Vanderlande Industries has provided an automated sorting system at the new regional hub built by TNT Express in Hong Kong to improve its operations in the Pearl River Delta area (South China). This new automated solution offers TNT significant benefits including optimum usage of the available floor area, optimised manning levels, improved tracking & tracing (reduction of missorts), and increased capacity to cope with expected future growth.
“Vanderlande showed a good understanding of our processes,” said Rudy Kwisthout, Regional Director Operations Development at TNT. “They were capable of translating our requirements into an optimum sorting solution.” Roald de Groot, Key Account Manager Parcel & Postal, emphasises that Vanderlande aims to work closely together with the customer to reach the best solution. “Each sorting situation is unique, and it is essential to carefully analyse the parcel flows and workload, as well as the customer’s likely future requirements, to allow the optimum solution to be designed.”
Handles up to 600 tons of cargo a day
The 7380 square metre facility, almost three times the size of the former operations centre, is designed to handle up to 600 tons of cargo per day. The hub is equipped with a dedicated in-house customs office and inspection facility and an advanced sorting system, providing customers with better time-to-market capabilities.
The sorting solution consists of two posisorters connected in a loop, with one infeed section each from airside and roadside. Both infeeds are equipped with X-ray scanners, and are linked through in-line weighing scales to a central check-weigh-cube device and 5-side barcode camera system.
One of the sorters is used for slow-moving destinations, while the other is used for medium- to fast‑moving destinations. For the fast-moving destinations, Vanderlande has created a special
operator position at the end of the chute which helps the operator to build the Main Deck Pallets in an ergonomic and safe way.
Full range of sorters for optimum individual solutions
Vanderlande has proven capabilities to supply both line and loop sorter solutions. For TNT, although the layout is shaped as a loop, the most optimum solution turned out to be two line sorters connected as a loop. One of the advantages of working with Vanderlande is that the company can supply the full range of sorters, so customers are not limited to a specific type (for example loop, line, shoe sorter, tilt tray, crossbelt etc.). This allows the optimum sorting solution to be developed and provided for each individual situation.