In November 2007 logistics services provider Bursped Speditions GmbH, a long-established Hamburg company and one of Germany's most respected freight forwarding companies, installed an efficient monitoring solution to cover its 13,500 m2 distribution centre.
The facility handles approximately 3,000 shipments or around 1,000 tonnes of freight every day. "High-quality service and protection against loss are a major competitive advantage for freight forwarders", comments Operations Manager , Roland Mrowka. "Right from the start we were looking for an efficient monitoring solution to cover the entire warehouse."
An important consideration was how to track the movement of goods, especially when individual shipments are "mislaid". "Staff are a major factor in the handling of package freight", explains Mrowka. "Shortage of time and the usual warehouse pressures will inevitably mean that some units for shipment are not located." Dispatching incomplete shipments leads to lower customer satisfaction and to time-consuming search activity later on.
"Video monitoring combined with a precise real-time location system covering the entire warehouse is therefore absolutely essential", states Mrowka. The contract was awarded to the real-time location system provided by Ubisense, whose German office is based in Dortmund. eseg Deutschland GmbH, Bornheim, conceived the total solution and took overall responsibility for the delivery and installation. Experts in security systems for logistics and a Ubisense strategic partner, eseg also developed the video picture recording, storage, indexing and management tool used at Bursped.
At Bursped, location data is used mainly to track the flow of goods when units for shipments are mislaid. "It used to take us several hours to search through video tapes in order to track the route and locate the position of the shipment in the warehouse. Thanks to real-time location, this takes just a few minutes", explains Mrowka. If there are queries regarding a shipment or if incorrect quantities are noticed during loading, all that is now required is for the shipment code to be entered into one of the three visualisation terminals. When compared against the real-time location information recorded by the Ubisense software, the place and time of the last-known location in the warehouse is immediately available. With just a few mouse-clicks, the appropriate video material is displayed and the location of the relevant shipment unit identified.
According to Mrowka, "This has reduced the number of errors to a minimum and greatly increased the quality of our service. A happy side effect has been the way in which the system has considerably improved staff morale: whereas searches used to be both time-consuming and irritating, the rapid query resolution, now possible thanks to the process transparency of real-time location enable every member of staff to remain quite relaxed. We have achieved everything possible in packaged freight regarding process security and distribution quality: our logistical processes work and we have realised an ROI in much less than 12 months."
Ubisense is the market leading vendor of precise RTLS (Real-time Location Systems) based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. The company delivers complete solutions based on a highly scalable and reliable real-time location platform that is being deployed in mission critical applications around the world.
Bursped Speditions-GmbH & Co. KG, based in Hamburg, Germany serves all areas of the logistics market today including national, international and intercontinental freight supported by the appropriate warehousing. 47 locations in Germany ensure complete coverage nationally. Bursped has made a name for itself not only as a premium supplier of tailor-made logistics solutions but also through its many diverse business activities. For example, in 1988 Bursped participated in the founding of the German Parcel service and is today a partner in the CargoLine system.