Degree of Filling

What is degree of filling?

Degree of filling, or level of fill, is a measurement of how well a vehicle is loaded during transport, meaning how well the space is utilised in relation to the size and weight of the goods.

For those working in the transport and logistics sector, the term ‘degree of filling’ is a frequently used term, especially in discussions related to the efficiency and increased profitability of a transport. In short, degree of filling is primarily about three things: reducing the number of transports, increasing cost efficiency, and protecting the environment.

How is degree of filling calculated?

In logistics, degree of filling means the level to which a transport is loaded. An empty transport has a 0% degree of filling, while a full load equates to 100%. A fully loaded transport all the way to the destination, but empty on the return trip, has a total degree of filling of 50%.

Driving transports that are as fully loaded as they possibly can be might sound like an obvious goal, but because the level of fill is calculated both according to weight and volume, it can be difficult to estimate this in advance. This puts great demand on capacity planning to avoid driving with half-empty loading space.

Ways to increase the degree of filling

It can be difficult to know where to start to make transports more efficient, because large parts of the logistics chain can be involved. At the top level, efficient capacity planning and resource management is required to achieve a good flow of goods. On a local level, other factors play a part: environmentally friendly but efficient vehicles, packaging, the stackability of goods, and so on. Here are a few common areas of improvement to keep in mind:

Review the packaging

In road and air transport, prices are often set in relation to freight weight. This simply means that goods of low density are priced according to the total volume of the goods when being transported. The freight weight (also known as ‘volume weight’) for a specific parcel can be calculated by multiplying the volume by 280. Consequently, light but large parcels cost more than the weight implies. It’s therefore beneficial to consider unit loads as an alternative, and to review the packaging of outgoing products to reduce costs and climate impact.
For your own transports, review what goods are stackable and what is not. Even if a transport vehicle looks fully loaded based on floor space, stackable goods can help you make use of otherwise unused loading space by height.

Avoid half-full transports

Through good planning, the number of empty or half-empty transports can be reduced. One solution worth considering is to combine single transports or entire logistics flows through consolidation of logistics.

Let PostNord help

We understand the value of efficient transports and the challenges they come with. That’s why we have chosen to gather all our services in our business tool. In PostNord Portal Business, the tools you need to get a detailed overview of incoming and outgoing shipments are available in one place. With Skicka Direkt you can easily place transport orders, and by integrating your e-commerce system with PostNord you can further tailor your logistics solutions.

Knowledge is power

Key to efficient transports is to have a good understanding of the field of logistics. If you want more knowledge on the subject, check out our archive of articles on logistics.

Frequently asked questions about degree of filling

What does degree of filling mean?

Degree of filling measures the extent to which a loading space is utilised during transport, in relation to the weight and size of the goods.

How can I optimise the degree of filling in both directions?

You can optimise the degree of filling through good planning, optimized goods and the use of techniques developed to increase the degree of filling.

Why increase the degree of filling?

There are three major gains to make: reducing the number of transports, increasing cost efficiency, and protecting the environment.