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Livestock Overview Related solutions

Addressing Efficiency and Animal Welfare Challenges

Livestock transportation is no ordinary distribution and transport system. Delivering a live cargo adds all sorts of extra logistical dimensions far beyond just getting the trucks on the road. And each of those dimensions brings an extra level of complexity to the transportation process, from animal welfare, stress reduction, and disease control to capacity restrictions and collection/delivery windows. The AMCS Livestock Planner takes all these extra challenges into account, providing the solution companies need to do livestock transportation right.

Transportation activities are costly in any industry and efficiency is always paramount. With livestock, however, the added dimensions of animal health and welfare make efficient planning and delivery even more challenging. The extra costs associated with things going wrong can be high.

Time on trucks

Live cargo is, if you will forgive the pun, a ‘whole other animal’ to a crate of machine parts or a pallet of potting soil when it comes to scheduling, handling, and potential delays. Timing is everything and the goal of livestock logistics is always to minimise the time animals spend on trucks. Delays lead to more stressed animals and have consequences for the rest of the transportation schedule that can drive up costs significantly.

Exceeding the maximum amount of time animals may be in transit is costly in terms of both animal health and logistics expense. Many countries require offloading animals and allowing them to rest, at animal transport ‘hotels’ for example, overnight or when the travel time limit has been reached. Unexpected offloading requirements because of changes or delays in the schedule are undesirable in an industry with narrow margins.

Last-minute changes

Logistics planning for live cargo is also continuously in motion. When a breeder trades new livestock, for example, the collection and delivery cannot wait until there might be a truck available sometime next week. Adding another farm to the route at the last minute is a regular occurrence for many types of livestock and schedules can continue to change until the final delivery for the day is done. To keep costs down and welfare high, it is important to know immediately what the consequences of a planning change will be before it is implemented.

Health grading & traceability

Getting the collection and delivery right for keeping animals free from stress and pathogens is a balancing act. Health certifications have a limited window and are, at the same time, affected by the quality and efficiency of transportation. What animals are transported in what order is important for disease control.

Timing & capacity constraints

For a lot of livestock, and especially for breeders, the collection window is no more than about a week at best. Animals continue to grow, which can also affect the available capacity on the truck.

In addition, there are important capacity constraints and optimal timing for slaughterhouses to avoid additional stress and having no space to offload the trucks. Being able to plan the right number of people in shifts in advance to handle incoming animals appropriately is crucial and cooperative scheduling is an important part of avoiding backlogs.

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Industry Guide: Transporting Livestock

Read about the AMCS Solution for transporting Livestock to address efficiency and animal welfare.

Read the Industry Guide

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