Deutsche Post DHL and Vanderlande Industries have signed a frame agreement for the supply of the sorting and logistics handling systems for its new network of automated delivery bases throughout Germany. This means that a minimum of twenty new sites per year will be realised for the coming years. These investments are in response to the fast-growing volumes of parcels shipped to meet the increasing online orders by consumers.
Part of the systems supplied is a new bulk chute design developed as a joint project by Vanderlande Industries and Deutsche Post DHL. This chute improves productivity by its ability to buffer up to 200 parcels without any operator action. Parcels are directly processed at the delivery base which saves time and allows faster deliveries to the customer. Formerly parcels had to be loaded manually into roll containers and again manually unloaded of the roll containers into the delivery vans at the output of the system. This process is now automated by the chutes right up to loading of the vehicle ensuring less handling and improved ergonomics. They can then be loaded quickly and conveniently by the delivery men, with no need for heavy manual lifting.
The automated sorting and transport systems means that parcels no longer need to be scanned and sorted manually. Instead the whole process is automated from intake right through to the delivery outputs, with minimal need for manual handling. As well as increasing speed and efficiency, that also means greatly improved working conditions for DHL's delivery men.
"A process way of working is key to success", says Lodewijk Reineke, Area Director Parcel and Postal at Vanderlande Industries. "With at least twenty systems per year, there are months that we have to hand over one project each week. With our dedicated execution team and the close corporation with Deutsche Post DHL, we are convinced to succeed in this".
Parcels are sorted for delivery to up to 120 postal districts, depending on the sized amount of chutes by a dual-sided sorter, which provides positive, high-capacity and high-accuracy sorting for parcels of widely varying shapes and sizes. Maintenance is also quick and simple, with a patented 'plug-and-play' carrier design which allows a shoe to be changed in less than 60 seconds.
Proven technology as well as the robustness of system components enables DHL to operate these locations without site based technical staff. In order to secure fast aid in an emergency case Vanderlande Industries has developed its local Service network and central Support Hotline – both available 24/7. Fastest failure analysis as well as the arrival of a Service technician on site within a limited response time is guaranteed in a further Service framework contract.
The positive effects of this new concept have already been confirmed at Deutsche Post DHL locations in Germany including Braunschweig, Bochum, 3 x Berlin, Dinslaken, Oldenburg, Aschheim, Nurnberg, Stuttgart, Neuss, Norderstedt und Karlsruhe. Currently Deutsche Post DHL and Vanderlande Industries are rolling-out the concept to 20 more sites, making the best possible use of the knowledge gained so far.