DB Schenker’s contract logistics blends tech and talent to meet industry demands


DB Schenker’s new contract logistics warehouse in Rudna, Czech Republic is driving efficiency, quality, and speed in the supply chain. With the new site, the logistics provider combines customized logistics solutions with automation and robotization to transform operations within the warehouse. More than 100 autonomous mobile robots (AMR), seven packing lines with 162 stations, a vertical order picker and an automated sorter are successfully deployed.

This is in line to DB Schenker’s strategy to enhance customer’s experience by using technology. Recently, DB Schenker partners with American Airlines Cargo for enhanced airfreight booking experience. The introduction of an API (Application Programming Interface) connection marks the next step in digitalizing and streamlining airfreight booking processes.

“DB Schenker offers an excellent environment for innovation, technology, and highly qualified employees. By deploying automation and robotization, we have been able to optimize processes. This ensures particularly fast and punctual handling and at the same time creates better conditions for employees. After just a few weeks of operation, we were able to achieve a significant throughput for our customer from the electronics sector.” says Niklas Wilmking, Member of the Management Board for Contract Logistics, DB Schenker.

Following a successful pilot phase, around 650 employees at the site will be supported in their work by automated technology. The robots are used in direct collaboration to relieve operators of heavy physical or monotonous tasks as well as to make processes more efficient and productive.

The autonomous robots are controlled by software that records all shelf locations and the location of all goods. The robot closest to a shelf picks up the shelf and takes it to the desired picking station. The operator uses the pick-to-light system to remove the required quantity of goods from the shelf. After removing the goods from the shelf provided by the autonomous mobile robot, the operator places the box with the goods on the conveyor belt, which transports them to the next work station for further processing, consolidation or packaging.

The autonomous robots can be loaded with up to 500 kg per robot. Their batteries last up to three hours. When the battery is low, they drive to one of the charging stations in the warehouse and have their battery recharged in less than ten minutes. The robot system operates on a conveyor line with a total length of 3,000m.

In addition to the retail business, the new distribution center will also be used for B2C and e-commerce traffic, including value-added services. In future, up to 59 million products per year are to be delivered from this site.

Source: DB Schenker