3 min. read

16 Jan 2023

In logistic transport context, the shuttling of goods is perhaps a little known process outside the sector, because although the number of companies that use it is high and even growing, it is often confused with simple goods transport by non-professionals at work.

In this article we therefore want to clarify this service, the reason why it is used, who uses it, and when it is appropriate to invest in it.

What is shuttling?

We can define the shuttling as a continuous and constant flow of exchange of goods between various company sites, both owned and owned by different entities. This operation takes place through the use of semi-trailers or other industrial vehicles and the distance between the two sites is generally short. The goods leaving the factory are palletised, where possible, forming load units, to be transferred as quickly as possible to an external warehouse or distribution centre.

Why keep the warehouse separate from the production plant? Isn't it more convenient to have just one big building?

The reasons for this operation are generally linked to the expansion of a company that does not have the physical space to expand its establishment because the neighboring land is occupied or is not suitable for construction. As a result, it is forced to purchase or rent an external warehouse and shuttle the goods produced in the plant there for storage until it is time for distribution.
Larger and more structured companies, on the other hand, can resort to this solution to distribute their products in logistics centers built in strategic points on the national territory, for example near to an highway to facilitate transport in the distribution phase.

Shuttling of goods: docking at the loading bay
Docking at the loading bay

Which companies use shuttle services?

Companies that produce consumer products take advantage of this logistical process. From foodstuffs to the textile sector, to the cosmetic sector, but also semi-finished raw materials intended to supply other companies such as paper reels, or special products that are more difficult to package but which are still mass-produced.

When is it appropriate to invest in shuttle services?

Let's start by saying that shuttle handling is a technique for handling goods organized and designed to obtain the maximum possible return from the whole operation in terms of working time, optimization of the space of the means of transport, use of resources, safety, cost savings , and it's even better from an environmental sustainability point of view. From this point of view, we could therefore simply answer that since it is cheaper than traditional transport, it is always worth adopting this solution. However this is not always the case.

As we have already seen in a previous paragraph, the need is linked to the expansion of a company. When the warehouse is separated from the factory, the company immediately needs a shuttle system, but obviously as long as the transported volumes are limited it will not invest many resources in this process and will simply make use of traditional transport systems.
However, when the transported load units increase, one quickly realizes that times and costs increase. Resorting to a greater number of trailers is a costly solution that does not make the service more efficient. In addition, logistics will become increasingly complex to manage and the risk of accident at work will increase.
This is the time to invest in an efficient shuttle system that automates operations by reducing the risk of accidents, damage to goods, cuts management costs and optimizes the logistics process.

If you need to optimize your logistics with an advanced shuttle system, don't hesitate to contact Moveco Systems. We will help you find the best solution for you.