Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2005.
Container Waiting to be Loaded, APL Distribution Center, Shenzhen, China
Many distribution centers are supporting an export function that uses containers. Therefore, loads that have been received from neighboring manufacturing plants shipments, sorted, palletized, and consolidated in containers loads (mostly 40 foot containers). High throughput export-oriented distribution centers may process tens of container loads per day (such as on the above photo in Shenzhen, China). In this case, shipments are decomposed into LTL (less than truckload) batches for retail stores in North American and Western European counterparts. Once loaded, the container will be carried to the nearby port (Yantian) in this case).