Accelerating goods-out and goods-in

Rather than continue to manually sort returns in its picking warehouse, Hermes Fulfillment looked to shuttle technology to increase efficiency and accuracy.

By ·

Hermes Fulfillment, an integrated fulfillment services provider, manages a range of 600,000 products, processing around 260 million items each year. One of the challenging processes for many companies is the core competence of Hermes: returns management. Rather than continue to manually sort returns in its picking warehouse, the company looked to shuttle technology to increase efficiency and accuracy.

The new system manages tasks ranging from acceptance of returns to product preparation, storage, staging and repackaging. Returns are delivered in mixed returns containers, stacked on carts. Upon arrival, the containers are automatically unstacked and conveyed to the shuttle staging area. Up to 10 different items are stored in one container. Up to 2,000 such mixed containers can be stored in the system per hour.

The system accelerates the processes between goods-in and goods-out. For specialized product returns, a central touchscreen monitor located at the workstation can give the operator an overview of all procedures. The warehouse management system is also able to allocate any available item in the returns system to a customer’s order. This further boosts fulfillment speeds so that orders placed on one day are, at the latest, ready-for-shipping the next.

The new automatic returns management system has a storage capacity of 1 million items in approximately 176,000 storage locations across 30 rack lines. Most products remain in the system for only a few hours. Utilizing up to 30 workstations on two levels, up to 15,000 items per hour are processed during peak times.

KNAPP Logistics Automation

Read more from the 2013 Casebook.

About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Case Study: New Transportation Procurement Approach Lowers Costs, Improves Service
Shaw Industries Group, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, needed a TMS to improve transportation planning.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Over the past decade we’ve seen a major trend in regards to safety regulations for freight transport within the United States as well as for import and export shippers—that trend is the “international­ization” of rules and regulations.
European Logistics Update: Post-Brexit U.K. moving ahead, but in which direction?
Badcock Home Furniture &more: Out with paper, in with Cloud TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How API Technology Connects the Transportation Economy
Dynamic decision making is made possible through accurate, actionable data. When combined with progress in data science and the Internet of Things, technology companies that add value to direct-to-carrier APIs and combine them with high-power data analytics will create new concepts for the information economy.
Register Today!
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...

2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...