DHL (Plantation, Fla.) is launching a state-of-the-art $160-million U.S. hub automation and integration project to enhance letter-and parcel-processing operations and tracking capabilities across its U.S. network. The rollout will begin this spring. It includes the express-delivery industry's largest single purchase of tilt-tray loop systems for sorting letters and parcels. When complete the program will give DHL customers and company operations nationwide greater operational accuracy and shipment visibility.
The integration effort will synchronize the operations of letter-and parcel-processing equipment at DHL's distribution facilities in Wilmington, Ohio; Allentown, Pa; and Riverside, Calif. State-of-the-art conveyor and sorting hardware, together with proprietary software, will increase shipment processing, efficiency and cost savings. The new system will let customers' track domestic and international letters and packages.
The automation process will require the integration of software and hardware systems, including a host of conveyors, walkways and terminals linking the equipment together. Components include proprietary sort software that controls machine operations and manages package flow, and new sort equipment including tilt trays for moving letters and parcels, dimensional and image scanners, singulators ( mechanisms designed to individualize the flow of letters and packages), loaders, unloaders and video-coding devices to read labels on packages. The system should be fully operational by fall of 2006.