August 15, 2019

In the mining sector where bulk cargo is moved in large quantities, warehouse management systems that improve efficiency and manage cost are critical.
As an asset-intensive industry that carries high-risk track-keeping of cargo at all times is also crucial.

The cargo can be a pile of minerals on a floor stack emptied from a container, with many of these piles in the warehouse or yard still needing to be tracked separately, either by receipt date for first-in-first-out (FIFO) or using batch numbers from mines. A warehouse or yard mapped with bays allows for this, and will ensure correct loading for dispatch. Whilst the dispatch processes lead a person to the correct bay, ensure minerals are loaded into dispatch vessels, and weigh-bridges give accurate dispatch weights; warehouse management systems must still cater for tare weights and random weight with rules that allow for full dispatch, based on a percentage difference, to allow clean stock balances and movements.

These rules would apply to any random weight stock. Also liquid bulk has to be stored and tracked in a unit of measurement that relates to the liquid and would usually be displayed in liters. This could be from silos of a large quantity that need to be tapped off into smaller transportable amounts.

The technology to measure accurate dispatch quantities is there, but your warehouse management system must have the capability of tracking a bulk product from receipt through to issuing in smaller amounts until complete, with tracking and tracking back to the original receipt batch.

Fixed weight liquid units like a 200 litre drum do make stock control easier, especially in a non-racked storage facility. The challenge arises when you have to mix this with other products in a racked, palletised environment, and the usual four drums per pallet do not fit into the racking. The warehouse management system therefore must have the capability of tracking each drum serial or batch number while rebuilding pallets throughout the warehouse.

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