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A Seminal Study for

RHTP Standardization
Racking - Handling - Trucking - Palletization


he high growth in the Indian economy has resulted in a significant rise in the volume of freight traffic
moved. Present growth and future growth potential of the Indian logistics sector is regarded as one of
the most attractive in the world.
Despite this growth potential, the Indian logistics sector remains stalled in several complexities, which
include fragmentation and disjointed nature of logistics chain.
Trucks, Handling equipment, Racks and Pallets are the core elements of the Logistics Supply Chain and a
common thread is essential to harmonise all activities along the chain.
Standardization could be the common denominator and can be pivotal to achieve such harmonization for
increased logistics efficiencies.
While it is necessary that all the interacting components in a typical product distribution and storage system,
i.e. Racks, handling equipment, Trucks and Pallets, needs to be standardized, the pallet has become the
cornerstone that can lead the standardization process because it is the interface that connects the other
In this context, Confederation of Indian Industry Institute of Logistics conducted a study to understand
existing standards and their level of usage in elements of Logistics chain, potential benefits of following
standards and the study report offers guidelines on feasible dimensions for pallets, racks, truck hold etc.,
Finally the report quantifies potential savings that can accrue which will offset the investments needed for
palletisation and standardization.
We hope the readers find it interesting and insightful.
R Dinesh
CII Institute of Logistics,
Adivisory Council

Executive summary

Findings and Recommendation

for better processes

Background of Logistics Sector


Need for Standards in

Logistics handling


Pallets Role of pallets in distribution

and handling, Standards, Safeties
and Matters


Racking Storage Systems Standards


Material Handling Equipment Standards






Annexures Case Studies


Executive Summary

Trend Smart cities

India is poised to become the worlds fastest growing economy, overtaking China for the first time since
1999. Indian economy is set to benefit from the slew of economic reforms by the government, a pickup in the
investments and a lower crude oil price. By 2025, Indian economy will have grown multi-fold and consumers
will have become much more heterogeneous, presenting organizations with a unique set of opportunities
and challenges. The supply chain will be impacted by various evolving macro-factors.

A growing population and urbanization will lead to several cities becoming mega demand centres. Increased
congestion and space constraints will require organizations to create a different supply chain model to serve
these cities. Going vertical, common carrier deliveries, use of electric vehicles, and flexible unloading are
some options to consider in designing supply chains for these cities.

Trend VUCA (Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity)

The dynamics and fast-changing nature of our world today is best described by VUCA. VUCA results
from high-speed information availability, instantaneous response times by competitors, and from the
commoditization not only of labour and capital, but also of knowledge and intellectual capital.

Trend GST
The GST or the Goods and Service Tax is a long pending indirect tax reform which India has been waiting
for, and which is expected to iron out the wrinkles in the existing tax system. This comprehensive tax policy
is expected to be one of the most important reforms in contributing to the India growth story. Experts opine
that the implementation of GST would push up GDP by 1%-2%

Trend Modern Retail and eCommerce

The Indian retail landscape has evolved from the brick-and-mortar model to adopt technology for connecting
with consumers. The aim is to achieve a complete seamless customer experience. Its a new world for
both retailers and the customers where the latter is the king. Indians spend 25.2% of their time on social
networking websites. As we move from the world of skeptics to early adopters to ultimately the tacticians,
online retailing and mobile retailing are the new modes of growth. Retail Supply Chain managers anticipate
new trend in Warehousing. Modern retailers are relying on technology and standards to manage the rapidly
changing business scenarios and diverse customer needs. The sector is now focusing on technology
optimization and effectiveness.

RHTP - standardization

Trend Make in India

A national initiative designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation and build best in class manufacturing
infrastructure. The major objective behind the initiative is to focus on 25 sectors of the economy for job
creation and skill enhancement. Some of these sectors are: automobiles, chemicals, IT, pharmaceuticals,
textiles, ports, aviation, leather, tourism and hospitality, wellness, railways, auto components, design
manufacturing, renewable energy, mining, bio-technology, and electronics. The initiative hopes to increase
GDP growth and tax revenue. The initiative also aims at high quality standards and minimizing the impact
on the environment. The initiative hopes to attract capital and technological investment in India.
OECD- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data says, India is cheaper by 48%
on manufacturing labour cost. Global players are looking for improved supply chain networks, which are
mechanized, processes oriented and are faster than ever before.
The supply chain will be impacted by various evolving macro-factors for which organizations will have to
prepare. All these macro factors will push organizations to create supply chains which are lean, green and
agile. As organizations continue to optimize their supply chain, they should focus on the entire value chain
from suppliers to the retailers and the end customers. For the industry a local optimization by companies will
result in overall sub-optimization. For overall optimization, there has to be a minimum set of standards which
should be factored in by the various players in the industry. This paper studies the need for standardization
and list down minimum recommendation for various elements of the supply chain.

RHTP - standardization



Benefits of Standardisation

Current Status and Challenges

The harmonization of logistics chain is a main driver to supply chain integration. Increases in the cost of
square footage, the high cost of building materials, higher labour charges, expensive equipment and stiff
penalties for late deliveries and damaged goods all these leads to think about standardisation. The key to
success in the storage, materials handling and transportation is to a great part, knowing how to get over
these hurdles by integrating the channel partners. The science of storage and materials handling is a fast
growing science. Working together to achieve more efficient unit loads across the total supply chain offers
significant opportunities for improvement. These will result in operational cost savings and benefits like;

1. Different structural design and dimension across supply chain, resulting in excess storage space

Better utilization of transport cube

CII Minimum Recommended Standards

Reduced Truck turn Around Time

1. Standard rack dimension design for unitized loads on 1200 x 1000 mm pallet

Reduced product damage with Improved product accessibility

For 1200 side pallet entry - 2650mm x 850mm x 1400mm (L x W x H)

Productivity increase in Warehouse storage and handling

For 1000 side pallet entry 2250mm x 1050mm x 1400mm

Reduced labor

2. For Square pallet, design shall be modified / adopted as per the pallet dimension

Standardization of Racks, Handling Equipment, trucks and pallets will optimize flow of materials across the
supply chain. CII estimates that through standardized dimension pallets, racks, MHEs and trucks in logistics
have the potential to reduce the countrys logistics costs up to INR 6000 crores, annually.
The Investments needed for Automation / Standaradization can be absorbed through the above savings.
Specific case analysis done on few FMCG and Electronics companies reveal that, there is a potential to
reduce the distribution costs up to 12% on their present logistics spending, which is approximately 5% of
their sales value.
It is estimated that:
Palletisation and Standards will avoid manual handling and swapping from one pallet to next pallet, reducing
product damages in logistics handling, resulting in a potential savings of around INR 2200 crores.
The Standards will avoid manual loading and unloading resulting to a reduced Truck turn Around Time (TAT)
for freight trucks leading to an opportunity cost savings of around INR 2500 crores..
The industry will benefit in an overall labour cost savings of of around INR 850 crores through standardization
in logistics handling.
Standards in logistics handling leads to a savings on inventory holding upto INR 200 crores.
With the increasing real estate cost, the standardization will save around 84 million sq.ft of storage space
leading towards saving of around INR 160 crores in warehousing cost.
Industry specific cases, highlighting the above savings are attached as addendum to this report.

Based onfollowing inputs;
1. Extensive study of existing national and international standards
2. Global best practices
3. Interviews with leading manufacturers and service providers

2. Non standards rack dimensions due to product nature leading to loss in storage space
3. Non Compatibility with the palletized load and material handling equipment resulting in handling losses.
4. Investment difficulties curtailing vertical storage and using material handling equipment.
5. Overloaded beams, Inadequate load bearing capacity and high damages

3. Vertical clearance space of 75mm 175mm depending upon the storage rack class
4. Horizontal clearance space of 75mm 100mm depending upon the storage rack class

Identified Best Practices

1. Optimizing the warehouse storage space by going for vertical storage systems
2. Automatic storage and Retrieval system to make use of vertical storage space
3. To reduce the overall cost of racking, racks need to be designed with 3 parallel pallets with 1000mm side
along the beam width of the racks.

Current Status and Challenges
1. Truck idle time in logistics operations i.e. during loading and unloading material is huge
2. Different type of freight truck used for carrying cargo ranging from 1 ton to 32 tons
3. Customized truck body dimensions by non-organized body builders for maximum load utilization

CII Minimum Recommended Standards

1. The overall width of a motor vehicle, measured at right angles to the axis of the motor vehicle between
perpendicular planes enclosing the extreme points, shall not exceed 2.6 meters, for maximization of the
product volume minimum width needs to be 2450 mm.
2. The overall height of a motor vehicle measured from the surface on which the vehicle rests,

In the case of a vehicle other than a double-decked transport vehicle, shall not exceed 3.8 meters;

In the case of a double decked transport vehicle, shall not exceed 4.75 meters;

In the case of tractor-trailer goods vehicle, shall not exceed 4.20 meters;

In the case of a laden trailer carrying ISO series 1 Freight Container, shall not exceed 4.2 meters:
For palletized movement minimum height of 2500 mm is to be available from the floor of the truck body.

4. Discussions with industry thought leaders and subject matter experts

RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization


The overall length of a motor vehicle other than a trailer shall not exceed
In the case of motor vehicle other than transport vehicle having not more than two axles, 6.5 meters;
In the case of transport vehicle with rigid frame having two or more axles, 12 meters;
In the case of articulated vehicles having more than two axles, 16 meters;
In the case of truck-trailer or tractor-trailer combination, 18 meters

4. Flatbed vehicle without any deformation or design. No protrusion / hinges / angles that restrict loading
of palletized loads

Identified Best Practices

High volume and high tonnage capacity trucks i.e. all multi-axle trucks should have maximum length,
width and height permitted by CMVR.

GPS enabled trucks to track, trace and analyze the utilization.

Side loading trucks to facilitate faster loading of palletized loads for customers with yard operation.

Truck capable of withstanding forklift load so that palletized loading can be done directly with forklift
entering into the truck.


Current Status and Challenges
1. Different design and dimension of pallets across supply chain, resulting in excess inventory of pallets,
frequent changeover of product load (stacking and destacking)
2. Non Compatibility with the racking and the material handling equipment.
3. Pallet not suitable for all applications viz storage in warehouse, Racking , movement in trucks
4. Inadequate load carrying capacity and high damages
5. Heavy pallets leading resulting in labor fatigue / risk of injury and tonnage loss in trucks and racks.
6. Inconsistent quality with no quality certifications as per requirement of Indian food and safety act quality
7. Higher moisture content resulting in contamination of products.
8. Inconsistent dimensional tolerance resulting in losses due to downtime of automatic machines, ASRS
(Automatic Stock Retrieval System) and Pallet Conveyor Lines

CII Minimum Recommended Standards

Current Status and Challenges

1. Standard Pallet design for unitized loads 1200mm x 1000mm (Length and Width)

1. Material handling equipment usage is still in a slower pace across the industry, which results in high
labour cost and less productivity

2. Square pallets for specific usage (eg. carriage of drums) eg. 1200mm x 1200mm

2. Material handling using hand results in logistics handling disorganization and maximize workforce
3. Different packaging standards among the supply chain partners leads to inefficiency in using handling
4. Non-availability of such equipment in the distribution side for unloading results in handling losses
5. Different handling equipment requires different training for the operators which leads to inconsistency in
logistics operations

CII Minimum Recommended Standards

Compatibility with full perimeter pallet

For HOPT Maximum lift height could be 200 mm

For HOPT capacity might be more than 2000 Kgs

For stacker inside straddle dimension shall be more than 1200 mm

3. Full perimeter- block pallet with 4-way entry for structural stability and ease of handling
4. Made of certified and/or legally compliant timber source (eg. Indian Forestry Act, 1927 for local lumber,
ISPM 15 compliant for imported lumber)
5. Dimensional tolerance (<= 1% by length and width) to ensure compatibility with Automation, ASRS
(Automatic Stock Retrieval System) and Pallet Conveyor Lines
6. Pallets / Timber should not be treated with toxic chemicals especially for Food and Beverage sector, as
per Indian Food and Safety Act 2008.
7. Minimum load capacity of 1 Ton for dynamic goods movement and 4 Ton for storage.

Identified Best Practices

1. Moisture content less than 25% (especially for Food & Beverage segment), to avoid contamination.
2. Sharing of assets across supply chain leading to reduction of cost for all the players.
3. Sustainable timber sources as forest preservation is a big priority in India

For Stacker Fork over design shall be used only for specialized application viz to handle wire baskets
and products on skids. These cannot be used with the full perimeter pallet. In Fork over design outriggers
are positioned underneath the forks, the outrigger space required for straddle stackers is eliminated and
increasing cube utilization.

Identified Best Practices

Skilled manpower and a continuous training programme for them

Minimum touch points to the product


RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization


Background of Logistics Sector

Logistics is a challenging and important activity because it serves as an integrating and boundary spanning
function. It links suppliers with customers and it integrates functional entities across a company. With the
ever-growing competition in todays market place it becomes necessary for a firm to use its resources to
focus on strategic opportunities. This includes several internal factors like management style, culture, human
resources, facilities and several external factors like technology, globalization and competition. The logistics
management takes into consideration every facility that has an impact on cost. It plays an important role
in making the product conform to customer requirements. Also it involves efficient integration of suppliers,
manufacturers, warehouses and retail stores and encompasses the firms activities at many levels, from the
strategic level through the tactical to the operational level.
The cost of logistics management is therefore found to be high by certain industries. Because of this high
cost, they are reluctant to implement logistics management. But, if adequate attention is paid to logistics,
cost reduction can be effected in various departments. This is because logistics suggests the efficient use
of resources, means of transport, locating areas that best suit the business requirements, determining the
correct quantities to be dispatched to market areas etc, thereby meeting maximum customer expectations
with the most optimal cost.
The Indian logistics sector has typically been driven by the objective of reducing transportation costs that
were (and often continue to be) inordinately high due to regional concentration of manufacturing and
geographically diversified distribution activities as well as inefficiencies in infrastructure and accompanying
technology. Understanding the linkage between inventory and transport planning is a key to reducing
operational cost of distribution. Somehow, transport planning has remained an unglamorous area within
operations despite the fact that about 10 per cent of the cost of sales comes through physical distribution.
Transport planning (e.g., optimal dispatch quantities & frequency of dispatch, vehicle routing, loading pattern
in the trucks etc.) does not appear to have received the required attention.
Taking a 20 year view, and understanding that EXIM trade will have substantially higher growth rates
than domestic production and consumption, the markets served by India and international fields, will be
demanding more scientific logistics. India, emerging as a significant market and manufacturing hub cannot
be left behind and lose international business due to unorganized and non-standard Logistics practices.


From the Manufacturing plant to hubs is the Middle mile logistics. Middle mile has to be very efficient due to
the clustering of products which creates high volume flows (line hauls).
Last-mile logistics is a small link in the supply chain, but it's the one that directly touches the customer. Last
Mile delivery is where location and facility selection plays an important role. Just as traditional distribution
centres (DCs) can make or break the success of a company's supply chain, last-mile DCs play an instrumental
role in determining how well a company's last-mile fleet performs - regardless of size of trucks. As a practice,
the shipment of a good begins with the first mile and ends with the last mile.
Any logistics chain is striving hard to optimize the three flows Material Flow, Information Flow and Fund Flow.
Reasonably good standards and practices are in use on Information flow and Fund flow as below;
Standards in Information Flow: As an affiliate of GS1 Global, GS1 India administers and allocates GS1 product
identifiers used in barcoding for unique and universal identification of supply chain objects, i.e. - products,
logistic items, trading partners, locations, documents, assets and other GS1 Standards. GS1 standards
include GS1 Identifiers, GS1 BarCodes, GS1 eCom (for electronic business messaging), GS1 GDSN (for
data synchronization) and GS1 EPCglobal standards (for RFID technology). These standards provide a global
language of business that helps organisations identify, capture and share information throughout the global
value chain in a uniform, structured, seamless and consistent manner. In consideration of the multichannel
retail environment, GS1 has launched GS1 Source - Standards-based, scalable and interoperable framework
for sharing product information in consumer-facing digital channels.
Standards in Fund flows: Two national payment systems, RTGS and NEFT make use of IFSC in routing of
transactions. Cheque clearing / ECS suite of products use MICR code whereas NEFT and RTGS use IFSC.
Standards in Material flow: The material flow is influenced greatly by Logistics Chain and apparently, Indian
logistics Chain is suffering from lack of standards. This leads to sub optimized material flows resulting in high
logistics costs.

Objective of the study

Information Flow

To improve the efficiency of Logistics chains by promoting harmonisation and integration of transport and
storage items.


This is an attempt to introduce the Standards in logistics Chain. As we go long, further updates will be
provided based on requirements.


Modern Logistics networks generally consist of a hub-and-spoke model. In such a typical network, Supply of
parts, components, raw material, consumables for the manufacturing of finished products represent the first
mile. The first mile refers to the goods entry into the logistics network.

DC / Distributor



Remaining sessions of this report discusses in detail, existing standards in elements of Logistics chain, survey
results, potential benefits of following standards along the logistics chain and recommended dimensions for
pallets, racks, truck hold etc.

Local Optima to Global Optima


The efficiency and cost optimization lies in the process of strategically managing the movements and storage
of materials, parts and finished inventory from suppliers, between enterprise facilities to customers. Racks
handling equipment Trucks pallets are the facilitating elements for the movements of materials between
logistics members. Often, each of the elements of the supply chain optimizes its own performance and forgets
about the rest of the logistics chain. Elements of Logistics chain do not follow any standards in dimensions.
This lack of standards leads to inefficiency across Supply Chains. It is important to view the sequence of
activities in the Chain as a whole in order to find the lowest total cost solution. Great opportunities exist for
improvements if siloed chains are broken and each member is focusing on entire part of chain to achieve a
total optimum.

RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization



About the Study


The study on RHTP standards, aims to achieve logistics chain integration. This can only be achieved by
harmonising physical aspects of the Logistics chain viz: Racks, Handling Equipment, Trucks and Pallets.

Preparing goods for safe, secure, efficient and effective handling, transport, distribution, storage, retailing,
consumption and recovery, reuse or disposal combined with maximizing consumer value, is the first step
in initiating a material movement. Loose pieces or items cannot be handled properly, demanding unitized

The traditional approach to Logistics chain management has been for each player to optimise his part, often
to the detriment of total chain efficiency. This disjointed approach has resulted in unnecessary, non-value
added handling, where loads are often reassembled more than 6 to 10 times, at different stages in the
Logistics chain.
But what is desired to optimize material flow is seamless flow of materials through activities - handling such
as receiving, storage, loading, transport and shipping, using equipment such as forklift trucks, racking, roller/
chain conveyors and trucks.
On this context, CII Institute of Logistics has administered a study to find out existence and usage of
standards across the logistics chain with elements Racks, handling equipment, trucks and pallets more
specifically on the middle mile i.e. from manufacturing plants to hubs. The study methodology includes on
field observations and recording the opinion of users through a questionnaire framed around the following

Understanding and creating awareness on Racks-Handling equipment-Truck body-Pallet standards

Percentage of palletized load usage on inbound in process Outbound

Types of pallets and Dimensions of pallets

Pallets management models owned & maintained, rented, pooled, outsourced

Reasons for not using palletized loads

Percentage of usage of racks for storage

Types and dimensions of racks

Types of Material Handling Equipment used

Types and volume of trucks used

Efforts being used by users for increasing logistics chain efficiency.

Unitized Loads are the important drivers in improving transport, storage and handling efficiency across the
Logistics chain. Unit loads play a key role across the supply chain, grouping primary and transport products
to facilitate transport and handling.
Pallets aid creates unitized loads and is essential to the efficient flow of consumer goods; they link suppliers,
manufacturers, distributors, warehouses, transport carriers and stores.
Pallets are the interface between packaging and the unit load handling equipment. Another simpler definition
is that pallets are portable platforms, which facilitate the movement and storage of unitized goods.
A unit load is the system comprised of pallets, packaging materials, and unit load stabilizers (stretch wrap,
tie sheets, corner posts, load adhesives, and strapping).
Pallets typically form the tertiary packaging component critical in developing a unitized load. Pallets provide
a base for typical unit loads and aid in mechanical handling, transportation and storage of goods.

The responses were collected from representatives of select sectors FMCG Auto/Auto components,
Pharmaceuticals and Electronics.
This study included a review of current practices, advantages and disadvantages of different types
material handling methods and constraints and possible trade-offs, before developing conclusions and
recommendations or guidelines.
The study focused on the following key areas:

Use of different load unitizing methods, handling, storage and transporting methods

Understand existence of standards and their level of usage

SKU - Primary - Secondary - Tertiary Packaging

Recommendations for standard dimensions that can have agreement between logistics chain


Opportunities for savings upon usage of standards.

RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization


It is estimated that the materials handling industry in the US has approximately 2 billion pallets, made of
various materials and in many forms, being used to store and move goods at any time.
Used by manufacturers, retailers and service providers, Pallets are key efficiency drivers. They impact on
transport, storage, handling and packaging, which together, represent 12-15% of retail sales price. When
it comes to material handling and transportation, the motivation will be the best palletized load that flows at
the least cost.

Today, pallets are extensively used in auto industry for domestic and international transportation and storage
because they enable easy handling. As pallets travel across the logistics chain, they must be suitable for
multiple organisation and multi-location usage. Hence, there is a need for having standardized pallets. In the
absence of standardization, there may be a situation where the pallet from one supply chain partner arriving
in another location finds that the mechanical handling equipment in the destination is unable to handle the
cargo during unloading.

The main objective of the pallet is to optimize truck loads and storage space. Moreover, proper palletisation
ensures a higher level of goods safety, a reduction in pilferage but above all a saving of at least 5-10 per
cent for the logistics provider and the manufacturer. Palletized load reduces the manpower required to load
and unload the goods, facilitates mechanized loading and leads to better utilization inside truck bodies in
the middle mile. The pallet is as significant to the supply chain as the tyre is to the truck and is used in every
step of the supply chain.
1. Pallets are used by suppliers to provide raw materials to the manufacturers. Palletisation is especially
useful in transporting raw materials and protects against pilferage as well as efficient loading and
2. Once the manufacturing, processing and packaging is complete pallets are used by manufacturers to
load finished goods for transportation. Here too they increase efficiency and reduce dependence on
3. Pallets make transporting, shipping, keeping track of the goods a breeze. By using uniform pallet sizes,
logistics providers can calculate loads in advance and also get the maximum load efficiency from their
4. The pallets are a simple way of storing products in the warehouse where they await their final destination
safe from pilferage and damage.
5. Pallets are also used to ship the products to the retailers.
The usage and importance of the pallets in a typical auto ancillary supply chain is given below;

Raw Material Sourcing


Finished Goods

Pallets are a critical element of your product packaging and logistics. Making the right choice can make a
huge impact on your bottom line. Most pallets are designed specifically to meet the customer's requirements,
thereby, resulting in inefficiency in the entire supply chain.
Purchasing Price and maintenance cost - The total cost of ownership (which includes purchase price
and maintenance cost) is the very important aspect of the pallet purchasing / renting decision. Pallets
are prone to get damaged during usage, so repairs cost should also be factored in during decision
making. Losses of pallets (especially during palletized movements to different locations) should also be
factored while calculating the total cost of ownership over the life of pallet.

Logistics Transporation


Strength This needs to be carefully considered on the load bearing capacity of the pallet. It is essential
that the selected pallet is capable of supporting the weight of the materials that will be shipped. Block
pallets provide strength with minimal pallet weight.
Stiffness - refers to the pallet's ability to resist bending, collapsing, or flexing while under load. A particular
pallet may be strong enough to resist failure, yet too flexible to hold the load safely.
Pallet Durability - refers to the pallet's ability to withstand continued use in the shipping and handling
process. If the pallet is for one-time use, than pallet durability is not a critical factor in your decision. The
manner in which the pallets are transported in-house can also factor into the selection process and your
durability requirements. For example, if the pallet is to travel along a conveyor system or some other
specialized delivery system, this will affect the type of pallet chosen.


RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization


Functionality and Compatibility - There are many elements to consider when it comes to the functionality
and compatibility of your pallets. Wood pallets need to be compatible with the materials being shipped.
The packaging and handling equipment are also factors in the design criteria. The most important
thing to keep in mind is the destination. Block pallets are more suitable for a wide variety of handling
environments, because they provide pallet jack access on all 4 sides.

Pallets Materials and Types

How are pallets used mostly

Within the Warehouse f or storage on racks


Within the Warehouse f or storage on ground


Exchange between trading partners

The basic materials used in a pallet construction can be of wood, plastics, composite and other carbon
based materials. Wooden pallets are used widely in India to about 90-95%.
The respondents who are using wooden pallets opined, wooden pallets are easily repairable, in the sense
individual pieces and planks are replaced to increase the life expectancy of the pallet. The possible choices
that are common in the market are wood, composite wood, plastic, metal and corrugated papers.
A pallet can carry a typical load of one metric ton (1,000 kilograms or about 2,200 pounds), and serves
as a base for assembling, handling, sorting, storing, and transporting goods as a unit load. Pallets come
in different designs, dimensions, and materials; such as a two-way entry pallet, four-way entry pallet, box
pallet, post pallet, steel pallet, etc.

When Exporting
Between company f acilities
To customers in returnable pallets


Composite wood

3 to 5 %







Plastic refers to a range of materials with different properties, which in turns are also characterized by a
wide price range. Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are commonly used for pallets & totes mainly
because they provide a good balance between quality and price. Packages made of these plastic materials
range from simple plastic bags and warping to more structured plastic totes and collapsible containers.


From suppliers in returnable pallets


To customers in Non-returnable pallets


From suppliers in Non-returnable pallets


Within the f acility only

In the United States, the most common pallet size is 48 inches by 40 inches



Though pallets are mostly used for ground storage in India, globally they form the integral part of the end
to end supply chain. Pallets flow seamlessly from the supplier to manufacture to DC/Distributors and then
to the Retailers. Finished goods movement happens with zero intervention and the same pallet load moves
across the different entities without the need to dissemble and assemble over and over again.


(million units)





Pallet Demand



North America


Western Europe

% Annual Growth




















Central & South America






Eastern Europe






Africa/Middle East






Source: The Freedonia Group Inc.

The study reveals that, currently in addition to pallets, different load unitizations are in use. For example
drums in inbound of Pharma, gunny bags in auto components. In few cases, drums or barrels kept on
pallets are handled using forklifts.


RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization


8) ISO 12777-1:1994 Methods of test for pallet joints -- Part 1: Determination of bending resistance of
pallet nails, other dowel-type fasteners and staples

Unitized load format


9) ISO 12777-2:2000 Methods of test for pallet joints -- Part 2: Determination of withdrawal and head pullthrough resistance of pallet nails and staples


10) ISO 12777-3:2002 Methods of test for pallet joints -- Part 3: Determination of strength of pallet joints


Carton box

11) ISO 13194:2011 Box pallets -- Principal requirements and test methods

12) ISO 15629:2002 Pallets for materials handling -- Quality of fasteners for assembly of new and repair of
used, flat, wooden pallets
13) ISO 18333:2002 Pallets for materials handling -- Quality of new wooden components for flat pallets

Gunny bags


14) ISO 18334:2010 Pallets for materials handling -- Quality of assembly of new wooden pallets
15) ISO/AWI 18597 Dolly pallets -- Principal requirements and test methods

Pallet Dimensions in India and other countries

16) ISO 18613:2003 Repair of flat wooden pallets

Globally, there are four (4) dominant pallet sizes used. These are:

Indian Standards on Pallets

1. 1200mm x 1000mm pallet, cited as the ISO standard and most common across Asia, Americas,

Transport Engineering Department of Bureau of Indian Standards, the national standards body of India is
also actively involved in formulation of Indian Standards on Pallets. Following Standards on pallets have
been formulated so far by Freight Containers and Pallets Sectional Committee, TED 12 of BIS:

2. 1200mm x 800mm pallet, known as the Euro-pallet is used in Germany and France
3. There are many square pallets like 1200mm X 1200mm and 1165mm X 1165mm used for carriage of

Pallets Standardization
Since Pallets move through all elements of logistics chain Racks, Material Handling Equipment, trucks,
it will be more logical to implement standards beginning from pallets. In the past, a lot of efforts have been
made in the field of standardization of pallets, but a lot still remains to be done.
ISO Technical Committee 51: Pallets for unit load method of materials handling:
At international standardization level, ISO TC 51 of International Organization for Standardization is actively
engaged in the work of standardization of pallets in general use in the form of platforms or trays on which
goods may be packed to form unit loads for handling by mechanical devices. This Technical Committee
works in conjunction with other Technical Committees focused on transportation infrastructure to develop
interrelated standards. The ISO Standards formulated on pallets are as follows:
1) ISO 445:2008 Pallets for materials handling Vocabulary
2) ISO 6780:2003 Flat pallets for intercontinental materials handling -- Principal dimensions and
3) ISO 8611-1:2011 Pallets for materials handling -- Flat pallets -- Part 1: Test methods
4) ISO 8611-2:2011 Pallets for materials handling -- Flat pallets -- Part 2: Performance requirements and
selection of tests

1. IS 3971:2005 Pallets for materials handling - Vocabulary (second revision)

2. IS 4300:1989 Box pallets for through transit of goods - specification (first revision)
3. IS 5325:1989 Box pallets for through transit of goods - Methods of test (first revision)
4. IS 6219:1989 Methods of test for general purpose flat pallets for through transit of goods (second
5. IS 6865:1973 Specification for pallets for use in ISO series1 freight containers
6. IS 7276:1989 Non-expendable general purpose, flat pallets for through transit of goods - Specification
(second revision)
7. IS 7804:1983 Guide for palletization of tea chests (first revision)
8. IS 8005:1976 Classification of unit loads
9. IS 8006:1988 Recommendations for handling of timber pallets (first revision)
10. IS 9208:1979 Guide for palletization of mica for export
11. IS 9340:1993 Expendable pallets - Specification (first revision)
12. IS 11076:1984 Guide for palletization of cashew kernels for export
13. IS 11982:1987 Design rating and safe working load for general purpose flat pallet for through transit of
14. IS 11983:1987 Guidelines for marking of general purpose flat pallets for through transit of goods

5) ISO 8611-3:2011 Pallets for materials handling -- Flat pallets -- Part 3: Maximum working loads

15. IS 13546:1992 General purpose flat pallets for through transit of

6) ISO/DTS 8611-4 Pallets for materials handling -- Flat pallets -- Part 4: Procedure for predicting creep
responses in stiffness tests for plastic pallets using regression analyses

16. IS 13608:1993 Sheet pallets - Specification

goods - Performance requirements

17. IS 13609:1992 Pallets - Quality of timber Guidelines

7) ISO 12776:2008 Pallets -- Slip sheets


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18. IS 13664:1993 Polly pallets for bag storage godowns Specification


19. IS 13714:1993 Dunnage pallets - Ware housing Specification

As per the guidelines given for pharmaceutical products


20. IS 13823:1993 Guidelines for palletization - General cargo.

Though International standards by ISO and Indian Standards prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standards
BIS are available, only 29% of our respondents were aware of existence of such standards.

Todays Palletized loads provide only Sub-optimal solution

(a) Proper racks, bins and platforms shall be provided

for the storage of materials

During the study it is found that, more than 20 different pallet sizes and types are in use across the country.
The commonly used pallet dimensions are given below. Also it is a common practice that, more than one
pallet size is used by one company. Even within the same company, pallet dimension is not uniform.

(b) Wooden pallets, fibreboard drugs, cardboard and

other particle shedding materials shall not be taken
inside the preparation areas and production.
Pharmaceutical companies within their plant and storage facilities adopt 100% palletisation. But the Finished
Goods is loaded on to the truck or containers without pallets.

Pallet dimension in mm

It is equally important to know the issues or reasons for not using palletized load in logistics. In the study
greater number of respondent raised issues related to truck space utilization. They opined trucks typically
cube out, before they weigh out. The key reason for this underutilization is nonstandard pallet sizes
and truck sizes.






29% said they were facing issues in retrieving pallets from destination. One of the methods which are
evolving in Indian Logistics to overcome this issue is pallet Pooling Concept. In its simplest form, pallet
pooling companies like CHEP owns Pallets and Crates/Containers that are shared by multiple customers.
Rent is charged for the use of Pallets & Crates on per trip basis. Many companies use this option as a
strategic business option to reduce capital expenditures and improve day-to-day supply chain operations
through increased palletisation.



Relatively 15% of the respondent highlights the pallets are getting damaged during the logistics activity,
indicating maintenance of pallet is a concern for them. Pallet pooling and standard dimension pallet seems
to solve these concerns.

Issues with palletized loads

This study also reveals that, the adoption of palletisation is alarmingly low to the tune of 22% only.
1. Suppliers send their raw material and in carton boxes / gunny bags / totes / containers
2. Manufacturers stack these raw materials and packaging material on ground or on pallets and store them
in their stores or in-plant warehouses.
3. Finished Goods are sent to Warehouses or hubs in manually or on pallets.
4. Finished goods are picked from warehouses, disassembled and loaded in trucks without pallets
5. Finished Goods reach Distribution centres again assembled in pallets and stored in pallets
6. Finished Goods picked and disassembled to be sent to stockists or retailers in non-palletized form.

Pallets adoption is NOT 100%

Todays Distribution Centre and logistics managers are faced with unprecedented pressure to drive costs
out of the supply chain, from production to transportation. Pallets touch every link in the supply chain,
offering managers a unique way to identify cost-saving opportunities. The right pallet and storage solution
has the potential to reduce costs in nearly every aspect of operations.


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Transf ers f rom one pallets to other special pallets


Non availability of special pallets


Non standard - truck space under utilized

Non standard - not matching with carton box size


Pallet retrieval f rom destination

Not matching with available handling equipments


Pallet damage


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The multiplicity of pallet dimensions has resulted in increasing the number of pallet sizes as new types of
products and services are developed. The proliferation of pallet sizes across the country has taken place
despite the resulting reduction in the efciency of distribution, which was the main reason why pallets were
initially created. The cost of pallet management has gradually risen with the addition of pallet sizes. There
are also many operational benefits arising due to palletized loads as below;


Impact of palletisation
Reduce Product Damages


Reduce Re-work/Re-packaging


Improve Truck Turn Around Time


Reduce Labour hours /Costs


Improve dock productivity /Utilization


Improve Warehouse space utilization


Improve Truck utilization

Reduce cost of Packaging consumables

Reduced inventory coverage days



Improve On-shelf availability



Improve safety & Compliance




* National Skill Development Corporation-NSDC report: Quite obviously, manpower shortage along the
logistics chain is going to be a big concern for the sector. A 9 ton truck can be off loaded with suitable
handling equipment in 20 minutes time if the load is palletized. If the load is not palletized, it requires 3
unloaders to unload and time for unloading is 120 to 180 minutes. Annexure Case: 3
Space in the storage areas: Palletized loads can make better use of warehouse floor space. Palletized
loads permit multiple levels of stacking and improve vertical stacking. Many respondents felt that, even
without racking solutions, three levels of stacking is possible for their types of products.
Demand for industrial warehousing space is estimated to have grown from around 475 million sq. ft. in FY13
to 530 million sq. ft. in FY15, at a CAGR of 6%. Retail, food, engineering goods, chemicals, electronic and
telecom, pharmaceutical and automobiles are the major industrial consumers of warehousing in India. The
Government plans to phase out Central Sales Tax (CST) and introduce Goods and Services Tax (GST). The
move would help the logistics industry in re-arrangement of its operations and would enable manufacturers
to store and distribute goods across the country without any state boundaries. This will enable higher growth
and consolidation in the warehousing industry. Goods and Services Tax (GST) and increasing organized
retail are pushing up the requirements of warehousing space in the country. Major warehousing hubs
are operational in places NCR, Mumbai-Bhiwandi, Pune-chakan, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkatta. The
average warehousing space is costing around (per SFT per month) Rs.10-15 in Bhiwandi, Rs.19-25 in
Chakan and Rs.22-28 in Chennai.
Considerable cost savings through reduced warehousing space is achievable through palletisation.
Annexure Case: 1

Pooling of pallets can help further reduce the cost. Thus, in the case of pallets, standardisation is mainly
justied by reasons: First, by eliminating the manual transfer of goods to another pallet, productivity and
work efciency are improved and the need for sorting pallets eliminated. Standardisation of pallet sizes will
allow standardisation of palletisers, racking, Material Handling Equipment, trucks and warehouse design.
This will result in economy of space and facilitate automation. Also, by limiting manual handling, product
losses and the wastage of pallets are minimised.
The survey revealed that pallet loads currently perform poorly in a number of key areas, which are addressed
in detail.
Supply Delays: In Automobile sector, Original Equipment Manufacturers and suppliers maintain multiple
closed loop systems (many types of customized pallets) limiting the ability to share idle pallets. This leads
to 20%25% more pallets in the system than needed (requiring excess capital investments in idle pallets).
Despite excess pallets in the system, a lack of efficient tracking and limited visibility make it difficult to get
the appropriate pallet to the needed place at the right time. A Senior Manager of an auto major pointed out,
about 60% of late material supplies are due to non-availability of correct pallets, though the material was
made ready on time.
Manpower costs for handling activities: When palletized loads are adopted, multiple layers of paper,
plastic bags and other expendable packing materials in many cases can be eliminated. This reduction, in
turn, requires fewer labour steps resulting in lesser number of loaders/unloaders. This can reduce the number
of workers also leading to lesser manpower cost for the handling. For the Loaders/ Unloaders working in
warehouses, Godowns, Parcel offices, Good shed yards, and the minimum wages payable is Rs.332 per
day (Basic wages plus variable dearness allowance, these rates may vary from states to states).
The demand for human resource in the Transportation, Logistics, and Warehousing sector is expected to
increase from about 7.3 million to about 25 million, leading to an incremental human resource requirement
for about 17.7 million persons by 2022.


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Improved process speed through reduced cycle times for handling activities: Using Palletized
loads, companies can also speed up the production processes. Workers spend less time on handling
items and despatching to enable just-in-time deliveries to optimize productivity at production facility.

As discussed earlier, unloading time of a 9Tonner truck comes down from 180 minutes to 20 minutes
resulting in reduced lead time. This can reduce the stocks and safety stock proportionately leading to
inventory holding across the logistics chain. Annexure Case: 3

Increased product protection and reduction of damage rates: Fragile / delicate products are usually
much safer in palletized loads. Many Respondents in FMCG, Pharma and Electronics sector admitted
about 0.5% to 2% of the products handled by them are damaged due to non-palletisation. These
products are to be repacked, relabelled and sometimes reworked before sent to customers. In extreme
cases the products are scrapped too.

Reduced number of trucks: Reduced truck turnaround time (TAT) from 180 minutes to 20 to 25
minutes will bring down truck idling time and number of trucks needed to transport the same quantum
of load. Standardized sizes of returnable and reusable pallets can increase the cube saturation of
the trucks, and can also enable easier logistics and transportation planning. Stacking pallets to the
maximum truck capacity reduces transportation costs per piece. Annexure Case: 4
Improved ergonomics and worker safety: Respondents accepted to the fact, palletisation will reduce
injuries and incidents related to handling because of improved stack-ability, easier handling and better
tracking of materials in storage areas. For example, equipment based loading & unloading compared to
manual handling will result in fewer strains and musculoskeletal disorders for the operators.
Reduced number of loading / unloading bays in warehouses: Loading docks perform a critical
function of connecting transportation and storage functions. Sufficient number of docks should be
available in any warehouse to avoid truck waiting and queuing. At the same time, the number of
loading docks have to be optimized in order to minimize the sum of dock costs. Every dock calls for
investment on platform construction, dock leveller installation and manning with one security person.
Palletisation leads to faster loading and unloading using suitable MHE and increases the productivity of
loading/unloading docks. If the loading / unloading time comes down from 180 minutes to 20 minutes,
a warehouse can operate with proportionately lower number of docks making savings through reduced
security personnel too. Annexure Case: 2

Stacking of Palletized loads

Packaging is important for ensuring the safe delivery of a product to the ultimate consumer in a sound
condition with minimum overall cost. The three levels of packaging used are: Primary Packaging, Secondary
Packaging and Tertiary Packaging.

 etter compatibility with lean manufacturing processes: Standardized practices being the
fundamental requirement of lean practices, palletized load facilitates lean, by reducing handling time,
reducing inventories, frequent part deliveries, increasing the velocity of material flows etc.

Reduced inventory levels: Indias high logistics costs are attributed by high inventory holdings along
the logistics chain. Out of the total logistics costs, Inventory holding costs are 40% for FMCG and
Pharma and 24% for Auto and Consumer durables. The companies are striving hard to reduce the
inventory levels with various techniques like milk run collections, JIT, JIS, Kanban systems, two bin
systems, VMI etc.,

Secondary packaging designates the packaging used to group various pre-packaged products together.
Secondary packaging is the one which contain multiple units of primary packaging.
A unitized / palletized load is the Tertiary Packaging which means - Packaging that is used for bulk handling,
warehouse storage and transport shipping.
Some of the common types of packaging are:
1. Metal containers such as aluminium containers, tinplate cans, collapsible tubes, etc.



Forecast Accuracy

50 70 %


Delivery performance to customer

request date

40 65 %


4. Plastic containers.

Order Fulfilment lead times

20 30 days

14 days

5. Cartons made from paperboards.

Response time to enquiries

1 day 1 month

Less than 3 hours

1 3 months

15 days

3 5 times

7 times

Re-plan cycle times

Inventory turns


Primary packaging is the layer of packaging in immediate contact with the product, in other words, it is the
first packaging layer in which the product is contained. Primary packaging is obviously the single unit which
reaches the end user.

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2. Composite containers made from tinplate and paperboard, plastics and paperboards.
3. Glass bottles.

6. Pouches made from various flexible materials, plastic films.

The Indian Packaging Market is worth about Rs.1,50,000 Crores ( year 2012) with a compounded annual
growth rate of 12 to 15 % PA. The market size is expected to grow to Rs.2,40,000 Crores by 2016. The

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Indian packaging market is likely to become worlds fourth largest by 2016. Comparatively in India paper and
paper board accounts for around 10 percent of the total packaging materials.
The orientation of cartons in a palletized goods shipment can have a big impact on the reliability of shipments.
Hence it is highly recommended to have Column-stack loads for palletized loads. The good practice is to
stack carton boxes corner-to-corner and edge-to-edge, for better stacking strength.
Overhanging the pallet with packaged products is to be avoided because it can reduce compression strength
by as much as 32 percent. Plus it subjects packages to tears, punctures and other impacts during handling
and sorting.

Racking Storage Systems

Rack systems are a key component of any warehouse or distribution centre, and one of the most important
tools in the materials handling industry. These steel structures keep product organized, provide storage, and
maximize cube space from floor to ceiling. More importantly, they are central to getting product out the door.
A good rack system literally and figuratively supports order picking.

Load beams provide a pallet support structure. From palletized

load weight and number of pallets, a rack manufacturer
designs a load beam length internal, centre to centre
dimensions, metal gauge thickness and heights.
Our study reveals that storage racks with many beam lengths are in use. If the rack beam length is not
matching with pallet width, there could be loss of racking space as shown in the above fig.

Storage Rack dimension in mm

Basic pallet rack consists of upright steel frames connected by horizontal steel beams. Pallets rest on the
beams between the upright frames. Two frames and the corresponding beams create a bay. The number of
pallet positions in a bay depends on the height of the frames and the spacing of the beams. A typical rack
height used to be 20 to 25 feet.


There are also two ways to connect beams and frames: The components can be bolted to frames or interlock
using a slotted connection system.
Because of the increasing complexity of the order profiles within many businesses, there is a trend towards
the use of several different types of racking and shelving solutions within the same facility. For example,
it is very common nowadays to see facilities with conventional BOPT picking, very narrow aisle (VNA)
arrangement with turret trucks for bulk pallet storage and full-pallet picking, reach trucks, case picking
and unit picking of small parts or individual pieces. Depending on the order profile of the stock, the picking
strategy and the volume throughputs, we could also have more sophisticated storage media such as doubledeep racks, push-back racking, and pallet live storage or carton flow shelving systems. Increasingly too, we
are beginning to see the integration of storage media with other technology such as conveyors, pick-by-light
/ Put-to-Light systems, automatic cranes, sorters and pickings with shuttles.


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Any other

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Based on our discussions in pallets section, to match a pallet

size of 1200mm x 1000mm pallet, rack beam length of 2650 to
2800mm would be fitting best. In a 2800mm width, two pallets
can be conveniently stored absorbing 2400mm and remaining
400mm would provide enough working clearance for accessing the
For loading pallets from 1000 mm side beam width should be 3350
mm with 3 pallets parallel to each other. This will help reduce the
overall cost of racking.

Standards for Storage Systems for use in Warehouses

Table given below gives a snapshot of Codes of practice currently in use:

Product Group

Terms &

Pallet Racking

Storage racking systems are integral part of modern warehouses to enable optimum utilization of space and
also to improve productivity. It may be noted that warehouse operators work each day under Tons of goods
stored above their heads in racking & shelving systems. Hence, it is at most important for the warehouse
manager to recognize that the storage system is a Load bearing structure and that it has to be DESIGNED/
To ensure that Storage systems are fit for purpose and are ready for use, attempts are being made globally
to bring out commonality in Design-Manufacturing-Installation of these systems. Much of the evolutions in
development of these standards have happened independently in 3 pockets Viz.

Subject of Code

Design of Pallet

Design of Adjustable
Pallet Racking (2010)

Safe usage of
Pallet Racking

Use of Static Pallet

Racking (2010)

FEM 10.2.04 Guidelines for

the Safe Use of Static Steel
Racking and Shelving (2001)

of storage


c) A coordinated effort by EU countries, in from of an industry association, FEM (The Fdration Europenne
de la Manutention). FEM codes are now slowly being adopted as EN codes released by CEN.
While independent work has progressed in all these bodies over past decades, the 3 organizations have
started collaborating with each other especially on specific subjects like Racks for Seismic prone areas,
Standards for Pallet Racking & Shelving continue to exist independently from these organizations and are
being used by rack manufacturers worldwide, based on geographies of warehouses.
Attention is brought to the readers that there is no code of practice released by either BIS or by an industry
body in India so far for racking systems. Racking structures are still being designed predominantly as
general steel structures using general purpose steel codes like IS:800 & IS:801.
It is hence intent of this section to give a brief overview of standards applicable for Storage systems. While
the titles of codes gives readers a reference for suitably using the code, the specific guidelines given in later
part of section are from SEMA code, given the fact that this is a code which helps manufacturers of all levels
(right from SMEs - Small and Medium Enterprises) to design safe racking systems.

Brief overview of codes of practice applicable for Static storage systems

This section predominantly covers standards pertaining to Pallet Racking & Shelving, which constitute to
near 90% of storage systems in use in warehouses. Other storage systems like Cantilever, Drive-in Racking,
Shuttle Racking, Mobile Pallet Racking, etc. find larger usage in specific sectors (like cold stores/ Pharma
/ Beverages) and they will be covered in a later addendum to this report. (It is to be noted that the major 3
bodies listed in previous section are yet to bring out comprehensive codes for these products).


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Other related


FEM 10.2.02 Code of Practice

for the Design of Static Steel
Pallet Racking

FEM 10.2.03 Guidelines for

Specifier's of Static Steel
Racking and Shelving (2000)

Tolerances &
Clearences in
installed system

Guide to Erection
Tolerance for Static
Racking (2014)

Design of
shelving system

Design of Low Rise

Static Steel Shelving
Design of High Rise
Static Steel Shelving

a) In the US, led by the Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) under the umbrella of Material Handling
Industries Association (MHIA)
b) In the UK, led by Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA)

Terms and
Descriptions of
Storage Equipment

considerations in

FEM 10.3.01 Adujstable

Beam Pallet Racking
Tolerances, Deformations &
Clearances (1997)
FEM 10.2.06 The Design
of Hand Loaded Low Rise
Static Steel Shelving (2012) Shelving Design Code Part 1


EN 15512:2009-Steel static
storage systems : Adjustable
pallet racking
systems:Principle for
structural design
EN 15635:2008 - Steel Static
storage systems - Application
and maintenance of storage
EN 15629:2008 - Steel
static storage systems Specification of storage
EN 15620:2008 - Steel static
storage systems - Adjustable
pallet racking - Tolerances,
deformations and clearances


MH16.1:2008Specification for
Desing,Testing and
Utilization of Industrial
Steel Storage Racks

Part-2 work in progress

FEM 10.2.08 Recommendations for the
design of Static Steel Pallet
Racking in Seismic conditions

MH16.1:2008Specification for the

Design, Testing and
Utilization of Industrial
Steel Storage Racks

Major guidelines based on above codes

While, the guidelines given above are considered to represent good engineering discipline and practice, it
is not mandatory and should, without prejudice to legal requirements from time to time in force, be regarded
only as a consultative document.

Raw material used

Steels used for Racking construction shall have properties which conform to the required suitability for coldforming, welding and galvanizing. For purpose of design calculations, the design thickness of the material
should be taken as the nominal base metal thickness exclusive of coatings.
Steel used for critical load bearing members like Uprights, Beams, Frame bracing & Deck panels shall be
specified steels, conforming to BIS/EN/DIN/ASTM/JIS standards (or equivalent) and shall have minimum
guaranteed mechanical properties clearly specified by any of these standards. For purpose of structural
calculations, only the minimum guaranteed Yield strength specified for that particular grade of steel shall
be taken and on no account, the tested Yield strength value of steel available for production shall be used.
Increase in Yield strength on account of cold working (during Roll forming, etc.) shall be permitted based on
the Design code being used.
Reference value for Strength of steel to be used (Min. guaranteed Yield Point):

Uprights: 355 MPa

Beams / bracings: 255 MPa

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Deck Panels: 210 MPa

Clearances in Pallet Racking:

In addition, the steels shall possess adequate ductility (10-20 % elongation) and a minimum gap of 10%
between Yield point and Ultimate strength.





Beam height Yn from

ground up to (mm)









All relevant limit states should be considered, but usually it will be appropriate to design on the basis of
strength and stability at the ultimate loading and then to check that the deflection is not excessive under
serviceability loading.











Safety Factors:











Design basis
All member designs shall be based on the Limit State Design and reference is made to BS:5950, part-V or
BS:5950, part-I, as applicable.

At the limit state of strength or stability the relevant load factors are:




Dead load:

gf = 1.4

Pallet load:

gf = 1.5

Rack inspection procedure & recommendations

Imposed load:

gf = 1.6

Accidental loads: gf = 1.0

A load notice has to be there in any Storage system. A typical load notice recommended by SEMA is given

The material strength factors are:

In case of damage to Racks, procedure recommended by SEMA is given below:

Beam end connections at the ultimate limit state: gm =1.25

All other cases: gm =1.0
Beam deflection shall be limited to Span / 200 (span in mm)
Deck Panels are to be decided based on a collapse criteria as well as deflection, with a limitation of deflection
to span/200.

Tests applicable
The design shall be duly backed / supported by following tests that are essential:
a) Compression tests on Uprights
b) Beam-Column connection tests (for establishing Joint stiffness)
c) Shear tests on Beam-column connections
d) Looseness tests on connections
e) Full scale test to establish stability
Tolerances, Deformations & Clearances on installed Racking (Applicable for Pallet Racking only)
Initial out of plumb & permitted deformations on load:


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a. Measure the extent of damage as given in sketch below:

Standards for Docks

Door Size: Selecting the proper door size is essential when planning the loading dock. Improperly sized
doors can create logistic headaches, reduced efficiency, and product damage. Consideration must be given
to both the variety of trailers that will visit the dock and the loading method of the product. Planning now for
possible future changes can save time, money, and frustration.
Door Width: The majority of trucks on the road today are at least 8' wide, and an increasing number are
8'6" wide. An 8' door width can service these trucks, but maneuvering room is limited. Another concern of 8'
door widths is off-center truck positioning. This can lead to further reductions in efficiency and even create
the need for repositioning of the vehicle.
Ideally, nine-foot wide doors shall be used to service 8'6" wide trailers. Side-by-side palletizing is simplified
and the potential for product damage is significantly reduced. Nine-foot wide doors can also accommodate
the unplanned servicing of many oversized loads. For special applications with oversized loads, a 10' wide
door can be incorporated.
Wider doors require more building space which can create a problem when room is restricted.
Keep in mind the maximum overall limits for trailer size are 8'-6" wide x 13-6 high (different in some states).
Flatbed carriers are able to exceed the maximum width dimensions (special permits are required).

b. Follow the flowchart based on type of Risk identified:

Door shall be spaced on 12 centers to accommodate the majority of vehicles, the use of dock seals /
shelters, and the mounting of two-way communication light systems.
Door Heights: Trailers can range in height from flatbed units (approximately 48" / 1219mm) to closed vans
(162" / 4115mm from ground level). The highest internal height for product loading is approximately 114"
(2896mm) high.
Depending on the application, there are three basic door heights that are typically specified. Keep in mind
that the common dock height is 48" - 52" (1219 - 1321mm).
An 8' (2438mm) high doors can accommodate many loading/unloading operations, but do not facilitate full
floor to ceiling loading of product. The need to optimize the available height in a trailer when loading product
in an effort to minimize freight costs, this need makes the 8' high door a less desirable choice.
A 9' (2743mm) high door permits improved floor to ceiling loading of product because a higher load can
easily pass under the door opening. Fuller and tighter loading is possible with a reduced risk of product
damage due to product impact with the door header. The nine foot height is a popular door height because
it suits a wide range of applications. However, trailers with lower heights may create a gap at the top of a 9'
door. This gap can be sealed with an appropriately sized dock seal or shelter.
A third typical door height is 10' (3048mm)
The most versatile door size is 10' (120") high. This height will service the full range of loading / unloading
operations. 10' high doors will accommodate trailers of all heights up to and including high cube trailers and
high cube sea containers.
Special consideration should be given when choosing a dock seal or shelter for a 10' high door. A dock
shelter with a 10' high door provides the greatest degree of unobstructed access to the rear of the trailer.
Door sizes can be specified to any configuration required, Keep in mind the product characteristics and
possibility of future change.

Leveller Width and Length

Dock Leveller Widths: Dock levellers are available in several standard widths 5'-0", 6'-0", 6'-6" and 7'-0"
widths, depending on the specific model. The majority of trailers overall widths being 8'-6" wide, with an


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Handling Equipment

inside width of 8'-0", the 6'-0" wide dock leveller is adequate for most facility operations, allowing for safe
fork truck traffic at speeds less than 4 mph and the ability to accommodate narrower trailers.

on factors such as: strength of steel, evenly distributed loads, pin point stress loads and other engineered
criteria to determine physical forces in static and vibratory load conditions.

However, if facility usually loads pallets side-by-side, a wider dock leveller has to be considered. The wider
dock leveller allows the best access for below dock and end loading access for side-by-side pallet loading/
unloading. The extra dock leveller width allows for straight-in and straight-out fork lift traffic. This avoids timeconsuming maneuvering when the loads approach the rear of the trailer. The wider dock leveller provides
greater below dock access, where dock leveller pit walls may interfere with fork lift traffic access to loading/
unloading materials from the trailer.
Wider dock levellers also aide in protecting against the accidental "edge-zone", which can occur at the
side(s) of narrower dock levellers. When a fork lift gets caught in the "edge-zone" it is unsupported by
the dock leveller and the possibility of dock separation can occur, which can lead to a crippling or fatal
Dock Leveller Lengths: Dock levellers are available in several standard lengths of 5'0", 6'-0", 8'-0",
10'-0" and 12'-0" lengths, depending on the specific model. One of the most important considerations in
dock leveller length selection is the consideration of dock to truck bed height ranges and under clearance
requirement of the material handling equipment used to load/unload material from the truck. Added dock
leveller length lowers the dock leveller grade in and out of the truck, increases dock safety, adds to dock
leveller life, reduces potential for spillage/damage of materials and increases loading dock efficiency.
Materials handling loading equipment have grade limitations, the Maximum Height Differential (Dock to
Truck Bed) Chart depicts general material handling loading equipment grades to height difference and dock
leveller lengths.
Note: Consult material handling loading equipment manufacture for recommended maximum grade
Lip Lengths: Dock levellers lips are available in several lengths of 16", 18", 20" or 24" lengths depending
on the specific model. The standard industry lip length for loading dock levellers is 16". Dock leveller lip at a
minimum needs to maintain 4" to 6" effective lip contact with the bed of the truck/trailer. Proper lip projection
requires consideration of the dock bumper thickness, the truck/trailer bumper thickness, driveway approach,
as well as truck/trailer bed recess at the back end of the truck/trailer. Typically longer lips will always be
required when refrigerated trailers are used.

Material handling equipment

Material handling equipment is generally separated into four main categories: storage and handling
equipment, engineered systems, industrial trucks, and bulk material handling.
While due consideration is given to the return on investment for these equipments, one arena which is
missed today is to check the compatibility of these equipments with the eco-system.

Storage and handling equipment

Storage and handling equipment is a category within the material-handling industry. The equipment that
falls under this description is usually non-automated storage equipment. Products such as pallet racking,
shelving, casters and carts, among others, belong to storage and handling. In material handling equipment
practices that require a custom approach of design, material handling experts evaluate many factors to
determine the most efficient manner for the transport, retrieval, stock and life cycle of the goods or products
involved in the business operations. Custom applications include: free standing mezzanines, pallet rack
systems, shelving systems, order pick modules, conveyor systems and the like. Universal manufacturing
standards and safety regulations for finished goods of material handling equipment are generally are based


RHTP - standardization

HOPT (Hand operated pallet truck) are the basic material handling equipment used in the logistics and the
warehousing operations. Currently they are available in various variants with different load capacity and
lifting height. Based on the market study, to ensure compatibility across all segments, it is recommended
that the minimum load capacity for HOPT should be 2000 Kgs with a maximum lifting height of 200 mm.
Customized MHEs such as BOPT (Battery operated pallet truck) with multiple pallet handling are used for
specialized application wherein the bottleneck is the movement of material from racks to the dock. These
are not compatible with the full perimeter pallets. As outlined in the case study, the current challenge is at the
dock wherein bulk of the time is invested in loading the trucks. For best optimization, MHEs should directly
pick the material from the racks and load it in the truck, eliminating the need for multiple handling.
Stackers and reach trucks are available in various designs, which can be used across the business segments.
Selection of the right MHE for the desired application is very critical. For eg Forks over design stackers are
used only for specialized application viz to handle wire baskets and products on skids. These cannot be
used with the full perimeter pallet.
In Fork over design outriggers are positioned underneath the forks, the outrigger space required for straddle
stackers is eliminated and increasing cube utilization.
Some stackers have straddle, in such stackers, the inside straddle dimension needs to be more than
1200mm as this will ensure compatibility with all variants of pallets (1200 x 1000 , 1200 x1200 mm pallets)

Engineered systems
Engineered systems are typically custom engineered material-handling systems. Conveyors, Handling
Robots, AS/RS, AGV, automated palletizers and most other automated material-handling systems fall into
this category. Engineered systems are often a combination of products integrated to one system. Many
distribution centres will optimize storage and picking by utilizing engineered systems such as pick modules
and sortation systems.
Equipment and utensils used for processing or otherwise handling edible product or ingredients must be of
such material and construction to facilitate thorough cleaning and to ensure that their use will not cause the
adulteration of product during processing, handling, or storage. Equipment and utensils must be maintained
in sanitary condition so as not to adulterate or contaminate product.

RHTP - standardization


Selecting the right pallet is very important for engineered systems. Full perimeter pallet with consistent
quality, stringent dimensional tolerance (<= 1% by length and width) and more than 1 tonnage capacity
are suited for these applications. As pallets get damaged during usage, maintenance of the pallets is very
important decision to be factored, while using in the engineered systems. Due consideration needs to be
given for regular repairs of these pallets through AMC (Annual Maintenance contract).

In India, Industrial trucks specifically forklift trucks come under the purview of Construction Equipment Vehicle
(CEV). Hence, The Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and The Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 are applicable to
them. As per the guidelines of Bharat Stage Emission Standards, all Industrial Trucks fitted with IC engines
shall comply with requirements of emissions meeting BSIII standards for CEV engines. The engines on
forklift trucks have to be certified by agencies such as The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI)
or any other equivalent agency.
The complete forklift truck should also be certified by agencies (such as ARAI) to meet requirements of
CMVR pertaining to CEV. Electric Trucks are also expected to fulfil all requirements of CMVR except
emission norms. Regulatory requirements for Industrial trucks are driven by Bureau of Indian Standards
(BIS) committee TED22 which are given below.
Industrial Trucks shall adhere to IS10517:1983 Acceptance Criteria for Forklift Trucks.
There are other components & performance standards are mentioned in this and manufacture shall ensure
compliance with these standards as well. Attention is brought to the readers that there is no code of practice
released by either BIS or by and industry body in India so far for Industrial Trucks.

Design Standards
1) IS6305-part2 - Safety Code for powered industrial trucks - Manufacture
2) IS7496 - Direction of Travel-controls for Industrial Tractors and Powered Industrial Trucks
3) IS4660 - Powered Industrial Trucks Terminology
4) IS8005 - Classification of unit loads
5) IS8049 - Specification for platform trucks
6) IS10312 - Safety code for powered tow trucks
7) IS10311 - General requirements of powered platform trucks and their acceptance criteria

Industrial trucks
Industrial trucks usually refer to operator driven motorized warehouse vehicles, powered manually, by
gasoline, propane or electrically. Industrial trucks assist the material-handling system with versatility; they
can go where engineered systems cannot. Forklift trucks are the most common example of industrial trucks.
Detailed study on standards to be followed for the forklift is outlined in this report.

8) IS6765 - Powered industrial trucks parameters for designation of rated capacity and capacity
9) IS7525 - Mounting dimensions for fork carriers and fork arms for forklift trucks
10) IS7553 - Control symbols for powered industrial trucks - specification
11) IS 15634 - Fork-lift trucks - Forks-arm extensions and telescopic fork-arm Technical characteristics
and strength requirements

Standards for Industrial Fork Lift Trucks (FLT)

12) IS15488 - Powered Industrial Trucks - Safety Signs and Hazard Pictorials General Principles

Industrial lift trucks are powered mobile vehicles designed to move unit loads over distances and stack them at
heights. The loads may or may not be palletized. They are broadly classified as IC engine trucks and Electric
trucks. The selection of the truck is based on the application, mass of goods/material, manoeuvrability,
etc. Mostly, IC engine Forklift trucks are used for out-door application whereas Electric trucks are used for
indoor/in-warehouse applications. Electric Forklifts, Stackers, Reach Trucks, Powered pallet trucks, tow
truck, narrow aisle order pickers and turret trucks fall under the category of Electric trucks.

13) IS 7570 - Glossary of terms relating to fork arms and attachments of forklift trucks

As on today, Europe, America and Asia have different regulatory requirements for Industrial trucks. To ensure
that industrial trucks are designed considering all possible safety aspects, attempts are being made globally
to bring out commonality in Design & Installation of such trucks.

16) IS6839-2 - Glossary of terms relating to non-powered materials handling equipment, Part 2 Hand trucks
and trolleys

Technical Committee TC-110 of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been working
for several years to establish standards which can be accepted globally or can be accepted with minor


RHTP - standardization

14) IS8790-1 - General requirements of powered industrial trucks working in hazardous areas, Part 1
Internal combustion engines-powered trucks
15) IS8790-2 - General requirements of powered industrial trucks working in hazardous areas, Part 2 Electric
battery powered industrial trucks

Performance/Component Standards
1) IS6876 - Technical Characteristics and testing of fork arms for forklift trucks
2) IS 7621 - High lift rider trucks - overhead guards - Specification and testing

RHTP - standardization



3) IS9701 - Powered Industrial trucks and tractors - Brake performance and component strength

6) IS7631 - Pallets stackers and high lift platform trucks - Method of stability tests

The Ministry of Road Transport and High Ways is responsible for the formulation of broad policies relating to
regulation of road transport in the country, besides making / monitoring arrangements for vehicular traffic to
and from the neighbouring countries. The following Acts / Rules, which embody the policy relating to motor
vehicles and State Road Transport Corporations (SRTCs), are being administered in the Road Transport
Division of the Department:

7) IS9075 - Stability tests for side loader trucks

(a) Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

8) IS10000 Engine

(b) Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989

9) IS10517 Appendix A DC Motor

(c) Road Transport Corporations Act, 1950 (d) Carriers Act, 2007.

10) IS5154 Battery

Indian Logistics sector uses different types of commercial vehicles for carrying cargo ranging from 1 ton to
32 tons.

4) IS 4357 - Methods for Stability Testing of Fork Lift Trucks

5) IS7309 - Reach and straddle forklift trucks - Method of stability test

Maintenance / Application:
1) IS6305-1 Safety code for powered industrial trucks Part 1 Application, Operation and Maintenance
2) IS7617 - Code of practice for maintenance of forks for forklift trucks
3) IS14770 - Industrial trucks - repairs and maintenance of fork arms in service on forklift trucks
4) IS7862 - Glossary of terms relating to safety aspects concerning operating areas of industrial trucks

1) IS10517 - Acceptance Criteria for Forklift Trucks
2) IS11496 - General and performance test requirements of pallet truck and steelage truck

1) The Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 => Construction Vehicles => ARAI certificate,
2) The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
3) The Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate change => The Central Pollution Control Board =>
Bharat Stage Emission Standards => BS-III
4) Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution => Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) TED22
Transport, Tractors and Trailers.

India has the second-largest road network in the world, spanning over 4 million km. Roads constitute the
most important mode of transport in the country, carrying 60% of the countrys total freight traffic and 85%
of its total passenger traffic. Indian trucking industry plies about 5.6 million vehicles and is in need of about
7-8 lakh new truck drivers a year as per an Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (Delhi)
Road freight volumes and the number of road vehicles
are growing at a CAGR of 9.1% and 10.8%.
The existing Indian road freight transport industry
is highly fragmented, with 7075 percent of truck
owners operating a maximum of five trucks each,
while operators owning more than 20 trucks constitute
about 911 percent of the ownership pie.


RHTP - standardization

As per the load carried, trucks are categorized as Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), Medium Commercial
Vehicles (MCVs), Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs), Multi-Axled Vehicles (MAVs) and Articulated Vehicles.
Trucks with a payload of up to 3.5 tonnes are categorized as LCVs. The category of MCVs includes goods
carriages above 3.5 tonnes up to 7.5 tonnes. HCVs include all trucks with a payload of 9 tonnes. Rigid-body
MAVs include trucks with a payload above 9 tonnes to 15 tonnes. Articulated MAVs or Over Dimensional
Cargo Vehicles have a higher payload. MAVs with 2-axled trailers attached to the tractor have a payload of
25 tonnes, if it is a flat bed. Some combination vehicles with low body trailers carry a payload of 23.5 tonnes.
MAVs with tractors and 3-axled combinations have a payload of 32 tonnes and 30.5 tonnes respectively for
flat bed and low-body trailers.
Type of Vehicle

Gross weightage


LCV - Light Commercial Vehicle

Below 6tons

Outbound operations ( DC to
Dealers/ Distributors)

ICV - Intermediate Commercial


8 - 10 tons

Both Inbound & Outbound operations

(Plant - DC Dealers /Distributors)

MCV - Medium Commercial Vehicle

10 15 tons

Outbound operations (Plant - DC Dealers/Distributors)

HCV - Heavy Commercial Vehicle

Above 16 tons

Outbound operations (Plant - DC)

Multi-axle vehicle

Vehicle with two or

more drive axles

Outbound operations (Plant - DC)

LCVs are commonly used for local transportation and in city distributions whereas MCVs, HCVs and MAVs
are used for interstate movement of freight.
Logistics Trucks tonnage





1ton/ 4ton/


16ton multi




RHTP - standardization


As per our study respondents, more than 80% of the industry is using a 9tonner truck for their Inbound and
Outbound operations. When it comes to the usage of 16tonner trucks, the survey response records almost
50% for Inbound operations and 62% for Outbound operations.
Truck Cab and Body Building as well as trailer / semi-trailer manufacturing is being carried out by a large
number of small and medium scale organizations spread throughout the country. Truck Cab and Body
Builder (TCBB) organizations construct the bodies on chassis procured from vehicle / chassis manufacturers.
Presently, only the vehicle / chassis manufactured by vehicle manufacturers undergo a formal type approval
and certification procedure as per the various provisions of CMVR. (The Central Motor Vehicles Rules). A
sub-committee of the CMVR - Technical Standing Committee looked into all the related aspects (with respect
to the cab, the load body, requirements for hazardous goods vehicles, containers and their requirements
for mounting, handling and securing, requirements for trailers etc) and formulated the Code of Practice for
Construction & Approval of Truck Cabs, Truck Bodies and Trailers. The Committee recommends creation of
a cadre of technical personnel to effectively implement the procedure in order to ensure that all truck cabs /
bodies as well as trailers comply with all the relevant provisions of the CMVR as well as the Code of Practice
for Truck Body / Trailer formulated in this document.
MCVs, HCVs and MAVs that are used for interstate movement of freight, carrying 7tons at least are expected
to handle more palletized loads. These trucks have to be future ready by having a body width of 2600mm
and height of 3800mm so that pallets can be loaded without any cubic loss.
Indian trucks are the most colourful vehicles in the World. The designs of trucks changes from places to
places, a truck built in South India will differ from the truck built in North India on design, colour, body height
etc. In the same way most of the trucks are body built in the unorganised sector in the local garages after
buying chassis from OEMs. Some are built by OEMs and reputed coach builders.
The manufacturer of the truck provides guidelines for body building through Coach Building drawings.

The overall length of a motor vehicle other than a trailer shall not exceed
1) In the case of motor vehicle other than transport vehicle having not more than two axles, 6.5 metres;
2) In the case of transport vehicle with rigid frame having two or more axles, 12 metres;
3) In the case of articulated vehicles having more than two axles, 16 metres;
4) In the case of truck-trailer or tractor-trailer combination, 18 metres;
The overall height of a motor vehicle measured from the surface on which the vehicle rests,
1) In the case of a vehicle other than a double-decked transport vehicle, shall not exceed 3.8 metres;
2) In the case of a double decked transport vehicle, shall not exceed 4.75 metres;
3) In the case of tractor-trailer goods vehicle, shall not exceed 4.20 metres;
4) In the case of a laden trailer carrying ISO series 1 Freight Container, shall not exceed 4.2 metres:
5) For palletized movement minimum height of 2500 mm
There is significant opportunity for improvement in the transit time of Goods in line haul or in the interstate
movement. A well-functioning freight transport system is vital for a competitive logistics sector. Efficient
loading/unloading and transfer in terminals, indicate seamless flow of goods. Interventions that interrupt trip
flow or increase trip time typically add to the cost and erode asset turnover.
Competence Indicators in
road transportation



Average truck speed in KM/



60-80 in developed countries

Average truck distance

covered in a year in Kms

60,000 1,00,000

4,00,000 6,00,000

Average distance covered by

a truck in one day Kms


500 in BRICS, 700-800 (US &


The Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 in section 93, prescribes the overall dimensions of vehicles permitted
in India.

Overall dimensions:
The overall width of a motor vehicle, measured at right angles to the axis of the motor vehicle between
perpendicular planes enclosing the extreme points, shall not exceed 2.6 metres, for maximization of the
product volume minimum width needs to be 2450 mm.
Explanationfor purposes of this rule, a rear-view mirror, or guard rail or a direction indicator 136 rub-rail
(rubber beading) having maximum thickness of 20 mm on each side of the body shall not be taken into
consideration in measuring the overall width of a Motor vehicle.


RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization





The study revealed that Racks-Handling equipment-Trucks-Pallets harmonization would not only be
advantageous to Manufacturers but would also bring warehouse service providers, truckers and Material
Handling Equipment suppliers in line with common objectives of increasing logistics efficiency.

Palletized Load

Standard Pallet dimentsion

1200mm X 1000 mm

Logical step would be to begin the standardization efforts from pallets since Pallets move through the
entire length of Logistics chain. Logistician must make sure that, the pallets of standard dimensions are
fully packed with carton boxes or with any primary packing medium without overhanging and has to be
stacked corner-to-corner and edge-to-edge. Similarly rack locations need to have multiples of Standard
dimension pallets. Trucks more than 7 tons capacity can have cargo holds as per Central Motor Vehicles
Rules (CMVR), then trucks will carry pallets evenly placed without cubic space wastage. All these efforts
take the logistics chain to a standardized state that will reduce the delivery and transfer costs by enabling
the sharing and exchange of pallets. Standardization of Racks, Handling equipment, trucks and pallets will
optimize flow of materials across the supply chain.
Such standardized dimension pallets, racks, MHEs and trucks have the potential to reduce the countrys
logistics costs up to Rs.6000 crores. This savings offset all the investments needed for palletized loads
implementations and harmonization.
A clear vision, leadership and a long-term perspective are required to ensure that projected savings become
a reality. The standardization issue must be seen in the context of value foregone in the medium to long
term, rather than the suppression of customization in the near future.
This Report provides guidelines rather than standards. It could be used by standards bodies, and by
manufacturers, retailers and service providers, working together to design and operate Standardized Racks,
Handling & transporting equipment and pallets across Supply chains. This will satisfy consumer wishes
better, faster and at less cost.

Pallets An efficient and safe way of material handling - By R.R.Singh, Sc. D, TED.
Height 1400 mm

Material Handing Equipment

Standard dimension racks

CMVR - The Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989

BIS - Bureau of Indian Standards
CHEP Indian Private Limited
Planning Commission of India Report
NSDC Report - National Skill Development Corporation
CII Institute of Logistics, Logistics Summit 2014 Report

Standard truck body dimension


RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization


Case 1:
Warehouse A uses pallets to store the refrigerators and stack them in storage racks with G+4 levels.
The company deploys VNA Very Narrow Aisle racking system and VNA forklifts for their storage,
loading and unloading operations, with three people
Warehouse B stores the same type of refrigerators on ground without pallets and uses manual trolley
for movements with eight people.

Need to identify storage cost for storing 2,200 refrigerators.

In very narrow aisle rack, the aisle width is generally, the load width plus six inches minimum. The actual
width for a 1200mm x 1000mm pallet operation would generally be 66 inches (1650mm) rack-to-rack. This
allows for pallet overhang in the rack and sway in the truck mast to minimize damage. In VNA rack, special
narrow aisle trucks called turret trucks or swing mast trucks are required to put away and to retrieve unit
loads. Case and piece picking occurs on all levels with man-up order picker trucks. However, the cost
of equipment is significant as well as the restrictions to safe operations. Cost of Turret and swing mast
trucks can run between INR 39,00,000 and INR 85,00,000 each and order pickers trucks cost between INR
12,00,000 and INR 15,00,000 each. For high bay (over 40 ft.) operations the cost of trucks increases as the
type of truck becomes highly specialize
Warehouse space needed when Palletized and stacked for G+4 levels = 9500 sq.ft
Warehouse space needed when NOT Palletized and stacked on Floor+1 = 35520 sq.ft
Warehouse space saved = 35,520-9500 = 26,020 sq.ft
Space savings in money value = @ Rs.20 per sq.ft/month = Rs.5, 20,400.
Manpower Savings = 8-3 = 5 @ Rs.332 per day = Rs.41, 500 / month
Pallets Rentals @ Rs.1.5 per pallet per day = Rs.99,000 / month
Additional Maintenance & labour costs = Rs.95, 000 / month
Investments on Racking systems @ Rs.3200 per location = Rs.70, 40,000
Investments on VNA stacker and picker FLT = Rs.75, 75,000

Analysis Data:
1. Warehouse rent = Rs.20/Sq.ft

The investment costs Rs.1,46,15,000/ can be absorbed in THREE years.

(With the savings made of Rs.3,67,900 per month).

2. Ref. Packing dimension = 1200mm X 1000mm X 1500mm (LXWXH)

3. Pallet dimension = 1200mm X 1000mm
4. Rack dimension = 2800mm X 1300mm X 1850mm (LXWXH)
5. Cost of Rack per pallet position = Rs.3,200
6. MHE - VNA stacker = Rs.75,00,000
7. Order Pick Hand operated trolley = Rs.75,000
8. Pallet Rent = Rs.1.5 / day
9. Per day manpower wages = Rs. 332


RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization


Case 2:

Case 3:

Number of Docks to be manned in a warehouse:

Truck loading time optimization with savings in truck halting charges

Goods handled = 360 tons

A paint manufacturing company is following best practices in its supply chain process and maintaining world
class operations. The company is getting raw materials in Jumbo bags where its inbound process starts.
The bags are in the form of 50kg, 100kg and 500kg depending upon the procurement type. For receiving
the materials and storing it in racks the company is using square pallets of 1200mm X 1200mm dimensions.
This standard pallet dimension is followed across all the vertical of its operations like receiving, storing,
processing, internal movement of materials and storing finished goods.

Time for unloading one 16T truck if NOT palletized = 120 min.
Time for unloading one 16T truck if palletized = 30 min.
Formula for calculating number of docks:

(Daily demand of orders (T) * Time for load/unload a truck)

(Truck capacity (T) * Daily time available to load/unload)

Number of docks needed if NOT palletized = 360x120/16x420 = 7 docks

Number of docks needed if palletized = 360x30/16x420 = 2 docks
Additionally not needed docks release lot of staging area space which can be utilized for productive
storage purpose.
Additional space available after closing docks = 10x12 sq.ft + 600 sq.ft for staging
= 720 sq.ft @ Rs20/month

= Rs.14, 400 per dock.

Considering one security and one supervisor needed per dock,

savings would be Rs 1,50,000 per month plus Rs 72,000
from space saved.

Inbound Raw Materials

Inwarding Raw Materials


RHTP - standardization

RHTP - standardization


The company is following a standardized operation from raw material in-warding till finished goods storage
by employing around 8000 nos. standard pallets of dimension 1200mm X 1200mm, which allows ease of its
handling and storing. The company has employed ASRS-Automatic Storage Retrieval System for storing its
finished goods and make use of the vertical space available. The main advantage of using ASRS is to store,
handle and retrieve products/materials with supreme speed and accuracy.

Storing Raw materials

Material Movement in the facility

Outbound logistics without pallets
Despite putting all these efforts in their Supply chain operations, installing ASRS for finished goods storage,
following standards in pallet dimensions, the company is practicing their outbound logistic operations in
a traditional manner. After retrieving the stored material from the ASRS racks, the material is again depalletized and stacked in the Outbound trucks, which is a time and labour intensive process.

Finished Goods storage


RHTP - standardization

Capital Costs

Palletized load

Non palletized load

Truck Loading time (16ton truck)



Truck waiting charge per year (INR)


Manpower required



Manpower cost per year (INR)



Total Cost spent per year (INR)



RHTP - standardization


Case 4:
A FMCG company is having a manufacturing plant located in one of the east coastal city in south. The
manufacturing plant serves three of its own distribution centres which are all of about 60km distance from
the plant. On an average 1500tons of finished goods are transferred to the DC. The plant operates a
dedicated fleet of 9ton trucks for its distributions. The plant is operating a 12hr shift per day and working
6days a week.
Currently the goods are not palletized. Due to long waiting time for manual loading at plant and manual
unloading at DCs, one truck is able to do only one trip a day.
If the goods are palletized, the trucks can do two trips a day as below.

Several organizations have contributed directly and indirectly to this study by providing data either during
one-to-one meeting or through their publications. For this support, we would like to express gratitude to the
following organizations, among several others.
Aether Industries limited

Ashok Leyland

Asian Paints

Chep India Pvt. Ltd.

Danfoss Industries Pvt. Ltd

Godrej Racking Solutions

HEG Limited

Hindustan Unilever

JSM Logistics

Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Limited

Krones India Pvt. Ltd

Lucas TVS

Madhavaram Truck Terminal Complex Welfare Association

Mahle Behr India Ltd

Maruti Suzuki

Total time

Retail light techniques india ltd

640 mins- Two trip

TI Cycles - Murugappa Group

TVS Logistics

TVS Srichakra Ltd


Not Palletized
Loading time
120 mins

Total time
480 mins- One trip

Transit time
120 mins
Unloading time
120 mins

Return travel
time120 mins

Palletized load


Confederation of Indian Industry acknowledges with thanks the co-operation, support and hospitality
extended during this study to all its stakeholders. We spoke with several logistics industry, manufactures
and stakeholders, whom we would want to thank for their valuable time and insights. It is indeed a great
pleasure for us to gratitude those who have contributed to the making of this study report.

This increases the productivity of trucks and also the dispatches can be completed half of the trucks
instead of 167 trucks, 84 trucks can complete the distribution.

Plant to DC
120 mins


Plant to DC
120 mins

and all other organisations and individuals who have directly and indirectly contributed to the study activity.

Plant to DC
120 mins
L &UL: Unload Empty and Load
fresh pallets-20+20 mins


RHTP - standardization

Plant to DC
120 mins

RHTP - standardization


This study report prepared by CII-Confederation of Indian Industry, institute of Logistics is based on analysis
of secondary information, field study and knowledge available in public domain. While CII has made all the
efforts to check the validity of the information presented, it is not liable for errors in secondary information
whose accuracy cannot be guaranteed by CII. Information herein should be used more as indicators and
trends rather than representation of factual information. The information contained herein is of a general
nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we
endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is
accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.
Copyright Notice
The contents of these pages are copyright CII-Confederation of Indian Industry. All right reserved. Except
with the prior written permission of CII, you may not (whether directly or indirectly) create a database in
an electronic or other form by downloading and storing all or any part of the content of this document. No
part of this document may be copied or otherwise incorporated into, transmitted to, or stored in any other
website, electronic retrieval system, publication or other work in any form (whether hard copy, electronic or
otherwise) without the prior written permission of CII Institute of Logistics.

2015 - CII Institute of Logistics.

2015 - CII Institute of Logistics.

About CII - Institute of Logistics

To address the need of sharpening India Incs competitive edge through better Logistics and Supply Chain
practices, CII Institute of Logistics (CIL) was established in 2004 by the Confederation of Indian Industry as a
Center of Excellence in Logistics and Supply Chain.
At CII Institute of Logistics we create a platform for the Industry to gain more insights into the emerging
trends, industry specific problems of national importance and global best practices in logistics & supply chain
management. We enable the industry to cut down the transaction cost, increase efficiency, and enhance
profitability and enable to sensitize and bring solutions to macro level issues.
The Vision:
To become an International Centre of Excellence in Logistics and SCM and to facilitate Indian industry to be
referred in Global Business for its Best Practices in SCM and Logistics.
The Mission:
To be a platform to create and share intellectual capital for reducing transaction cost and improving
competitiveness, in the process nurture the skills of Logisticians and ensure adoption of Best Practices in
Logistics and SCM through online and offline activities.
For over ten years now, CII Institute of Logistics, the countrys premier Centre of Excellence in logistics and
SCM, has enabled a number of exemplary success stories in logistics.
With a relentless aspiration to enhance logistics competitiveness in the industry, CIL provides a complete
range of services such as:
Advisory Services
Research& Publication

Confederation of Indian Industry - Institute of Logistics
Unit E, 10th Floor, IIT Madras Research Park, Kanagam Road, Taramani, Chennai 600113
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