Post Danmark hires Ancra to automate parcel unload process

Post Danmark hires Ancra to automate parcel unload process

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Post Danmark has automated its truck unloading process for loose-loaded parcels at its main sortation centres in Brøndby and Taulov.

New trailer and dock conveyor technology has been installed by Dutch firm Ancra Systems to help “significantly” reduce the turn around time for trucks transporting parcels between the two hubs outside Copenhagen and on the Jutland peninsula.

The system will help with Post Danmark’s next-day delivery service level, which means parcel transportation must take place within a limited time window.

Boxtel-based Ancra said it has installed belt systems in a dedicated fleet of 23 trailers, as supplied by French firm Fruehauf, with two dock systems for the hubs.

The company said using its trailer system and the Ancra dock system, parcels can be unloaded in less than 20 minutes. The dock system then feeds parcels to the hubs’ sorting systems via a conveyor supplied by Crisplant.

Full automation means less labour and therefore fewer injuries, but Ancra said the quicker turnaround time means a significant reduction in the trailer fleet can be realised.

Ancra said the technology was first developed 10 years ago for La Poste’s parcel unit ColiPoste, with the company installing close to 500 trailer systems and 56 dock systems in France.

The Dutch company has now been automating truck loading systems for two decades, developing systems for customers including La Poste, Toyota, Audi, Heineken, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

Post Danmark, part of the Scandinavian group PostNord, has seen its parcel volumes decline 17% since 2007, including a 7% decline last year, with the market highly competitive and the Danish economy suffering. In response, the company has been adjusting procedures to reduce its operating costs, including an increase in automation levels.

The postal operator has also been working this year with Dutch firm Prime Vision to improve the automation of its parcel sorting centres, particularly in linking up regional centres with the two main hubs.

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