DHL opens new ‘highly automated’ distribution center for flatpack furniture giant IKEA

DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics specialist for Deutsche Post DHL Group, is opening a new “highly automated” fulfillment center in Bergkamen, Germany, for its customer, Swedish flatpack furniture giant IKEA.

DHL’s new state-of-the-art facility has been commissioned to help the home furniture group handle its rapidly growing B2C online business in Germany, which has grown significantly during the pandemic and has required IKEA to rapidly expand its B2C fulfillment capabilities. .

The multi-customer site in Bergkamen has 40,000 square meters of storage space and is part of the neighboring DHL Supply Chain Unna Campus, which is less than 10 kilometers away.

In the future, 20,000 square meters of warehouse space will be available to IKEA alone, with around 350 employees working for the customer on site six days a week in three shifts.

The site will be fully operational by the end of June, when an average of 8,000 stock-holding units (SKUs = identical products with the same stock number) will be processed at the site. At full capacity, the site is capable of processing 11,000 SKUs.

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Packing machines are available on site for sensitive products that require special packaging. The level and sophistication of automation at Bergkamen remains unprecedented in Germany.

Complex conveyor automation in conjunction with Locus robots and Packsize machines are used to efficiently collect products. And to calculate the best packet size, the system uses a cubistic algorithm. As a result, packaging and filling material as well as bulk weight are significantly reduced.

Rainer Haag, CEO of DHL Supply Chain Germany and Alps, says: “For DHL Supply Chain, the implementation represents another important building block in our drive for the growth of e-commerce, one of our strategic growth sectors, as well as the continuation of our our commercial automation and digitalization strategy for continuous improvement of operations.

“Thanks to Locus robots, the distances our warehouse workers have to travel have been radically reduced and picking efficiency has increased significantly. By interacting with on-site employees, the system reduces individual order processing times, streamlines employee workflows and improves operational efficiency,” continues Haag.

Kai Fuhlrott, National Customer Service Manager at IKEA Deutschland, says: “The consumer industry around the world is undergoing change at the moment.

“Part of this shift is the increasing importance of online retailing. Our focus is set on the ever-changing needs of our customers. Commissioning the Bergkamen fulfillment center for IKEA Germany allows us to take another step towards providing an excellent shopping experience for our customers, anytime and anywhere, online or in our stores.”

Adds Fuhlrott: “We are delighted to have found a competent new partner at DHL Supply Chain, who showed us new ways forward and was able to set up a highly complex and customized fulfillment solution for us at the Bergkamen site in just a short time. time lapse.

Bernd Schäfer, the city’s mayor, says: “Having two leading companies in their respective partner industries here on site offers a degree of security for the city of Bergkamen as well as employees.

“This is an important factor given the current pace of change. For Bergkamen, the A2 Logistics Park remains the right decision at the right time.

“I am convinced that the site offers potential and opportunities to continue profiting from the growth of logistics – the biggest business sector in Germany after automotive and commerce. Logistics is a strong industry with a strong focus on growth and the future. It is therefore a welcome partner for Bergkamen.”

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