XPO Logistics’s temperature-controlled warehouse in Nieuwegein is responsible for the order picking of consumer goods from the fresh range for a large Dutch retailer. These are mainly fresh products with an exclusive character. The warehouse is equipped with an unmanned automated crane warehouse for pallet storage. From the warehouse the products are distributed to the retailer's four regional DCs. There the journey continues to retail stores in the Netherlands and Belgium.
To scale up the volume of products being processed, the old warehouse has been replaced in 2015 by a Shared Fresh Center of XPO Logistics, which is equipped with an unmanned automated crane warehouse. Suppliers deliver goods on pooling pallets, for guaranteed pallet quality. After a first visual inspection, many pallets were rejected on a consistent basis. However, to use them, rejected pallets are provided with a slave pallet or goods are reloaded to new ones. The increasing number of rejections resulted in a more intensive handling for the employees, higher costs for the parties involved and complaints about the pallet quality at XPO Logistics, suppliers, CHEP and other pallet poolers.
CHEP analysed the inspection process and, together with XPO Logistics, developed a specific training for the employees. The training is based on pallet quality requirements for the warehouse. This resulted in a faster flow of products to the unmanned warehouse on the one hand, and in a faster and more precise separation of rejected pallets on the other hand. The rejected pallets are sent to the pallet pooler much sooner, for inspection and repair. The use of slave pallets and thus the number of rejected pallets has been reduced by 50%. This had a positive impact on handling and costs for all parties.