Sustainability drives success

SSI Schaefer’s goal is to encourage an active exchange with customers, partners, and interested companies in order to jointly promote the development of sustainable solutions within the logistics industry. Steffen Bersch, Group CEO at SSI SCHAEFER explains.

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a key factor for business success. Companies with a sustainable approach benefit from efficiency gains and are often more resilient.

Investopedia defines sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. They outline that corporate sustainability has three main pillars: environmental, social and economic.

The Environmental Pillar | Companies are focusing on reducing their carbon footprint, packaging waste, water usage and overall environmental impact.

The Social Pillar | A socially sustainable business should have the support and approval of its employees, its stakeholders and the community.

The Economic Pillar | To be sustainable, a business must be profitable but not at the expense of the other elements.

The logistics industry is the backbone of almost every business sector, providing services critical to modern society. There is a wide range of possible approaches to sustainable logistics.

An economically efficient and sustainable logistics organisation will reduce energy consumption, reduce waste and CO2 emissions, encourage an environmentally friendly distribution operation and utilise ecological building methods. It will foster a short supply chain and provide safe and healthy working conditions.

In 2020, SSI SCHAEFER, a leading provider of warehousing and logistics systems, joined the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders initiative. This initiative involves 50 international businesses who are demonstrating their desire to take action on climate change and providing leadership in working towards meeting the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).

“The initiative we joined is geared to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. We as SSI SCHAEFER are also committed to these goals. Resources are finite and need to be used wisely. Being an internationally leading provider of warehousing and logistics systems, we have been dealing with sustainable solutions for a long time. We would like to promote the change towards sustainable and economic intralogistics and stimulate discussions within companies. Our goal is to encourage an active exchange with customers, partners, and interested companies in order to jointly promote the development of sustainable solutions within the logistics industry,” Steffen Bersch, SSI SCHAEFER Group CEO explains.

As a global supplier with a strong local presence, SSI SCHAEFER helps enterprises innovate and increase efficiency within their logistics processes and supply chains. The objective is to enable these companies to be successful and sustainable long term and support them to pursue their economic and sustainability goals.

Across six continents, SSI SCHAEFER develops and implements innovative industry-specific answers to its customers’ unique challenges. Each company is considered individually to find the right solution for that business and their unique needs and challenges.

“As one of the leading global providers of materials handling solutions, we are an ideal partner for companies that pursue economical, future-oriented and sustainability goals. For all companies, no matter what industry or size, we are committed to developing the optimal logistics solution. We take advantage of a portfolio of proven systems and state-of-the-art technologies such as automated guided vehicles, robotics, artificial intelligence, and predictive maintenance, to not only position companies efficiently and sustainably, but also to create a competitive advantage,” Steffen says.

ORCA Cold Chain Solutions in the Philippines, founded in 2017, soon became the leading provider of temperature-controlled logistics and warehousing for the food and agricultural industry. This was based on the establishment and expansion of an efficient and sustainable deep-freeze infrastructure, currently with three locations in Manila. ORCA chose SSI SCHAEFER as a partner due to their extensive experience in technology, engineering and customer service.

ORCA has now improved their food safety and food security, reduced their energy and land consumption, and gained resilience against climate change and unpredictable events with an energy-efficient, high performance and highly automated logistics solution from SSI SCHAEFER.

The Taguig site, opened in February 2020, was their first fully automated deep-freeze warehouse, with temperatures from -18 °C to -25 °C on a floor space of one hectare. Designed with a focus on energy efficiency and process safety, the facility is close to ports and industrial areas to quickly supply the country’s various regions. It includes a fully automated high-bay warehouse in clad-rack design with four energy-efficient SSI Exyz storage-retrieval machines and a storage capacity of 20,000 pallets, a state-of-the-art conveying system, ergonomic goods-to-person Advanced Pick Stations, and SSI SCHAEFER’s WAMAS® logistics software, moving up to 4,800 pallets per day.

“SSI SCHAEFER made sure that our carbon footprint is smaller than a typical conventional facility would take. A 20,000-pallet facility would normally take three to four hectares of land. But with the technology and innovation that SSI SCHAEFER provided, we were able to do this type of facility on one hectare of land,” Yerik Cosiquien, President and CEO of ORCA Cold Chain Solutions says.

Goods received are labelled with QR codes and barcodes for traceability and real-time monitoring. In order to guarantee freshness, products are handled using the FEFO principle (First Expired, First Out). With the WAMAS® logistics software, ORCA can visualise stock and track goods to ensure security and product integrity.

Thanks to the energy-efficient technology and innovative solutions of SSI SCHAEFER, electricity costs have been reduced by almost 35%. “Electricity in the Philippines is also very expensive and with the unique technology of SSI SCHAEFER, we are able to save electricity and maintain our sustainability values,” Yenik says.

Pepperl+Fuchs is a global pioneer in automated sensor technology and electrical explosion protection products. Pepperl+Fuchs wanted a new distribution centre with technology to give a holistic view of the fulfilment operations and to service their clients quickly with accurate product orders.

“The only way that we can achieve sustainable success is through automation and technology” Jim Bolin Executive Vice President Americas, Pepperl+Fuchs Inc. says.

With an innovative approach and use of technology, SSI SCHAEFER implemented a reliable and future-proof distribution centre with approximately 28,000 storage locations. With energy-efficient hardware and a reduced footprint, the automated solution harnesses the power of Pepperl+Fuchs sensors in conjunction with SSI SCHAEFER’s WAMAS® logistics software for an innovative and custom predictive maintenance solution.

The facility hosts three SSI Miniload Cranes over three aisles for automatic storage and retrieval. There are four Pick to Light workstations and four levels of pallet storage for production. Advanced technology throughout the facility delivers an array of analytic information. Data from Pepperl+Fuchs sensors feed into WAMAS® and WAMAS® Lighthouse, which operate the entire system and give real-time updates on key performance indicators throughout the facility.

Country Road Group is one of Australia’s largest specialty fashion retailers. In May 2014, they announced plans to build a 22,000 sqm warehouse and distribution centre in Melbourne, supporting both bricks-and-mortar and online sales.

The Australian Financial Review reported the new centre was aimed at improving efficiency and speed of fulfilment of online and store sales, removing costs of duplicated and outsourced warehouses and logistic facilities, addressing current capacity constraints and ensuring scalability to meet future needs and enhance supply chain collaboration with suppliers.

SSI SCHAEFER worked with CRG and from the beginning CRG had clear priorities. “SSI SCHAEFER partnered with us to deliver the solution that was not only scalable and future-proof but also worked for our business model and how we needed to use it. We wanted to work with a company who was committed to delivering the right outcome, not just completing the project. That was SSI SCHAEFER,” Zippy says.

The new omni-channel fulfilment centre, opened in 2015, received a ‘5 Star Green Star’ rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. CRG also became a signatory to The Australian Packaging Covenant (“APC”) which focused on reducing packaging reaching landfill. One clear example of this collaboration and innovation was the bespoke use of the SSI SCHAEFER overhead conveying system with custom-made carrier brackets to facilitate return and reuse of packing boxes.

The facility includes SSI SCHAEFER’s high speed conveying technology to provide crossdocking and despatch sortation. Additionally, SSI SCHAEFER’s Put to Light technology allows high-efficiency fulfilment of both store and online orders. The complete automated system is managed by SSI SCHAEFER’s WAMAS® warehouse control software.

During the COVID global pandemic the automated scalable system met Country Road’s needs and accommodated the huge increase in online orders to allow CRG to pivot their business and fully service this increased demand.

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