Leipzig – the new capital of European logistics

Every time I make orders from Ukraine or Germany, all my parcels pass through DHL Leipzig hub. And the other day I found an article of Russian journalist that made a visit to that hub and was able to see all the process with his own eyes. So I decided to translate it and size it and share with you 🙂

Every night from the hub planes, loaded with envelopes and parcels fly to different ends of the world. Leipzig is the largest in Europe depot of DHL.

I would like to have a look at four steps through which parcels pass inside the hub in order to be delivered at a right location.

Belts and downs of conveyors

It is difficult for a person to not get confused in an aluminium forest of conveyors. That is why everything is controlled by machines; people only correct their mistakes.

Belts and downs of conveyors

Each envelope, package and box has a barcode. It is thanks to it that the parcel does not go to Austria instead of Australia. The sorting line is controlled by a superhuman mind – a computer system with its own DHL software. Overhead, the snake of the sorting line creeps along. Each pallet on it has a unique number; therefore, passing through the first scanner, the parcel receives a temporary but exact address. It is difficult to lose cargo there: the system stores information about where the number was scanned for the last time and in what part of the transport tape the parcel landed. The operator can track the parcel at any time.

 

Sorting conveyor

On the second floor, there are no people: there runs an endless conveyor belt, not continuous, but consisting of separate cells. Each cell has a number that is associated with the parcel number while the parcel is travelling along the tape to the place where it is going to be packed into a large transparent container and loaded onto the aircraft.

Floor on wheels

To work in the hub, you do not need to have the mighty power. Thanks to rollers, mounted on the floor, even women can easily move on the floor heavy containers.

floor on wheels

Attractions for parcels

On these yellow slides, the parcels roll down from the sorting belt into the hands of the conveyor operator, who brings individual parcels to large aviation containers.

attractions

For additional scanning and to the desired exit, the parcels fly down the yellow screw hill, just like in the water park. Below them, they are insured by the operators of the line. In total, a journey from the plane that brings the parcel to Leipzig, prior to its loading on the flight to the destination airport, the parcel gets into the scanning device 4 times – in order not to get lost.

 

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