Handling Unit

Handling Unit (HU for short) refers to a physical package or loading unit that can be identified by a unique identification number.

Definition of a handling unit

A handling unit is a physical unit consisting of the packaging materials (load carriers/packaging materials) and the goods contained therein. A handling unit is always a combination of materials and packaging materials. A HU can contain one or more products and it can also be nested, i.e. contain subordinate HUs, which in turn contain materials or further handling units. 

Structure of a handling unit

Handling units consist of the following components: 

  • Identification number 
  • Dimension 
  • Weight 
  • Volume 
  • Status 
  • Products and quantities 
  • Packaging material 
  • Packaging specification 

Use of handling units

Handling units are used to simplify and optimize material flow and internal and external logistics processes. By forming units, the lead time per order is reduced because the barcode can be used to record the entire unit and all the goods it contains at once. Among other things, this reduces the administrative effort because several packages can be moved with one booking. In addition, the formation of a HU is fully automatic and, based on the specified packing instructions, the system independently recognizes which materials may be packed how, in which quantities and with which packaging. 

Further informationen on handling units

Handling units have unique, scannable identification numbers that can be formed according to standards such as EAN 128 or SSCC. The management of handling units is called handling unit management.  

Examples of handling unit packaging materials include: 

  • Cartons 
  • Boxes 
  • Wire baskets 
  • Wrapping film 
  • Pallets 
  • Containers 
  • Trucks 

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