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Blog November 2020

How to boost efficiency and reduce planning time in animal transport

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Jan Tønder Intelligent Optimization Solution Advisor

AMCS Livestock Planner - much faster load planning with more flexibility

Reduce transport costs and decrease planning time. These are just two of the main advantages of AMCS Livestock Planner, benefits that are clearly explained in this webinar about Automated Planning for Optimising the Transport of Slaughter Animals. Sales Director Jan Tønder and Pre-sales Manager Mads Svantesson, explain the concept and features of AMCS Livestock Planner in the webinar, including a demo of the AMCS solution. It also includes a case study from Danish Crown, the world’s largest pork exporter, showing how they achieved a 5% reduction in transport costs and a 25% decrease in planning time.

Animal wellbeing is key during slaughter animal transport. Nothing is more important than healthy and stress-free animals, Jan Tønder and Mads Svantesson emphasised during the webinar. Other central and essential factors they mentioned were; the everchanging order pool of pick-ups and deliveries at abattoirs and coordination of inbound transport to abattoirs, according to production and stable capacity. Other challenges discussed included; taking sickness levels and health rules (e.g. quarantines) into consideration, as well as the animals' sizes and the combinations of animal types during a singular trip.

AMCS Livestock Planner enables livestock transport companies to solve those challenges. This end-to-end solution is specifically engineered for it and has rich industry-specific functionalities focusing on animal wellbeing while also being capable of handling the legal obligations of animal transportation. By integrating high level and detailed route planning, AMCS Livestock Planner provides incremental and automatic livestock transport optimisation, and real-time execution and re-optimisation of orders.

Why invest in a new system to optimise transport route planning?

To showcase how the solution operates, Jan Tønder and Mads Svantesson zoomed in on a case study of one of the leading livestock transporting and meat-producing companies in Europe, Danish Crown. In their previous solution, Danish Crown sketched out the transport routes to be planned in a web portal with limited planning functionalities - and without any automatic time and distance calculations. As a result, the planning department lacked an overview of arrival times at the slaughterhouses. A lot of the planners’ time was taken up with planning and communicating with both farmers and slaughterhouses.

Aligning abattoir capacity with transport secures production flow

One of the new system requirements was planning the number of pigs on the vehicles, depending on their size, as outlined in the webinar. Also of great importance were the pigs at risk of infections and the documentation of the pig's origin. Often the farmers also have requirements as to the pick-up time of the animals.  On top of all these requirements, the transports have to be economically feasible, which means maximising the filling ratio and minimising the mileage. "To fill the slaughterhouse capacity, we align the capacity of each abattoir with the transport. By doing so, we secure the production flow", according to one planner quoted during the webinar.

The solution and the positive business outcomes

Due to the real-time data exchange between the planning team and the in-cab device of the driver, planners and dispatchers can react instantly to any delays. This is essential to secure a smooth delivery transport to the slaughterhouses and to fully utilise the capacity. After every change, the system automatically shows the economic impact of the planning and the consequence of every change made. The result is smarter planning and more efficient transport.

Savings and benefits

The results show that in this particular case study, AMCS Livestock Planner has greatly improved operational efficiency. For instance, transport costs are reduced by approximately 5%. Also, the planning time decreased by 15 to 25%, along with an increase in the number of transported pigs. Furthermore, the quality of transport and delivery reliability for the abattoirs have both improved and there is better transparency for farmers, hauliers, planners and abattoirs.

"The better you plan, the more you can save on the vehicles", one of the transport planners was quoted during the webinar. "With AMCS Livestock Planner, we can plan your loads much faster and with more flexibility. Both ourselves and our carrier partners benefit from large savings on planning and driving time."

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