In the logistics and forwarding business, the term refers to the bundled transport of general cargo as a grouped consignment. The goods are picked up from different senders and compiled into a grouped load. Thus, the destination, volume, weight and delivery date of the goods need to be coordinated in a way that, at the destination, the grouped load can be separated into general cargo for different receivers again. In addition to a forwarding contract, forwarding companies involved in the transport often conclude a groupage agreement. The so-called bordereau (= accompanying shipping document) is regarded as a loading list for grouped loads that documents every individual shipment.
The transport of grouped loads includes at least one repacking/grouping/separating process carried out by the logistics company. Correspondingly, the goods and packaging also need to be suited for transshipment without an increased risk of damage. They are often distributed via hub and spoke networks to increase the vehicle utilisation and delivery frequency.
General cargo usually refers to goods of the same type that are delivered as a whole. In contrast, grouped loads always stand for different colli. Grouped-load transports are, for example, well suited for the dispatch of individual pallets if the delivery is not time-critical and is to be carried out at as low a cost as possible.
- Decreased transport costs due to multiple customers per transport vehicle
- Efficient use of resources
- Utilisation of the loading-space capacities
- High planning security due to reliable costs
- Flexible distribution of general cargo
- Targeted delivery even with small amounts
- Good use of staff and transshipment warehouses
- Large supraregional network required
- Delays possible
- Risk of planning errors
- Pre-carriage: The transport service provider picks up the consignments from the different customers and transports them to the shipping forwarding company.
- Transshipment and main carriage: In the transshipment warehouse of the shipping forwarding company, the general cargo is collected, sorted in transshipment and compiled into grouped loads. During the main carriage, the grouped loads are delivered to the receiving forwarding company by the shipping forwarding company.
- Transshipment and on-carriage: At the transshipment warehouse of the receiving forwarding company, the grouped loads are divided into general cargo again. Then, the delivery to individual receivers is handled as general cargo.