DHL Express to develop palletised item conveyer system

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SEP 16, 2015: DHL Express plans to install a unique automated conveyor belt for palletised items in its new Leipzig terminal in order to speed up processing times.

Leipzig hub managing director Ralph Wondrak said that pallets need to travel 1km in distance when they arrive at the terminal. To improve processing time, the integrator will install a track system that will be able to transport ‘non-conveyable items’ from one end of the terminal to the other.

These items are loaded onto a pallet to be transported around the hub by forklift. It will work in a similar way to the conveyor system used to transport parcels.

DHL Express executive vice president network operations and aviation Europe Roy Hughes said the system will reduce the time it takes for a non-conveyable item to get from offload to re-load from 35 minutes to 10 minutes.

“You can imagine what that does for our throughput. The €60m system will feature a series of pods, each able to carry up to 170 kilos. This in essence means that 70 percent of our non-conveyable currently, will become conveyable,” said Hughes.

A spokesman for the express operator said it expected to announce the winner of the tender to develop the conveyor system this week.

The conveyor system is part of the €150m development of a second terminal at its European hub that will see the freight processing capacity increase by 50 percent to more than 15,000 shipments per hour.

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