Zalando, Europe’s leading fashion and lifestyle online retailer, currently serves more than 25 million customers in 17 different countries. To keep up with its growing demand, the online retailer recently installed a complete pocket sortation solution, which manages ever-changing assignment profiles and shortens delivery times.
Through this new solution, various items can be sorted quickly (and with high accuracy) into numerous small orders and then prepared for dispatch. At the same time, items can be stored efficiently and become accessible immediately. Furthermore, the pocket sorter also allows returned goods to be instantly processed and made available to other customers.
During the process, orders are received and released for picking. Picked items are then scanned at the pocket loading stations and placed in one of the available pockets, where they can also be stored temporarily. The pockets are then transported through pre-sorting sections, where they are consolidated into batches and sorted according to the order sequence (by a three-stage sequencer).
After sequencing, items are sorted and conveyed as single orders to the packing stations. Once this occurs, completed customer orders arrive at 36 packing stations, where they are made ready for shipping.
The flow of goods or the sorting of the pockets is coordinated by the material flow processor, which conveys items to the packing stations on a single order basis. Integrated process visualization provides constant status messages regarding these processes, as well as the facility’s operational status.
The pocket sorter is comprised of 6,500 pouches and is specially designed to meet the demands of Zalando’s booming omni-channel trade. Thanks to its flexibility, it can handle and transport hanging goods or flat packed items, and is extremely adaptable in handling rapidly changing product portfolios.
As a result, Zalando’s new logistics center has decreased its delivery time to customers by roughly 50%. And, the company will also be able to meet its business growth goals in the expanding market.
“We have been able to drastically reduce the time spent from picking the items in the warehouse to delivering the orders,” explains Bruno Ramos Caballer, project manager at Zalando. “The goals of rapid, faultless order management and delivery to the customer have therefore been achieved.”
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