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SECTION 3 - Data Input.


(Covers Introduction, Starting the software, Data Input, Differences between Slipsheet and Pallet Analysis)

3.1 Introduction.

As described earlier SLIPSHEET MANAGER allows you to quickly examine the influence of the use of standard or custom sized slipsheets or pallets on the loading of identical product into user specified container / trailer. One should make the point at this stage that whilst there are a number of standards published for container sizing, the actual minimum internal sizes of containers offered by shippers do vary somewhat. Thus before embarking on a specific project you are strongly recommended to contact your shipper to determine the internal sizes available to you. Often the details are available from the websites of these companies and data from one such company (Maersk) is given below.

 20 ft standard:             5900mm. * 2352mm. * 2393mm. high (to load line)

[232 in. * 92.5 in. * 94 in.]  (33m3 - 28350 Kg / 62278 lb payload)

40 ft standard:            12035mm. * 2350mm. * 2393mm. high (to load line)

[474 in. * 92.5 in. * 94 in.]  (67m3 - 28800 Kg / 63471 lb payload)

40 ft high:                        12035mm. * 2350mm * 2577mm. high (to load line)

[232 in. * 92.5 in. * 101.5 in.] (76m3 - 30,200 Kg / 66577 lb payload)

45 ft high:                         13556mm. * 2352mm. * 2698mm. high (to load line)

[533 in. * 92.5 in. * 106in.] (86m3 - 27700 Kg / 61066 lb payload)

The above values are extracted from the Maersk Dry Steel Container Specifications available at:

3.2 Starting the Application.

The installation procedure will normally have created a link to the application from your Start / Programs menu. Just select Start / Programs and then select the SLIPSHEET MANAGER application. In addition your IT support personnel may have set up an icon on your desktop to start the application.

3.3 Data Input.

SLIPSHEET MANAGER requires the user to provide information on (a) the case / product size to be loaded and (b) the container size to be used. In addition it allows users to restrict solutions to solutions which meet their specific needs. 

On entry the user is able to select between metric (mm) and imperial (inches) measurements and the default values displayed (which can be changed as described below), naturally reflect this. A typical completed input screen is shown overleaf.

In the above screen a case of size 306*100*200 is to be loaded (on slipsheets / pallets / block stacked) into a 40' standard container. The stack / slip sheet size should have a longer dimension between 1000mm and 1400mm and a shorter dimension between 900mm and 1100mm.

The default values which are displayed on the above screen can be changed to meet your specific requirements and the process for doing this is described in Appendix 1

The Case Code and Case Description are used both on the reports produced but in addition the Case Code is used as the basis for naming the graphics files (.jpg) which may be created by the user as part of the Webbase Database. These reports can then be reviewed / re-printed using your standard browser or passed to others as email attachments.

The Case Details requested are naturally the external dimensions of each case (including any necessary bulge allowances). The case weight is requested so that SLIPSHEET MANAGER can make any necessary adjustments to stack height to take account of the container load weight limit. This is described in more detail in Section 4 of this manual.

The Container Details requested are the internal minimum dimensions of the container to be used together with the cargo weight limit. Once again one must emphasize that these values should be obtained for you particular shipper and you should not assume that (for example) the Maersk values given above 'will do'. SLIPSHEET MANAGER will be executing some powerful solution techniques in determining suitable load plans and the exact size of both Case and Container are vital in providing an accurate loading plan.

You will note that adjacent to the entry boxes for Container Dimensions a button Container DB (Database) will be found. 

This loads up a screen displaying typical container sizes such as that shown below:

On this screen are given dimensions for 14 common container types - any or all of which can be edited (here) to match the characteristics of your own containers / supplier. When first supplied the first 7 are metric sizes with the 2nd 7 being the imperial equivalents. This is done so that users may try out both the metric and imperial modes of SLIPSHEET MANAGER (selected on the opening screen) using data in the initial database.

To select the container which is to be used the appropriate tick box (to the right) is marked.

In practice users would normally replace the unused entries (i.e. the unused imperial / metric entries) with their own entries and make other description / dimensional changes as required.

Please Note:

  1. If operating in metric mode then, should you inadvertantly select a container entry with (the much smaller) imperial dimensions SLIPSHEET MANAGER will substitute a realistic non-standard container onto the main data entry screen. Likewise in imperial mode a similar process will be carried out.

  2. Once a trial copy has expired then which you can access / select from the above screen as normal, the container dimensions transferred to the data entry screen will be those of a non-standard container.

In all instances SLIPSHEET MANAGER will investigate the use of standard stack sizes for your consignment (e.g. metric sizes: 1200*1000 and 1200*800), together with one further size - the Custom Stack Size - from the main data entry screen.

In addition to these 3 sizes it will also calculate possible alternate stack sizes (i.e. slipsheet sizes or custom pallet sizes) which could be used for your product. The constraints specified on the above screen on the size of each stack will determine the number of solutions which will be produced. It is usually better to leave these values as they are (even if they are too great a range) and eliminate them when examining the results.

Case Stack / Slip Sheet limits and Allowances.

SLIPSHEET MANAGER will examine certain standard stack footprints (e.g. 1200*1000 and 1200*800 under metric configuration or 48" * 40" for imperial), and will generate other stack sizes (based on the product dimensions input), which have a footprint between limits the user may consider sensible.

In the above Data Input screen longer dimensions for the stack of between 1000 and 1400mm are set, with the smaller stack dimension being set between 900 and 1100mm. The default values for these limits can be edited - See Appendix 1.

A further constraint can be applied through the Cases / layer (here 1-200 cases / layer).

As described earlier the software will always examine two 'standard' stack sizes - 1200*1000 and 1200*800 in the metric form, and the entry Custom Stack Size on this part of the screen allows users to select a further values which will always be examined - here 1100*1100 - a size popular in parts of Asia. The user can edit this as required.

Towards the bottom of the Input Data Screen is the question:

'Are you using a Slipsheet/Block Stack or a Pallet?'

Depending upon the response one or other of the allowances that follow will be applied as described below:

If a Slipsheet/Block Stack is to be used then it may be necessary to allow space down the side of the container for any slipsheet lip that projects around the side of the case stack. This will typically be 50mm or 75mm (2 or 3 inches) and is the amount of slipsheet projecting around each stack. For Block Stack arrangements this can be set = zero. The way in which this allowance is used when creating load plans is discussed in detail in Section 4 of this manual.

If a Pallet Load is selected then the available load height in the container (2393mm in the above), will need to be reduced by a small amount to account for the height of a typical pallet. The load height will be automatically reduced by the height of the pallet base (here 162) only when a pallet load have been selected.

Once the screen is complete the user selects Pack.


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