bpost Belgium has stated that it is adapting to the changing market conditions and significantly expanding its sorting capacity in Antwerp. The first part of the new parcel sorting machine (PSM) will be fully operational this month. Together, the new and existing machine can sort 18,000 to 20,000 parcels per hour. The second part of the new parcel sorting machine will be delivered next year.
Since 2019 the Antwerp X sorting centre has gradually adapted to the fall in the volume of letters and the rise in the volume of parcels. The main activity is now sorting parcels, along with letters for the Antwerp region only.
Further expansion was required in response to the trends on the market. However, the expansion had to be achieved without the loss of sorting capacity during construction or the changeover to a new machine.
Preperation Manager at Antwerp X Tom Geerinckx commented: “That’s why the new machine is being built in two phases. Our current machine is still running at full capacity and the first part of the new machine came on stream last month. We will begin building the second part in early 2023. The full PSM will be operational in time for the end-of-year period 2023 and will be able to sort 20,000 parcels per hour.”
Only then will the older machine be dismantled, with the new machine taking over the whole activity at a higher capacity.
All infrastructure of the sorting centre has also been adapted to the new PSM. The existing building was enlarged by 2000 sq m. Earlier this year 19 new truck bays and two loose load conveyers, which can be extended into the interior of the truck, were taken into use to unload and transport bulk cargo to the sorting machine. Many customers want to load their goods straight into the truck, without using pallets or containers.
bpost is adapting in response to the changing economic context, but it reported that the main goal is to be able to provide flawless service and improve the work environment.