Meeting increased delivery expectations through advanced sorting

To meet growing customer expectations, the GLS depot in Madrid has increased their sorting capacity from 5.000 to 12.000 trays per hour (in standard operation) with a new  automatic sorter for envelopes and small parcels. GLS has been offering express transport services since 1987. The company established itself with a focus on providing full connectivity and a strong emphasis on innovation. These commitments have strengthened their competitive advantage in achieving a high level of flexibility and quality service to the customers. GLS continues to innovate to meet the rapidly evolving needs of its customers. Technology continues to open new delivery opportunities and in doing so is raising customer expectations around delivery. Nowadays, customers have a wide range of delivery options. With next-day delivery becoming the standard and same-day delivery on the rise, the pressure on delivery time slots is increasing rapidly.

ASM Oval sorter

“With this new sorting solution from Equinox MHE, we are able to better meet the needs of our customers. Which, in the end, is our number one priority.”

- Miguel Iwasaki, Industrial Engineering Manager, GLS

Increasing sorter capacity within shorter time windows

Shorter delivery expectations are creating greater pressure on supply chain systems to achieve new levels of performance in terms of speed, volume, flexibility and accuracy. This manifests itself as a continually growing number of items that need to be sorted within shorter time windows. To cope with these challenges, GLS decided it was time to replace their sorting machine to increase the accuracy and efficiency of their sorting process and turned to Equinox MHE for advice. The parcel sorter has been installed in Madrid, Spain. It sorts parcels up to 5 kg into 330 destinations, each including a hopper and bag holder. As soon as a bag is detected full it will be brought to the other building for final route sorting.

The characteristic rectangular shape, which differs from the standard oval shape, enables the maximum number of stations in the available area of 28 x 36 meter. The conveyor belts are placed at a height of 3 meters to allow easy access to the center through the 2.1 meter high passages in the corners. The automatic induction platform is located in the heart of the sorter. All packets and envelopes are supplied in roll containers that are placed into a automatic tipper on ground level, that tips them onto a inclined paddle belt. From there, the items are moved to the induction platform, where they are distributed on a conveyor that automatically scans and inducts the items into the sorter.

With 12.000 trays per hour (in standard operation), the sorter enables GLS to handle the increasing number of parcels and ensure an accurate and efficient sorting process. The double tray type with backwards tilting trays was a perfect fit to meet their customer’s requirements. These trays have a robust, yet flexible design which enables them to manage unexpected obstructions and optimize production runtime.


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