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f+h Intralogistics 4/2016

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f+h Intralogistics 4/2016


RAISING THE BAR in online order fulfilment RUBRIK WAREHOUSING f+h Intralogistics 4/2016

China is the e-commerce capital of the world generating sales that put other countries in the shade. On Single’s Day, which falls on Nov 11, over US $ 9.3 billion was spent on the country’s No.1 Internet retailer Alibaba. That is nearly double the combined online sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US. Read more. Zhou Yue, Chief Designer & COO at SKU360 said: “The industry is growing too fast in China in the last three to five years. It is far ahead of any other country. For small companies they can have thousands of orders a day. On Single’s Day, China’s biggest promotional day, it can be 200 times more. That is the reality here.” SKU360 – the giant third party distribution center (DC) for e-commerce – aims to have a slice of this expanding pie by targeting e-tailers with up to 5,000 orders per day. There is no shortage of such companies in China. With companies like Alibaba providing the platform as well as payment facilities and marketing and SKU360 the back-end, setting up online businesses is a breeze. “The market is so huge you just need a share of the market. You don’t need to dominate the industry”, so Yue. Giant third party e-fulfilment center Owned by the DuLong Group, the DC is located in Songjiang District on the outskirts of Shanghai, China’s commercial heart which accounts for nearly a third of the country’s e-commerce sales. “It is a good logistics area. China is a huge country. We have to choose one location to cover Shanghai. It is 50 kilometers from the city.” From here, it can provide 24-hour delivery for orders within a 1,000-kilometre radius. At 90,000 m², it is the largest e-commerce DC in China, capable of handling over 500,000 SKUs. The warehouse is equipped with stateof-the-art material handling systems to provide fast delivery for online purchases. “We wanted a high-tech warehouse. We were looking at high-end products to provide a high-end facility. This is our first project, we want to knock out the market,” said Yue. The company’s requirements included: Compact with good use of available space, Order fulfilment of up to 120,000 orders per day, Order fill rate of 1,100 per hour, Order fulfilment cycle time of two hours and near zero error rate. High-tech DC After surveying the market, DuLong appointed SSI Schaefer as its systems integrator to provide the whole solution, including goodsin storage, picking, packing and shipping. Developed in phases, the DC is the most advanced e-commerce facility in Asia. As order picking is especially challenging in an e-commerce warehouse, the DC is equipped with automated handling systems, including: n Pallet ASRS stretching over the first two storeys of the DC with 6,440 locations for dense storage of buffer stocks; n Miniload ASRS running alongside the pallet ASRS with 144,300 totes for fast and efficient storage, order processing, picking and replenishment operations; n Carousels – 24 in total with 37,700 locations – with pick rate of 1,000 picks per hour to facilitate high speed single item picking; and n A-Frames – automated piece picking machines ideal for picking small items with high line counts such as pharma and cosmetics. n Capacity, pick speed and picking performance are key considerations in the choice of which system to use – the Miniload ASRS, Carousels or A-Frames. There is also a manual pick area equipped with R3000 Modular Shelving System for slow moving items. After the items are picked, they are brought by conveyors to the pick-to-tote workstations on the second level for consolidation, before being relayed by conveyors to the 1st level for packing and despatch. Supported by SSI Schaefer’s proprietary warehouse control system to direct real-time activity within the DC and SKU360’s warehouse management system for inventory control and order fulfilment, the DC has met SKU360’s requirements to a T. It has both the flexibility required of a third party DC and the speed and efficiency of an e-commerce DC. Photographs: SSI Schaefer About SSI Schaefer Group The SSI Schaefer Group is one of the world’s leading provider of modular warehousing and logistics solutions. It employs over 8,500 people at its group headquarters in Neunkirchen, Germany, at its domestic and international production sites, and at its 60 foreign subsidiaries. Across six continents, SSI Schaefer develops and implements innovative industry-specific answers to its customers’ unique challenges. As a result, it plays a key role in shaping the future of intralogistics. f+h Intralogistics 4/2016


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