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Loading pipes and reels on open trailers

Anton Gerdes

Anton Gerdes

Senior Developer

We’ve added pipe and coil loading capabilities to Cargo-Planner, with the possibility to nest pipes within pipes. All this and a few updates to the geometries and orientations in the latest version of Cargo-Planner.

Pipes loaded in a 20ft DV

Nested pipes loaded in a 20ft DV

A few months back, we were approached by David Simmonds from Vinidex with a question regarding plastic pipes and coils of wire. Could Cargo-Planner handle those things? At the time, we were not able to, but we were excited about the challenge. We’ve worked together with David on the requirements of Vinidex logistics challenges and the industries that manufacture and handle the logistics of pipes and coils at large. And then we set sail for the holy land of hollow cylinders.

Loading solid pipes and drums was something we were already capable of, so the challenge wasn’t necessarily how to fill voids with these items, but rather how one would go about have a geometrical shape with a hole in it. A hole that also can be loaded with other items. After a couple of months of prototyping, we are finally here!

How to load pipes and coils

As always we’re starting with a new load plan. We are going to create a list with a few different types of hollow cylinders and load them together on a truck.

1. Data

The example data we're using

When we select Hollow Cylinder in the Geometry column, the Length and Width columns are interpreted as outer diameter and inner diameter respectively. Something else we need to set up is the Orientations column. You would typically not load a pipe standing on one end, so if we click the drop-down we can select Laying (crosswise), or Laying (lengthwise) for typical pipe orientations.

A 3D view of the allowed orientations

We’ve clicked the Custom value in Orientations to get a 3D view of the rotations that are allowed.

2. Setup

This step does not require anything special, but we’re including it for the sake of completeness.

An open EU trailer with an extended max-height

We have picked an Open Trailer and increased the Max Height to 350cm in order to fit the large coil. And that’s it. We run Create and calculate to see our results.

Coils and pipes loaded in an open truck

Coils and pipes loaded in an open truck

Finishing thoughts

Creating load plans with pipes is a new feature in Cargo-Planner, and we’re very excited to announce it. There is still work to be done, however. We could accommodate the specific types of bundles that this industry uses and the fittings of each side of the pipe to load more realistically. But every journey has to start somewhere. Give it a try to see what you think: