make informed decisions and plan smart routes.
With an intelligent planning system, you can even explore the possibility of investing in new maintenance sites across the network. Analyze whether the extra costs outweigh the costs incurred through empty mileage by driving your wagons to your existing maintenance stations. Then before you introduce a new station you can see if it is profitable.
How are you utilizing your capacity to cope with complexities of wagon planning? Tell us in your comment below or drop us a tweet @Quintiq.