Royal Mail Christmas rush relies on warehouse trolleys

This year, Royal Mail is recruiting around 23,000 temporary staff to work in its sorting offices to deal with all that extra Christmas post.

Unlike high profile warehouses such as Amazon and Waitrose, most Royal Mail sorting offices are not highly automated. They have some machinery, but large volumes of mail are still transported around the warehouse in manual warehouse trolleys.

The media often reports on the latest new automated large-scale warehouses. For example, Next Generation Films in the USA has recently opened a 3,000-pallet capacity warehouse with stacker cranes that deal with both inbound and outbound goods without the need for human workers.

Many smaller businesses cannot afford the high cost of equipping their warehouse with fully automated systems, or, like Royal Mail, have operations that may not yet be suitable for complete automation. A good warehouse equipment manufacturer is in no danger of becoming obsolete soon. Many industries, such as the garment and furniture sectors, rely on manual handling and storage equipment.

Some warehouses use automated systems to direct pickers to item locations. With the aid of light or sound signals, pickers can quickly identify where items are stored. This can considerably reduce picking errors and picking times, but items are still transported to the packing areas on warehouse trolleys.

Automation may replace picking and packing workers in the distant future, but Royal Mail and other organisations that have small local warehouses around the country will continue to rely on manual handling equipment.

Posted by Derek
20th November 2018
Retail & Warehousing

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