WRQ, Inc. today announced that DHL Belgium has automated its sorting system to both decrease costs and increase sorting speeds. Shipment data stored centrally in the United Kingdom is integrated from the central shipment system in Belgium using WRQ Verastream software. Key functions from the central shipment system are now available as web services. Furthermore, both the speed and reliability of the sorting system have improved considerably since installation in May 2004.

Sorting freight based upon its dimensions and weight is a slow, labor-intensive, unreliable, and expensive business. To save costs and accelerate throughput, DHL Belgium has streamlined its sorting process. The companys greatest stumbling block was the fact that all information about shipments is recorded within a central UNIX application in the United Kingdom, with no application programming interface (API) for the DHL Belgium office to use. Integration of the central UNIX application through the terminal interface was the only alternative. However, UNIX applications are the most difficult to integrate with a VT terminal interface due to the complexity of the VT data flow.

WRQ is one of the few suppliers capable of successfully and reliably integrating VT based applications. Using WRQ host integration server, the company integrated centralized legacy data and logic in London with the sorting system located in Belgium. All the required functions are now available as web services, without rewriting the application.

WRQ has 23 years of experience with host applications, including UNIX and OpenVMS versions, and the VT terminal interface. Many clients have successfully and reliably completed integration projects using WRQ Verastream.

"DHL Belgium is working on the introduction of a new automated sorting and processing system," says Jan Vanherck, development and deployment manager at DHL Benelux. "For this, we needed access to an application on the central host in London so that we can scan and weigh the shipments prior to sending them to the correct destination. With WRQ Verastream, we can use that application and link it to the system controlling the sorting process. This enables us to automate the entire process without requiring expensive modifications to the application."

Belgium has a key position in the global DHL network. DHL Belgium operates a superhub, its largest outside the United States, at Zaventem Airport in Brussels. This handles an average of 900 tons of freight nightly. An ultramodern sorting system ensures that 80,000 items an hour are sent to the right destination along seven kilometers of conveyer belts.

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