Paragon Software creates routing system for animal feed industry

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Paragon Software Systems, a provider of vehicle routing and scheduling optimization software, announced a new system that targets the specific needs of the animal feed industry. When shipping animal feed from feed mills, it is important not to mix the ingredients of final products to avoid contamination. It takes special equipment, techniques, and software to accomplish this requirement.

Paragon’s new Integrated Fleets system helps transportation managers realize these goals and best meet customer delivery service levels, the company says.

“Typical vehicles used in the delivery of animal feed consist of compartments because cross contamination must be avoided, and other constraints adhered to, in order to ensure a safe animal feed shipment,” said William Salter, president and CEO. “In general the use of compartmented vehicles considerably complicates the vehicle-scheduling task when planning and optimizing delivery routes. Paragon’s Integrated Fleets is one of the most advanced route optimization systems available on the market today and supports the greatest flexibility in transportation operations.”

Compartmentalized vehicles travel to multiple sites to pick up different products, which are loaded into the separate compartments. Centralized daily planning of these complex operations can include those involving warehouses or production sites with different products serving the same customer base, or combined primary and secondary distribution operations.

Paragon Integrated Fleets enables vehicles at multiple sites to be treated as a single integrated transportation resource so that movements to and from different depots (DCs, Warehouses, Processing Facilities) can be combined into efficient routes that reduce overall mileage and eliminate empty trucks running back and forth between delivery locations.

Where an operation has product-type specific depots, Paragon Integrated Fleets can enable the planning team to produce one complex plan automatically. The result is a network of routes that take deliveries and collections into consideration, and enables vehicles to inter-work between depot locations, making the most of available driving time and road miles.

For many animal feed producers the benefit of routing both chilled and ambient deliveries, for example, using the same fleet can deliver savings in terms of transport integration between sites, especially when some depots and warehouses are located relatively close to one another. This inter-working of multiple fleets generates route plans with efficient backloads, which increases asset utilization, improves productivity, and reduces empty mileage.

“Paragon Integrated Fleets builds efficient transportation schedules that can reduce transportation costs by up to 20 percent,” Salter said. “Using this software to produce the transportation plan, companies can be confident that deliveries will meet promised time windows.”