What is groupage?

Goods consolidation or is the most efficient solution when endeavoring to cut transport organization costs as much as possible. In the field of warehouse logistics, is a solution for storing goods. It is a prerequisite before transport, when looking to find inexpensive solutions.

In the field of logistics, consolidation is defined as the act of grouping in just one truck products belonging to several different customers. Indeed, the issue often arises that customers cannot fill entire trucks or containers when filing a transport request. In maritime or waterway transport, containers are the unit used. The decision to apply lies in the transporter’s desire to send out trucks filled to their maximum capacity, using customers with limited-volume orders.

Specificities of goods grouping in the field of logistics

Transporters offer their contracting parties two possible transport solutions:

  • Transport of a batch of products in (Full Truck Load), so long as a single customer’s goods can fill up the entire truck or container;

  • The transport of goods in several “less-than-truckload” parts: products from several different contracting parties are loaded in just one trailer or container. is a service quite similar to former parcel service systems.

Resorting to batch makes long-distance shipments much more appealing in terms of pricing for very small companies. The latter, as well as low sales volume retailers, do not order sufficiently large stock quantities to justify Full Truck Load deliveries (i.e. taking up an entire truck or container).

enables commissioners to only pay for the space occupied by their orders in the vehicle used for delivery. With that financial hindrance out of the way, allows for more deliveries to be made.

Examples and practical applications

The advantages of logistical grouping

  • The main advantage is the huge drop in transport fees.

  • The second asset is the real improvement in service quality. Consolidating goods means the number of deliveries can be increased on lots of different itineraries, within the framework of an agreement between companies sharing the same economic interests.

The drawbacks of grouping 

  • The scheduling of pick-up and delivery times is more unpredictable.

  • implies loading and deliveries at lots of different addresses, therefore increasing the risks inherent to road transport.

Warehouse groupage process for goods

is not specific to the transport of goods. Warehouses also use this technique to consolidate the tons of goods originating from different customers, with a view to optimizing , accelerating flows, and improving productivity and therefore end customer satisfaction. To ensure quick delivery at the best price, logisticians make sure their warehouses are located precisely where their distribution network is most efficient.

These warehouses are dedicated to stock consolidation, and goods are grouped together to comply with the following processes:

  • Acceptance of incoming batches: they are sorted then loaded with goods defined as being part of the same reference;

  • Addressing: designates the place where the goods are kept within a rack. Logisticians can therefore optimize the volume available in the warehouse;

  • The dispatch preparation process consists in uniting stocks from different containers or trucks, and grouping them together for combined at a later stage, according to their itinerary or to the customer having ordered a unique transport unit.

Regulatory cornerstones for a transport commissioner

The decree dated 11 February 1991 made it for transport commissioners with as one of their activities to register the operations entrusted to a transporter in chronological order. This record must then be kept for three years by each establishment or office held by the transport commissioner.