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Improving Cotton Warehousing Efficiencies Through Novel Bale Marketing Strategies: Aisle-Stacking and Block-Stacking
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The National Cotton Council’s Vision 21 Cotton Flow Study sought to improve the flow of cotton through the gin and warehouse system. Time and motion data were collected from multiple warehouses as the basis for models, which simulate differences in the total time needed to assemble an order for three different bale selection techniques: the baseline method, a 4-bale marketing plan, or the use of MILLNet™ for Merchants software; and for two different methods of warehouse storage: aisle-stacking and block-stacking. In larger warehousing facilities using aisle-stacking, the use of MILLNet™ for Merchants software significantly decreased the time required to assemble an 88-bale load of cotton for shipping. However, in warehouses utilizing aisle-stacking, 4-bale marketing did not reduce the time required to assemble a load for shipment in aisle-stacking arrangements. Compared to baseline operations for block-stacking warehouses, 4-bale marketing and MILLNet™ for Merchants offered significant potential time savings in order assembly. The greatest time savings, 50%-75%, were realized using MILLNet™ for Merchants and pulling bales only from the fronts of the blocks. When MILLNet™ for Merchants was not an option, 4-bale marketing reduced total order assembly time by up to 56%. Block-stacking in a cotton warehouse was the most efficient way to assemble and load one 88-bale order. If the facility was small then using the 4-bale marketing method generated the shortest order assembly time. If the facility was medium or large, then the MILLNet™ for Merchant software generated shorter order assembly times. Other factors that may impact order assembly time are the expertise and experience of the facility management personnel, the number of bales within the warehouse, and the shipping method. When considering foreign and domestic shipments from a block-stacking warehouse, foreign shipments were the fastest to assemble and load regardless of the bale selection method, baseline, 4-bale marketing, or MILLNet™ for Merchants.
MILLNet For Merchants
Vision 21 Cotton Flow Study
Hazelrigs, Lauren N (2016). Improving Cotton Warehousing Efficiencies Through Novel Bale Marketing Strategies: Aisle-Stacking and Block-Stacking. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from