Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics has equipped and put into operation an innovative parcel center in Basel (Switzerland) for parcel and logistics service provider DHL Express. The highly automated Siemens system enables incoming and outgoing parcels to be dispatched quickly and reliably. The core of the system is the extremely efficient VarioSort cross-belt sorter. With a maximum velocity of 2.5 meters per second, it reaches a peak throughput of 9,000 parcels per hour. Siemens is thus helping DHL Express to reduce operating times and therefore significantly improve its costs and competitiveness. The new parcel center is situated at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg and benefits from its excellent strategic location in the tri-border area between Switzerland, France and Germany.
"The positive trend in online and mail order shopping is generating ongoing growth in the parcel business," said Michael Reichle, CEO of Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics. "Drawing on our decades of experience in the logistics business and in-depth process expertise, we have implemented a system that is tailored precisely to the needs of DHL Express." Through an extension option, Siemens will also support the customer in its future business growth.
David Käser, Customer Operations Manager from DHL Express, added: "Our company has the largest global express network and transports urgent documents and goods reliably and punctually from door to door in over 220 countries. The innovative sorting center from Siemens enables us to guarantee and further improve this high quality of service."
In the new system in Basel, parcels travel to the cross-belt sorter through five high-speed inductions. The VarioSort consists of 229 carriers and measures a total of 183 meters in length. The extremely flexible and scalable Siemens sorter and the future-proof intelligent software ensure that the system’s performance can continue to grow as parcel volumes increase. The VarioSort is also characterized by its low lifecycle costs: the robust design ensures low wear and thus reduces the maintenance effort.
The scope of work for DHL Express also included supplying around 1,200 meters of conveyor technology, for which the tried-and-tested Siemens VarioBelt conveyor system was mostly used. For airport security, Siemens integrated three X-ray machines into the system for scanning parcels. Ten spiral chutes, nine storage chutes and six ULD chutes ensure that items are forwarded and discharged smoothly.
In Basel, Siemens drew on its extensive brownfield expertise to implement the ultramodern sorting system in an existing facility. For example, the system had to be integrated into three sections of the building that differ in height. In addition, Basel is in an earthquake risk zone, meaning that it had to meet increased structural engineering requirements among other things.
14 of the top 20 parcel service providers worldwide rely on Siemens technology. Renowned customers include SF Express in China, for example, as well as Portuguese postal service CTT, Royal Mail in the United Kingdom and parcel service provider UPS. Siemens technology ensures high-speed sorting and an efficient overall process. As a service partner, SPPAL supports the performance of parcel sorting systems over their entire lifecycle.