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Frequently Asked Questions

Evaluation
 Q  When I run LoadPlanner Desktop for the first time it shows an Options dialog with User Name and Password, what should I enter there?
 A  The Evaluation version of LoadPlanner Desktop communicates request/response messages with the LoadPlanner WebService. You need to have an evaluation account registered at www.loadplanner.com. Make sure you activate your account after the registration (activation key will be emailed to you). Use the same User Name and Password as your online login.
 Q  What is the Service URL and can I change it?
 A  The Service URL is the network address of a LoadPlanner WebService in Client/Server configuration. http://loadplanner.com/server is the address of a free Evaluation service. If you are using Enterprise or Professional Edition of LoadPlanner Desktop, check with your system administrator for the service address.
 Q  How can I run LoadPlanner Desktop on a single computer without a networked service?
 A  You need to acquire a license for the Application Edition of the LoadPlanner Desktop. Once you have a Product Key, enter it in the Processor page of the Options dialog. LoadPlanner will connect to the Licensing Service to validate your license and automatically download and install the Load Processor.
 Q  Is it required for my computer to be connected to the internet in order to use LoadPlanner Desktop?
 A  Only if you are running Evaluation version. For the Application Edition the only time when LoadPlanner Desktop requires an internet connection is when you want to install, uninstall or upgrade the Load Processor.
 Q  Can I use the same Product Key on two or more computers?
 A  No, you need to acquire separate Application license for each workstation, or a Networked version. Volume discounts are available for license packages.
 Q  What if I want to move my LoadPlanner Desktop Application to another computer?
 A  In this case you need to uninstall the Load Processor from the old computer and then install it on the new one. To uninstall the Load Processor open Processor page of the Options dialog.
 Q  What if I can't uninstall Load Processor from my old computer, it is not available?
 A  Please contact our support, we will be happy to assist you.
 Q  If a new version of LoadPlanner Desktop is available, do I need to purchase a new license to upgrade it?
 A  No, LoadPlanner Desktop is a free application client, and can be upgraded at any time at no additional cost. If you are running the Application Edition, make sure you uninstall the Load Processor before the upgrade, then install it again using the same product key.
 Q  How do I copy my data to/from LoadPlanner Desktop?
 A  LoadPlanner Desktop uses XML files in open LoadPlanner DTD format to externalize its database. In addition to that LoadPlanner can Import/Export tabular data using clipboard (Copy/Paste) operations. You can use MS Excel or any text editor to prepare your data externally. Before attempting to import data you may want to export some sample data first, paste it into a spreadsheet or text editor and use the result as a template. Use common clipboard shortcuts to Copy/Paste the data, Ctrl+Ins (or Ctrl+C) to Copy, and Shift+Ins (or Ctrl+V) to Paste.
 Q  What are the requirements for data import from Excel spreadsheet?
 A  Imported data has to be formatted (have the same number of columns and matching data types for each column) as the format of the target grid.

When importing Items, LoadPlanner expects following columns and types:
ID Description Length Width Diameter Height Weight Quantity
String String Float Float Float Float Float Integer

When importing Spaces, LoadPlanner expects following columns and types:
ID Description Length Width Height Load
Weight
Tare
Weight
Tare
Property
Availability
String String Float Float Float Float Float Float Integer

We provide a sample XLS file with pre-defined worksheets for Items and Spaces.

 Q  What is the text format that LoadPlanner can paste the data from?
 A  In text clipboard format each record begins with a new line and values are Tab-separated. Follow the same formatting guidelines as for MS Excel spreadsheets.
 Q  Is it possible to connect LoadPlanner Desktop directly to our ERP/WMS/TMS?
 A  Yes, starting from version 2.4 LoadPlanner Desktop offers "seamless" connectivity to an external database. We support all major RDBMS vendors and ODBC. For more info see "Data Administration Guide" in the /data directory of your LoadPlanner installation.
 Q  What are the units of measurement that LoadPlanner is using?
 A  LoadPlanner does not specify any specific units of measurement (inches, centimeters, pounds, kilograms, etc.). It is up to you to give a meaning to the numbers, as soon as they are consistent across all the Items, Spaces and Constraints.
 Q  What kind of algorithm is LoadPlanner using?
 A  LoadPlanner's algorithm was developed over considerable period of time and is a result of extensive experience obtained from numerous implementations. The core of the algorithm is a combination of various techniques and methods, including genetic algorithms, logic programming, constraint propagation and heuristics.
 Q  Do you guarantee that LoadPlanner will always find the optimum solution?
 A  No, not always. The combinatorial complexity of the general 3D configuration problem is so big that in certain cases it would require millions of years of computing time to get such an assurance. LoadPlanner offers a reasonable balance between quality of the result, processing time and practical value.
 Q  We are shipping goods in containers of different types and sizes; can LoadPlanner help us to figure out what is the most efficient combination of containers for the given shipment?
 A  Absolutely, all you need to do is populate the containers data; if availability of a certain type is limited - specify so. Enter the shipment items data and quantities. LoadPlanner will choose the most efficient assortment of container types that will be guaranteed to hold the entire shipment. LoadPlanner will also create loading instructions for each individual container. The same approach can be used to solve whole array of operating problems - from selection of trailer types to selection of packaging boxes for small orders.
 Q  Our shipping operation is a two-stage process: first we palletize shipment items, then we load pallets and oversized items into trucks, can LoadPlanner handle that?
 A  LoadPlanner was designed to handle three-tier loading problems: packaging shipment orders into boxes, palletizing and truck or container loading. Every step is optional. The loads created at previous step are implicitly converted into new "consolidated" shipment orders for the next step.
 Q  We are shipping long hauls with multiple stops; can LoadPlanner build loads according to drop-off sequence?
 A  Yes, you would have to specify loading sequence in the order opposite to drop-off. For example if your truck has to make stops at three different locations in the given order - A, B and C, then all the items would have "Sequence" property set as following: A:3, B:2, C:1.
 Q  Can LoadPlanner create a configuration so that shipment orders for different customers will be loaded on separate pallets?
 A  Certainly, you would have to specify each order's customer name as a "DoNotMix" group. Make sure you define the "context" of this rule appropriately, in your case it has to be "Pallets", i.e. orders for different customers need to be loaded on separate pallets, but still can ride in the same trailer.
 Q  We would like to have all the orders for the same customer to be loaded in a single truck but still combined with orders for other customers.
 A  You can use "DoNotSplit" grouping for that. Specify order's customer name as the group's name and check "Trailers" as the grouping parameter. This way all the orders for a given customer will be combined into non-splitable group and loaded together.
 Q  We are shipping one truck daily; sometimes we have more stuff to load than the truck can hold. Some orders have to be shipped right away, others can wait until the next shipment. We load high-priority orders first, then the rest until the truck is full. Can we improve truck utilization rate using LoadPlanner?
 A  LoadPlanner can definitely help. First, set the availability of the trailer to 1. Then set the "Priority" property for each order according to your operating rules. Instead of sequencing orders according to priority, LoadPlanner will dynamically consolidate orders yet making sure that there will be no lower-priority order in the load at the expense of a higher-priority order. Keep your orders information up-to-date and run the LoadPlanner on a daily basis, that way you will have a very precise shipping schedule.
 Q  Can LoadPlanner handle trailers with multi-level decks, like "goosenecks" or "furniture vans"? Can it handle per-axle weight limits?
 A  Yes, all you have to do is specify optional parameters to define front and/or rear deck layouts and maximum load weight for each axle, along with the axle's position.
 Q  We have a large items list and more than 100 distributors, some of them have special requirements. It is too difficult to maintain separate list for each destination to capture those requirements. Is there a better way to handle that?
 A  You may want to consider LoadPlanner Enterprise Edition. In that model item definitions are separated from specific orders, which eliminates item "duplicates". In addition, the Enterprise model will allow you to classify items and orders into flexible system of business-related categories, and apply rules and constraints to the entire groups of items or orders. Such approach is much more flexible and less laborious.