Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Automated Unit Ferries Freight Around for Giant Logistics Group

Unmanned Vehicle Fulfils Supply Chain Requirement
Shipping News Feature
JAPAN – DHL Supply Chain recently introduced the first ever automated guided vehicle (AGV) it has used in the country when the Toyota built unit commenced work ferrying goods around one of the freight and logistics giant’s warehouse units. More usually found at manufacturers premises AGVs can only really be useful to the largest of logistics providers in terms of cost and efficiency.

The AGV unit which has now been operating at the DHL site for a couple of months can carry 100 kilogrammes or tow 500, it travels at a maximum speed of 3 kilometres an hour and DHL have been reconfiguring the warehouse and improving the layout to better accommodate the AGV, allowing it to reach previously inaccessible areas. Gavin Murdoch, President and Representative Director of DHL Supply Chain in Japan commented:

“The introduction of an AGV was triggered by an improvement proposal from an operations team. As there is concern over labour shortages particularly during busy seasons, automation using unmanned vehicles is an important initiative. A focus on continuous work site improvement is one of DHL Supply Chain’s biggest strengths, and the introduction of the AGV clearly represents our commitment to pursuing the highest level of efficiency at our warehouses.”

Toyota was of course delighted to introduce one of its units into a sphere not usually associated with automated stock transfer and Hiroaki Asai, Senior Managing Officer of Toyota L&F Company observed:

“While it is rare for AGVs to be used at warehouses by logistics companies, we believe they will be able to contribute significantly to the logistics industry which is in need of labour-saving solutions. The key features of the AGV are its ease of use as one of the tools for improvement by customer itself, and also the multitude of ways it can transport goods. We are pleased to be able to support DHL Supply Chain’s improvement initiatives and will provide them with our utmost support.”

A short video showing Toyota AGVs in action can be seen here.