Despite the coronavirus pandemic: trans-o-flex launches first “transshipment centre of the future

Despite the coronavirus pandemic: trans-o-flex launches first “transshipment centre of the future

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, trans-o-flex opened a new transshipment hub on schedule at the beginning of May, with which the company intends to establish a new standard.  “The logistics centre in the Westphalian town of Hamm-Rhynern is a milestone for trans-o-flex in its network development, as it sets standards both economically and environmentally,” said Wolfgang P. Albeck, CEO of trans-o-flex.  “For us, the facility that we have just opened is the transshipment hub of the future. Based on this model, trans-o-flex will be upgrading or building completely new logistics hubs in Germany in the coming years. The total investment for the logistics centre is around 17 million euros. 

The goods are handled in two separate temperature zones. “We cool or heat most of the facility to a constant 20 degrees. This allows us to unload, sort and load consignments there in our Ambient-Express service, which uses active temperature control between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius,” explains Albeck.  “In addition, we have integrated a cooling area in the facility. This is where we handle goods in our Thermo-Express service, which is actively kept between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. At the previous site in Dortmund there was a separate handling point for each temperature range.  “This enables us to exploit synergies between our transport networks and at the same time we have significantly increased the efficiency of the sorting and handling processes.” 

One of the reasons for this is an automatic sorting system from the Dutch specialist Van Riet.  In Dortmund, sorting was carried out manually using roller conveyors. In Hamm-Rhynern, the system automatically directs the parcels from six feed-in points to one of 119 loading points for trucks or vans. In between, the parcels are measured and weighed fully automatically. “This enables us to calculate the exact transport weight for our customers.” Because the sorting belts are installed at a height of more than four metres above the warehouse floor, forklift trucks that transport goods on pallets through the warehouse can drive underneath them. Albeck points out: “This is very important for a system that transports both parcels and pallets, as in many facilities a parcel sorter involves detours in pallet handling.” 

Experts refer to this special type of system as a sliding shoe or POSISORTER.  These sorters not only convey parcels to their end point quickly, but also gently.  For this purpose, so-called shoes are installed on the carrier, which guide the parcels safely but carefully in the desired direction. “Because trans-o-flex conveys high-end and sensitive goods, we only use sorting systems of this type.  This is one of the reasons why we probably have the lowest damage rate in the industry,” Albeck explains. 

trans-o-flex Standort Hamm