Electric trucks ¿It is possible?

As we know, climate change is a real societal problem and governments are gradually taking action.  Thinking about these measures, I have paid attention to vehicles. More and more users are being urged to buy 100% electric cars, but what about commercial vehicles? These vehicles make thousands of journeys every day and we do not see an increase in the use of electric cars in industrial sectors.

From here, I have become curious and I have researched a little about the alternatives on the market and whether some companies are already putting these vehicles into practice or testing them.

VOLVO FE and FL Electric

These two models have been the first two launched by the Swedish brand. The difference between both is the load capacity, being the FE the one destined to the heaviest operations. They will be able to support a gross weight between 15 and 27 tons depending on the model

The first Volvo FE Electric, in a garbage collection version with a superstructure developed together with Europe’s largest bodybuilder, Faun, started operating in early 2019 in Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg..

Composed by two electric motors that offer a maximum power of 370 Kw. They have a range between 200 and 300 km. They take an hour and a half to charge.

Mercedes Eactros

The Mercedes proposal is called Eactros and is a truck with a range of 200 km and a maximum gross weight of 18 and 25 tons depending on the model.

Man TGM 26.30E

Is a vehicle with an electric motor located in the centre of the frame, generating 264 kW maximum load is 26 Tn. The truck offers a range of 180. According to the manufacturer, this vehicle, designed for use in urban logistics.

Mitsubishi Fuso Ecanter

Fuso is the commercial variant of the Mitsubishi brand and the Fuso Ecanter is this manufacturer’s light truck. It has a range of 100 km and an MMA of 6 tons. Mitsubishi has put 500 units into circulation in Europe, the USA and Japan. It is possible to see them circulating in New York with the UPS company.

So, it is possible??

The answer is yes and no at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, there are electric models available and in circulation in some cities. There are 2 main problems with these vehicles:

Firstly, the problem we find in all electric vehicles, autonomy. Right now there are no trucks on the market capable of meeting the needs of transport companies for long journeys, so their use is intended for small deliveries.

Second and most importantly, none of the models are already in line production. Volvo will launch production at the end of 2019 and has only put a few models like the Hamburg one into operation. Mercedes will not do the same until 2021 and the 500 trucks distributed by Fuso are rented with a duration of 2 years. During 2019 Fuso will launch series production. Man will not manufacture this model until the middle of the next decade. Therefore, little by little we will see how these vehicles are appearing in the urban deliveries but there is still much to see them on long distances.

Vision Picking – the ultimate “operator to product approach”?

In the last logistics lectures, a strong focus was on the picking activity in warehouses. Seeing the technological and highly automated approaches of “product to operator” just as the KIVA System – or now called Amazon robotics – that are used by the big companies, is very impressive. But these solutions driven by digitalization are not realizable for all warehouses, especially when a lot of flexibility is required. So, I asked myself: What about the traditional “operator to product” approaches? Do they have a future?

And yes, they have! A few days ago, one of the most important logistic service suppliers, DHL Supply Chain, announced that they will foster the use of smart classes in their warehouses and hubs. The use of smart classes is part of an approach called “vision picking”.

Traditional approaches:

The traditional paper pick list was replaced a long time ago by electronic systems. The hand-held scanner has the disadvantage that the picker´s hands are not free. Pick by light approaches are inflexible and expensive, especially when warehouses are rearranged. Pick by voice solutions require an intense concentration of workers and are not efficient for high picking densities.

Vision picking:

Pick-by-vison is an “operator to product” approach where smart glasses help the picker with doing his job. The smart glasses use “augmented reality” in order to display the needed information in the visual field of the operator with the help of Wi-Fi. This means that virtual images are built in the visual field of the operator.

Check out the following video at 1:18 min to see how the smart glasses work:

The glasses not only supply important information about the
picker´s actual task, they also…

  • …indicate in which shelve or on which pallet the target product is.
  • …show the fastest and most efficient route to the location of the product.
  • … allow the operator to scan the barcode by just looking at it by using an integrated scanner.
  • … indicate if the picker has identified the right product.
  • … tells the picker how many items should be picked. 
  • … can integrate voice inputs and have integrated headsets.

In the following video, you can see through the eyes of a picker wearing the smart glasses and pick goods:

Example DHL:

As mentioned above, DHL Supply Chain is using the smart glasses since 2015. After first test, the company rolled out the “vison picking” in almost every region. Also, DHL Express used the smart glasses at its most important hubs in Brussels, Belgium and at the airport of Los Angeles. The implementation at the US-airports New York, Cincinnati and Chicago are planned. Also, big production companies like Samsung, Volkswagen and Opel are already using this technology.


Moving from A to B

As everything in life, in order to do good when planning an event, you have to have a plan and series of activities to do in order to achieve the desire results. And as you can imagine, organizing a sporting event is not an exception.

This time I’m going to talk about running (a race, marathon), which are going to need that we fulfill a series of tasks before, during and after the main event so we can label it as successful.


As the very first thing and basic need, we have to measure and specify the route. This will make all following decisions dependent and maybe, easier to make.

Runners registration: You must have a specific platform or place where the forms can be fill out and register. Everything must be saved and a limited number of places granted.

Volunteers registration: Have a data base of everyone participating and contact information. Distribute the tasks required to do on the day.

Kits. The same as the number of places. All put together at least a weed before the race and stablish the pickup or pickup places. Must be centered and nearby the route chosen.

Start the marketing; make everyone aware of what’s happening, place, hour, route, distances, prices, etc.

Get all material needed in order to limit the rout, and signalized it.

Hydration posts and waste disposal management.

Sound equipment

Portable toilets; the number of this depends on how long the circuit is


Ensure a medical team to be on site.

Now, as learned before, everything mention will have to be placed on the event day so is a MUST to have planned arriving schedules, movers, transportation suppliers and timing for in and out of place.


Welcoming all runners and putting them into place according to their registration.


Judge panel in place


Places announcements


Record of time of every runner including every checkpoint

Final report to sponsors and investors

Customer satisfaction survey

Warehouse SPACE PLAN

Warehouse product flow determines your overall productivity and efficiency, when designing the overall layout of warehouse, the shipping and receiving placement should be valuated and chosen based on available space product throughput needs and available resources, warehouse layout option to consider include U shaped, I shaped and L shaped,
U shaped warehouse product flow is the most common type of layout in this layout the shipping and receiving docks are located next to one another, offering shared utilization of dock resources such as personnel and material handling equipment, this layout also minimizes product handling offering high cross docking capability.
I shaped warehouse product flow and L shaped warehouse product flow also known as through flow are similar and that the shipping and receiving areas are located on different sides of the warehouse as a result these require more available space than U shaped layouts, these layout can be beneficial for certain operation for example warehouses that require heightened security can benefit from the separate in an out areas, I shaped and L shaped can also provide larger sorting and storage areas for both shipping and receiving docks as well as for isolated monitoring of each function.

Four Tips for Optimizing Your Warehouse:
1-Choose the right storage system to maximize usage of space for instance with pallet flow racking can double or triple capacity compared to a conventional pallet rack if loaded in the back and unloaded from the front pallet flow system are a first in first out to help manage product rotation.
2-If Warehouse is rectangular are racking should most likely be run long ways it’s the most efficient way to set up aisles.
3-Make sure are using all vertical space too many times there’s vertical space on top of pallets that goes unused many of Toyota warehouse solution can life over 30 feet increasing vertical stacking capabilities.
4- Always slot pallets for maximum accessibility skills with the highest frequency of turns should be placed together in the most accessible locations, most of the time the most accessible location is at ground level allowing a picker to use an electric pallet jack rather than needing a larger forklift or order picker.

Workers in Logistics

Employees in a “C Discount” warehouse in France, december 2012. JEAN-PIERRE MULLER / AFP

With the decline of the manufacturing industrial sector in Western Europe,  the working class shifted to activities which aren’t classified as secondary sector, but whose tasks to perform are still industrial. Those jobs are repetitive, painful and often cause occupational diseases. Besides, the illusion of a vertical mobility which could allow the motivated workers to climb the ladder and access to managing or technical positions doesn’t remain for a long time – 80% of the jobs in logistics are workers positions.

Inside the warehouse, not every task has the same degree of arduousness. Preparation of the purchase order, parcel and package sorting, packaging are the one fled by employees. Better to be forklift operator, controller or data entry clerk, were the working conditions are a bit easier. No one wants to stay a long time working in a warehouse – the number of interim is particularly high, but logistics offer long-term contracts and the working conditions for non-qualified persons are sometimes worse outside.

Each company has also its own way to consider employees. Amazon was criticized several time for offering a very stressful and dehumanizing work environment. Recently, a pregnant woman sued the company, alleging she got fired because of her pregnancy – which isn’t the first case (https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48185606).

Amazon Employees Speak Out About Workplace Conditions | NBC Nightly News

For a lot of workers, logistics is « one of those realms where you go in without much expectations and where you’d always like to go out, without perspectives» (Carlotta Benvegnù & David Gaborieau, « Au hasard de la logistique. Quand les mobilités ouvrières passent par l’entrepôt », La Vie des idées , 30 octobre 2018. ISSN : 2105-3030). The issues faced by the large majority of employees should always be kept in mind when looking at the operations in a warehouse « from the above » like we always do in class.

Roman Army logistic

When we think about logistics everyone comes to mind companies like Amazon or the management of maritime transport. However, logistics is as old as humanity. And it has always existed. From the transport of the marble of the pyramids, the military campaigns of Alexander the Great, the fleet of the East Indies or the military quartermaster of an aircraft carrier.

In this post I will talk about such a transcendental element in the history of Western civilization as the Roman Empire and the logistics behind its campaigns.

When we think of the logistics of a military campaign in the old age we must take into account the amount of supplies that had to be transported both food and equipment to maintain the advance and secure positions.

Giving a sense of scale of this situation. Each soldier carried an approximate amount of 40 kg of weight. In addition, every eight soldiers used to carry a mule and a couple of slaves, all for transport only. If we do the calculations this supposes that for each company (4800 soldiers) there were between 600 and 1200 mules as well as around 1200 slaves. In this way we can get an idea of the magnitude of the organization of this logistics.

The calculations show us that each legion consumed 8000 kg of grain, 45000 liters of water and 18000 kg of animal feed, all this on a daily basis to give us an idea of the difficulty of management.

But how were the supplies organized?
On different levels. Firstly, as I have said, each soldier carried part of his supplies. Secondly, supplies collected during the conquest and finally supplies sent to the army.

On the first level. Each soldier carried food for a week. In addition, each battalion carried mules with food for a month. In reference to water, for example, it carried just enough because of the illogical nature of its transport.

At the second level, the army obtained supplies through three methods: foraging, requisition and pillaging. But these strategies were not always enough and this is where the logistics of the Roman Empire comes in.

The most important thing is the existence of supply lines that connect the army to a supply source. Within the supply lines we differentiate three elements. The strategic point from which the army is supplied. As a strategic point we can say the provincial capitals with their market and their suppliers. Together to this we found the operational point that would be where all the intendencia would be realized as well as the storage. From this point the transport would be done up to a point located halfway called tactical point. The idea is that as the campaign progresses, the operational centers will become in the future a strategic point there that are located next to the river beds. The tactical points are where all the supplies for the daily maintenance of the campaign are stored and are the closest element.

The functioning of the supply chain is the transport from the operational points that have been supplied by the strategic centers, to the tactical points one by one and to be supplying the following one. Securing the supply for the future in the last always

Toyota supply chain is the idol

With thinking in the case of our last class in logistics, I remembered the idol example in production process that we took in last semester “TOYOTA”.

TOYOTA is one of the largest automotive brands with a global footprint, Known for its innovative methods of production. Toyota has acquired a leadership position in the automotive industry. Every vehicle that it makes require assembling of thousands of parts sourced from suppliers all around the world.

Toyota’s supply chain practices have been lauded widely as the best in the automotive industry. The supply chain which was developed by Toyota was one of the premier in Low Cost supply chains and the situation has grown highly demanding in the 21st century and having a healthy supply chain network is an absolute essential to win against the competition.

“What makes Toyota different from its competitors?”

“Toyota has an earthquake resilient supply chain” -An pioneering initiative feature of Toyota’s supply chain is its resistance to disasters. The brand has collaborated with the suppliers across each country and region for building a disaster resilient supply chain. The long standing relationship of trust that  Toyota has built with its suppliers has helped the brand receive and share information from them. for Example April 2016 there was an earthquake “Kumamoto” and following the disaster, Toyota was able to respond fast and make a quick recovery with the help of its database. 

-just in time one of the main pillars of TPS (toyota production system). It refers to the manufacturing and conveyance on only “what is needed, when is needed, and in the amount needed in the system”. with the following video you can know why TOYOTA could be the idol in supply chain.

Centralized and De-centralized logistics in Toyota

One of the challenges to having such a view of Toyota’s supply chain – let alone controlling it – is the complexity of its management organisation. . The central function has always been to monitor and manage providers and determine packaging requirements, working with Purchasing to procure the services. However, a great deal of logistics power has always sat with the plants, each of which is a separately incorporated entity at Toyota. 

Many of the operational logistics functions are split between each plant’s Manufacturing and Production Control departments. The internal conveyance of parts and containers falls under Manufacturing, Parts ordering, production planning and the management of separation centres – which sort inbound material by dock or assembly lines, and subsequently sort empty containers for return legs– are functions of Production Control. This setup reflects TPS (Toyota production system) in its degree of integration between manufacturing and supply at each plant. Until recently, each plant’s Production Control department also managed full truckload and milkrun deliveries, which it outsourced to lead logistics providers. The LLPs determined the routing based on volume and lead times and adjusting frequency to match the plant.

Finally, Toyota redesigned its plants so that it can also export to market that remain strong when the local market weakens and called this strategy “ global complementation”

E-Commerce evolution

The e-commerce, electronic commerce, is gaining the game to physical stores and already accounted for about 20% of the volume of card sales in 2018, while in 2015 this fee was 11% of transactions.

Concerning on the situation of consumption in the second semester affirms that the turnover of electronic commerce was close to 35,000 million in mid-2018, which multiplied by 7.5 the figure recorded in 2008, and the penetration rate exceeded for the first time the 50% of the population between 16 and 74 years old to be 53%, which is 18.5 million people and 35 percentage points more than in 2008. These data contrast with the evolution of the turnover of the trade traditional retail, which fell more than 4% in the same period in the last decade, and the meager growth of the population between 16 and 74 years (0.3%).

E-commerce is increasingly used by the users of the network, due to the great ease that this delivers, it is not necessary to go off to visit the physical store incurring in additional costs in terms of time and money, which can be saved through a single click on the website of the desired store.

Capture, maintain and retain customers is a task of great importance, the process of delivery of the products is directly related to the above. Because this process must be efficient and performed in the time specified by the seller, otherwise, if the customer has a bad experience with the delivery process either by a delivery in hours not accrued, couriers who do not locate the customer or products that do not comply with the advertised characteristics, this customer may generate the loss, which he will not buy again in the online shop.

There are solutions to avoid the situations mentioned above as the Click and Collect service, this is a system that benefits both, the companies that make online sales, as well as the customer who makes purchases in these. Since it provides flexibility to the consumer, allowing the collection of the package in the place that suits best and in the schedule that best suits their needs. Generally, these points are located throughout the cities and even in the same physical stores in order to have the closeness to consumers.

Another alternative to solve these problems is the service of lockers located equally in different points of the cities, which have been enabled through agreements with establishments in which the lockers can be placed. The big companies in Spain such as Amazon and Correos have this service called “Amazon Locker” and “CityPaq”.

As a conclusion, it can be said that currently, it must evolve on a par with the technology and the needs of consumers, in order not to become obsolete and to be left out of the market.

Boeing in the next two decades.

The aircraft manufacturer Boeing estimates that in the next twenty years, the volume of air cargo around the world will grow above the fleet of aircraft that was dedicated to carrying this air cargo.

Based on a report carried out by this company, worldwide cargo traffic will increase 4.2%, the cargo aircraft fleet will grow by 2.8% and in the next decades, it is expected that world trade will increase by 3.4%.

The increase that is taking place in the entire planet of e-Commerce shipments are subject to very short delivery times, something that translates into an increase in the demand of air transport and consequently the increase of the fleet to have the sufficient capacity to move volumes of products.

Between 2018 and 20137, Boeing plans to carry out 980 deliveries of new cargo planes, as well as 1670 passenger aircraft conversions for the transport of goods, with the world fleet of aircraft going from 1870 units to 3260 aircraft planned for 2037. Of that number of aircraft planned, 1280 aircraft will be standard fuselage, 1150 medium volume, and 830 large aircraft.

In general terms, the increase in aircraft operating worldwide will be around 42,730 aircraft. In the following video you can know more about the aircraft made by Boeing and the future of them:

The logistics in Coca Cola

As all of you know, Coca Cola is probably the world’s best-known brand with a presence in all the countries of the earth.

It’s really difficult to go to a supermarket and don’t be able to find their products. So the way that they manage its supply chain is really important, to be present in every country.


Coca Cola has 6 operations departments around the world that are:

  • ASIA

They are continuously looking in ways to improve the efficiency of all of their operations. They have opened a new €20 m automatic storage and retrieval system at its distribution centre in Dongen, these new facility is designed to hold and automatically move pallets of bottles and cans.

The are 5 stages in their supply chain:


Captura de pantalla 2019-05-22 a las 15.49.47.png

The combination of all of these factors are they key to be successful. The capacity to be able to adapt to the changes and keep updating itself with their production is the responsible to approach towards of markets, this is also reflected throughout its logistics services which in total gave them the platform and the good reputation that they have today.


The 4th Industrial Revolution arrives at Logistics

Since 1760, the time when the 1st Industrial Revolution began in the United Kingdom, the technology has not stopped yet, creating a new world that we cannot imagine in another way. With the Industrial Revolution II, new and better materials and chemical products were introduced into the production process accompanied by a considerable increase in the supply of energy, which was diversified. Finally, in the Industrial Revolution III, in which we are now, microelectronics, the commitment to R&D and renewable energies have been a step further. However, it seems that Amazon is determined to lead the leap towards the 4th Industrial Revolution through logistics.

amazon package

Amazon, the change maker of Logistics

If the Industrial Revolution IV starts in a few years, Amazon will have a lot to do with it. This company, a pioneer in innovative logistics systems, has in recent times developed an intelligent machine capable of replacing a large number of workers when scanning and packaging products. Along with picking, these are the most important jobs within a logistics center, but … How does it work?

It consists of a huge machine that scans the products on a conveyor belt and, then, the machine wraps the products in carton, creating a carton box which fits perfectly the products. As we can imagine, this is completely revolutionary because the machine does almost everything.

Implications of the machine on Amazon warehouses and logistics centers

– The machine scans the products, packages them, seals the boxes and put the label for the delivery
– The machine packages between 600-700 boxes per hour
– Every machine replaces 24 workers, but it needs 3 workers to control the performance
Reuters agency affirms that the installation of these machines in 55 American logistic centers would suppose 1.300 layoffs
– It improves the safety
– It improves delivery times
– More efficiency

One step forward … or one step back

With this advance, Amazon would be initiating a new industrial revolution that, as we can see, will be focused on the Internet of Things, the digitalization of the companies and the irruption of Artificial Intelligence in the machinery used every day. If we think as consumers this means a huge advance in logistics, when we thought that Amazon couldn’t improve much longer its service. However, it is a huge risk for thousands of workers who depend on the jobs that will be eliminated in the coming years.

AMberes and the logistic of the diamond industry

If we talk about diamonds with Europe in mind, the first place that comes to mind is the Antwerp Diamond District. But what is behind the logistics of taking diamonds from faraway Botswana or Australia to this northern European port?

With an area of approximately 1 km2, the Antwerp diamond district is very limited in size. However, it is the perfect place to buy diamonds in Antwerp and, by extension, all over the world. This small community sees contracts between traders and the purchase and sale of lots of diamonds, which are then sorted and redistributed.

In Antwerp, the rough diamond, which eventually becomes beautiful jewelry, is sold to diamond dealers who will cut them elsewhere. Today, this cutting is often done in high-tech cutting centers in India, for example. But Antwerp is also the place where the cut diamond re-enters the international trading market. According to statistics, 80% of all polished diamonds in the world will have passed through Antwerp at some point in the negotiation process.

From delivery at Schiphol to the safe of a diamond dealer, the journey of a diamond is quite long. Every day, a highly guarded flight from Schiphol airport in the Netherlands lands at Antwerp airport, about five kilometres from the city centre. The cargo it transports is valued at $180 million and consists of packages from, among other places, Canada, South Africa, Russia and Namibia. An annual total of $36 billion.

Once the packages are unloaded under the eye of the guards, they are transported to the Antwerp diamond district in an armoured vehicle belonging to a specialised security company and accompanied by police vehicles.

Finally the `packages are delivered to Diamond Office, an AWDC department. There, all diamonds coming from outside the EU are reviewed and evaluated. And after the valuable mercancy is transported to their final distributor.


Following the same structure, after answering the possible exam questions I have found really interesting some of them and I would like to talk about another one as my previous post.

This question is related with the main processes that occurs in the warehouses, processes which involves all the different tasks needed to develop a product.

There is a plenty of variances in how each process is physically conducted and electronically controlled depending on the company. Which are these processes?

1. Receiving

The act of handling products into a warehouse and onto a system. This depends entirely on the customer requirements and how the system is set up.

2. Put-Away

A good system will deliver to the staff a note indicating that stock is in staging waiting to be transported to a storage location.

3. Picking

Although there are several types of picking, they can be divided into to main types:

  • Primary, the picking of goods
  • Secondary, this is a second picking process related with already sectioned goods by groups or even individual

Once orders are received they can be released in real-time or in waves:

  • Real time downloaded as they are received
  • Waves orders accumulated for specific picking times
  • Packing

There are scores of ways that goods are packed within distribution centers, according the value, toxicity, hygiene, temperature, size.

4. Dispatching

Focused in the operation’s ability to have goods ready for departure, just in time for carriers to load their trucks.

5. Returns

Complex part of any business. Returns is a complex part of any business. A defined process must be in place that accurately and reliably records the whole transaction and credit process.

6. Value-Adding

This part is about performing work on the product to make it ready for sale.

Warehouse management is complex, but done right it can reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction and increase warehouse operational efficiency

Amazon Vs Correos: How logistic are changing in Spain

Amazon is known worldwide for the speed and efficiency of its deliveries. Since it started selling books online, it has been adding divisions to its business and has experienced tremendous growth. In 2019 it is one of the most valuable brands along with apple and google. This great economic power has allowed it to make large investments in maximizing the efficiency of its logistics network. Currently it is possible to buy thousands of products from their website and receive them in less than 24 hours at home, but amazon does not make any of these deliveries personally, they always subcontract this part of the service to companies specializing in deliveries such as Seur, Correos, MRW.

Correos is a public company that was born in Spain in 1716 dedicated according to themselves to “being a provider of physical, digital and parcel communications”. This company, unlike amazon is a company dedicated exclusively to logistics. Correos has not been able to integrate new technologies as quickly as amazon and we can see how little by little is including new features.

I would like to give you two examples of how such different companies try to innovate in order to become as competitive as possible.

Amazon Lockers Vs Citypaq

Amazon Locker

This solution has been implemented by both companies. It consists of lockers to which the customer can send their packages and pick them up during 24 hours (depending on the location of the lockers). This shipping method allows both companies to reduce their logistics costs since it is the customer who moves to the collection point, consolidating many deliveries in one.


Both amazon and Correos, offer discounts on shipping costs and faster delivery if we choose this option. In Valencia, amazon lockers are located in repsol and GALP stations and in shopping malls such as CC el Saler or Gran turia. Citypaq are located in repsol and GALP, also in many supermarkets as Consum, Vidal or El Corte inglés, also there is one in UPV.

Correos Market, The “Amazon” of Correos

Correos has launched an online sales channel called “Correos Market”. In this Marketplace, Correos wants to sell local products, made in Spain.

Through this channel, Correos will sell products of food, drink, textiles and handicrafts of Spanish producers. In other words, Correos will be the intermediary between suppliers and customers. With this proposal, Correos wants to attack a new market taking advantage of its extensive logistics network. Correos Market will charge a commission to suppliers for each product they sell on their website. Customers will be offered free shipping costs, the possibility of consolidating different shipments and a delivery within 24-72h.

The great advantage for Correos is that it will offer a new service without any added cost to those it already has. That is to say, mail will only be an intermediary between supplier and customer, the storage of the products will be done by the supplier, the supplier will make the shipment as any shipment managed by mail and the customer will receive your order as any order managed by mail. We will see how many suppliers are able to attract mail and how this new service works

Product packaging in logistics

Packaging is the first thing that a prospective customer registers when he buys the product. This means packaging also plays an integral role in supply chain management. It protects products from damage, from the environment and human error while streamlining shipping and storage, allows for their efficient distribution, communicates to the consumers, and is one of the major product promoters in a competitive marketplace. In fact, packaging design Also has recently developed into a mature communication discipline on its own and most of people working in logistics now realize that packaging is a critical and central element in the creation of an effective brand identity. To know more about packaging importance you may find the following video is interesting!

As Product packaging is an integral part of supply chain management, then the need to optimize it is also important.

So Here are 5 things you should consider for packaging optimization:

  • Packaging Material – There are a lot of choices for packaging materials, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated. The material needs to be strong enough to contain the products, and we have to identify things that could damage the products. That could be be environmental factors or mechanical ones, both during transportation or storage.
  • Space Optimization  Wasted space means higher costs for transportation and under-utilized warehouses. By making sure that packaging is compact, you can reduce your logistics spending. Fewer gaps also reduce the chances of damage in transit, since the contents can’t bounce around.
  • Packaging Dimensions – Carriers have various methods of calculating shipping charges and often use dimensional weight for bags or boxes above a certain size.
  • Packaging Design – Apart from the functionality aspect of packaging, the visual and design elements are critical to branding and marketing, so take the ease of customizing packaging into account. When we’re optimizing packaging design, we have to think about where the products will be displayed and how they can attract customers visually.
  • Packaging Testing – Before you start ordering your packaging materials, you need to ensure you’ve made the right choice. There are many methods to test your packaging solutions, depending on the material and the conditions you want to test for. In the following video you will see the packaging process in one of the warehouses.

Top packaging companies in 2019

The global packaging industry continues to be dominated by the 20 top packaging companies in the world in 2019, For example the Top packaging companies in 2019 are:

1- Amcor

Amcor is a global leader in responsible global packaging solutions, supplying a broad range of rigid & flexible packaging products into the food, beverage, healthcare, home and personal care and tobacco packaging industries


Ball Corporation is a provider of metal packaging for beverages, foods and household products, and of aerospace and other technologies and services to commercial and governmental customers. Founded in 1880, the company employs 15,000 people worldwide.

3-Crown holdings

Crown Holdings is one of the world’s top packaging companies in metal packaging technology. With operations in 40 countries employing over 23,000 people and net sales of $9.1 billion.

4- DS Smith

DS Smith is a leading provider of corrugated packaging in Europe and is present in 36 countries, employing around 26,000 people. The company’s story can be traced back to the box-making businesses started in the 1940s by the Smith family in East London


Packaging isn’t just restricted to bubble wraps and corrugated boxes anymore and Product packaging is a constant factor throughout the supply chain and the right solution can help your business to succeed, As The global packaging market, valued at $589.9 billion in 2015 and will reach $770.5 billion by 2020. Each brand has to make an impact with unique customized packaging options to leave an impression on the customers’ minds and once you’ve analyzed your supply chain, choosing the right packaging is very easy and rewarding! finally, the next video will show the packaging process.


Amazon Warehousing

acastro_180329_1777_amazon_0001.0The building about a million square feet and employ a thousand associates during the peak holiday seasons. The store millions of units of inventory within the buildings and millions of different types of inventory as well , and ship out tens of thousands of customer orders everyday during peak .
In the busiest time of the year many of employees as possible as they can to get the customers orders out , and they try to get as much inventory so our customers can see the selection that Amazon .

Center how the product throughout the building is they bring the product in from the vendor , typically receive it on large 53 foot trailers , they bring it in either in pallets , or case quality will receive it , so they do a virtual receipt of every item to transfer ownership to Amazon and then they put it into the bin .
It’s important to put it into the bin because they could put the item on sale on the website . so the customer can look at the website see what item they have for sale , they have larger style items and they can order the item then , they will be in charge of picking it out , packing it into a box and then sending that out of the customer on the appropriate shipping method .

They are robotics facility and the robots really serve its an essential function in the fulfillment process for the customer but behind that , it’s very heavy people-drive process , so they still have people at every step of the way with the product , moving , packing and shipping the product .

Kiva platform:

watch out this video on how it work :

The employees are aided by more than 800 Kiva robots in the 8th-generation fulfillment center — a result of Amazon’s $775 million acquisition in 2012 — that do everything from sort packages to lift heavy 3,000-pound pallets 24 feet into the air. Kiva Platform enabled them to store the inventory in much more condensed manner and to stowed to pick of that inventory and a quicker rate.

The technologies obviously helped make the process more efficient but they still need humans . The human being , they are the backbone of the company , they drive all the customer orders and all the customer fulfillment , without them it would be very extremely difficult .
The big challenge they have is ensuring that they bring on the people especially for peak in really controlled and safe manner , they spend a lot of time ensuring that people go through safety school, spent a lot of time ensuring that they know and are trained in the process and that made our process simple enough , that we cannot actually train quickly and efficiently as well .
They also have driver-less car that is automated guided vehicles and this so essentially, they called Tugging function, what it does ?

Amazon Fulfillment Center - Dupont WA

its eventually move to the other end of the building at “picking” stations where employees can quickly pick items off shelves when a customer order comes in ( it takes pallets that they have located for the replenishment process from one end of the building to the other) .
The amazing things about working at Amazon is that they are always trying to figure out what the new way that they can fulfill their customer orders .


I would like to talk about something different, and investigating I found that it could be interesting to talk about the logistics in the army. Logistics, in military science, are all the activities of armed-force units in roles supporting combat units, including transport, supply, signal communication and medical aid. 


Logistics belongs to the group of the science of computation, persist in mathematics as the logistics or logarithmic curve. The first systematic effort to define the word with some precision and to relate it to other elements of war was made by Antoine-Henri Jomini (1779-1869), the noted French military thinker as writer. He define logistics as “the practical art of moving armies”, by which he meant the whole range of functions involved moving and sustaining military forces.

It’s really useful to distinguish four basic element or functions of logistics: supply, transportation, facilities and services. All involve the provision of needed commodities or assistance to enable armed forces to live, move, communicate and fight.



Supply is the function of providing the material need of military forces. These function adapted to the army embraces all stages in the provision and servicing of military material. The whole process can be divide into four phases:

    • The design-development-production process of crating a finished item.
    • The administrative process by which military agencies acquire finished items.
    • The distribution-distribution-servicing processes undergone by military material while “in the service”.
    • The planing-administrative process of balancing supply and demand 



Before the development of steam propulsion, armies depended for mobility on the muscles of men and animals and the force of the wind. Armies have usually been able to move faster and with a better chance of avoiding enemy detection by water than by land.

Before the age of mechanization, the soldier’s carrying capacity was usually supplemented by additional carriers and haulers, human and animal. A team of six horses ate about as much as 40 to 40 men, but the men could carry more on than the horses could carry. In many parts of the world motor transport still has not displaced human and animal carriers and haulers in the movement of military supply.



The provision of military facilities, as distinct from fortification, didn’t became a large and complex sphere of logistic activity until the transformation of warfare in the industrial era. In that transformation the traditional function of providing nightly lodgings or winter quarters for the troops dwindled to relative insignificance in the mushrooming infrastructure of fixed and temporary installations that became part of the military establishment of the major powers.



Army have long claimed the label of “combat support” as distinct from the “service support” functions of supply, transportation, hospitalization and evacuation, military justice and discipline, custody of prisoners of war, civil affairs, personnel administration and non tactical construction.

The logistics of the best restaurant of the world

Hello guys!!!

I don’t know if you know that I love to cook, it’s not what I do better but I love it because I think that it’s really fun.

I would like to write a post related with the logistics inside a restaurant. I’ve been searching about these topic and I found that there’s one restaurant the best of the world that it’s called El Celler Can Roca.  These restaurant has a really strong model of management and logistics that could be a referent.


For Josep Roca, one of the owners of El Celler Can Roca, it’s really difficult to became the first mover only with a good food. El Celler has a difference that it’s their management of the supply chain that give them a transversal vision that contributes in adding value to the whole service. The import point is not what’s done, it’s how it’s done.

In the Celler Can Roca there are as internal clients as external clients. In that restaurant the providers take an important paper, specially farmers, cattlemen and producer of any raw material. The proximity with their providers for them are very important.

Of the 360 product references that are in the Celler, the 85% have their origin in an area of less than 50 kilometers.

So, for them there are 3 ingredients for the exit of the restaurant, and of course logistics is one of these ingredients:


So the model that I talk before is based in the third point, that is the good relationship and the empathy with their providers and also to be located near them.

In the following video you can know more about everything related with Can Roca:

Takkyubin: How to speed up the flow of people

When you have a very saturated warehouse, with a very high number of movements, all you have to do is find a way to speed up these movements. Japan is one of the countries with the highest population density, has a total of 126 million people, with an average of 339.5 people per km2. Yamato, a Japanese parcel company, wanted to use its logistical know-how to make life easier for Japanese people and tourists visiting the country.

This service is popularly known as Takkyubin and consists of sending suitcases from one point to another in Japan. Simply fill out a form with the address of the destination and the date of delivery (minimum 24h). You can ask the company to pick up the luggage at the hotel or you can take them to one of the offices in the train stations.

The cost of this service is really reduced and allows the Japanese and the tourist to travel without worrying about their luggage. For example, sending suitcases from Kyoto to Tokyo (460km) costs between 8 – 17 euros depending on the size.

This service allows the flow of people on public transport to be much more agile. It is so useful and important that even the government of Japan has begun to publicize it through its tourism agency among visitors to the country as “Japan hands free travel”.

How to design an efficient picking?

As Cristina, I have also been looking at the 50 proposed questions and I saw some of them about picking. What does it mean picking about “operator-to- product” or “product-to-operator”?

As we have been seeing in class, designing a picking is essential to ensure that the products arrive in time.
We have defined the picking as the work of collection in storage of the goods of a container or pallet and subsequent classification. Although it is not a task that requires a great personal qualification, it is a fundamental point in the logistics chain because, a bad management of the picking, it would spoil the rest.
The companies have to be as effective as possible with the picking to save time and money, avoiding possible incidents.

Tips to optimize picking

  1. The division into phases to know how much is being lost at each moment. In the picking, the phases are preparation, route, extraction and conditioning.
  2. Knowing the division in phases allows optimizing the work, hence it is convenient to record all movements using a specialized software tool.
  3. Although it’s not a job that requires a great specialization. It’s quite mechanical and work can be reduced exponentially.
  4. Knowing the summits of receipt of goods from the warehouse.
  5. Knowing the volume of movement of goods is essential to know if a mechanized system is needed or is for the operators.

Types of existing picking

  • Operator to product: it is the employee who moves from the receiving line of merchandise to the place of classification.
  • Product to operator: a mechanical system facilitates the merchandise to the worker until he can pick it up with his hands.
  • Mixed picking: integrates both models, being typical of large companies.

The logistic structure of each company will be fundamental, as well as the means of transport, as they will influence the final decision for the reception of the merchandise. The picking has been perfected because the merchandise was spoiled by bad management. Many people have lost a shipment or suitcase and the problem has occurred during this critical point.
Designing efficient picking is a complex task if you start from scratch but, with a series of guidelines, it does not have to be. The logistic processes respond to a determined methodology and what is demanded, above all, is a logic.

Logistics and tourism

Hi all! As some of you know, I studied Tourism and thinking about what to write, it has occurred to me to analyze Logistics a bit applied to my field.

This sector is intimately related to our subject: Logistics problems are those of transport, accommodation, the elaboration of a menu, the organization of a banquet or a congress, the location of a hotel, a travel agency, control the flow of arrival of people to a place (in order to not collapse the place), plan the arrival of a cruise and that can dock in the port, etc.

In this post we are going to talk specifically about hotels, since for a long time I worked for a very important Spanish hotel chain.
The hotels have many departments but to simplify it we are going to only talk about the accommodation and the restaurant.
The accommodation is an intangible service that can not be stored but there are items that must be replenished continuously (given the high number of stays of different customers and during a stay the orders of products that the client asks to the hotel, for example: towels, amenities , sheets, gels …). These products must be stored in a hotel area – usually in the basement – in a general store.

As for the restaurant, they are raw materials that are normally transformed into finished products and also require a place to store (commissary for raw materials and a wine and liquor store – good product conservation must be taken into account).

The department responsible for this is the commissary, which is responsible for:

  • Orders to suppliers. Attending to the work forecasts, requests of the departments. and real stocks.
  • Merchandise reception.
  • Storage and proper storage. Seat tickets in permanent inventory.
  • Distribute to each department the products they have requested.
  • Departure control and allocation to consumption centers. This is done to control what each department spends.
  • Replenishment of goods.
  • Permanent stock control.
  • Permanent verification of suppliers, products and prices.
  • Other administrative work control of docs. (invoices, delivery notes, vouchers orders, ..), shipping to the Administration department, etc.
  • Permanent inventory and periodic review (periodic inventory).
  • Maintenance of the conditions and temperatures of each product.

Hotels spend a lot of the annual budget on this. Hence, the importance of exhaustively controlling all movements. Good management will achieve cost reduction and greater efficiency.

CEntralized distribution network

After solving some of the possible exam questions that we have in an e-mail. One of them has caught my attention because I actually do not know what the real benefits of a centralized distribution network are. So I decided to look for them and write a little explanation of what I have learned in order to help the rest of the class.

With this purpose I think that before knowing the benefits it is important to understand what a centralized distribution network is. When the information is coming just from one point or node it is considering like a centralized distribution network, like, for example, TV. Every point or node just can communicate with the others thought the central one.

Later understanding this centralized distribution network, we can find some advantages versus other distribution networks:

  • Reduced costs: it is necessary to have just one warehouse as center instead of having lots of warehouse which reduce the costs.
  • Equipment: less stuff, materials and furniture in one warehouse than in more than one

  • Simplicity: having a centralized distribution network simplifies the inventory management. Easy to control the inventory and correct the possible mistakes.

Finally it is possible to say that is one of the most preferred distribution network because of its ability to handle every distribution need of its customer.

the future of logistic in decathlon. part 2

In this post I am going to talk about the future of Decathlon and how it wants to reconvert its business to adapt it to the new times and for them a reconversion of logistics is essential. As head of department I was able to attend congresses in which the future strategy of the company was defined. And the premise was clear, online commerce is the future and the business has to adapt to it.

For it they prioritize an element and it is the online purchase, they consider that the purchase by Internet is going to constitute the bulk of the business of a few years from now and they try to adapt the stores in that sense.

But to what extent is logistics affected?

Because the key element to become leaders in the purchase of sportswear online is based on providing the customer with the variety of products that the company has in the shortest possible time. For this they are based on the premise of using the large supermarkets they have as logistics centers from which the goods are distributed. This would allow them to have logistics centers in the main provinces of the country and from there make a distribution of goods in a very short space of time since they are usually framed roads near large cities. In addition, they would have points for returns and testing of products but the basic idea is the conversion of existing stores into large logistics centers.

Decathlon stores in Spain

This conversion is going to take place progressively but the trend is already palpable and the company does not want to miss the opportunity so tries to encourage customers who come to the store to increase their consumption of the web through training conducted by employees through online platforms that are in the middle of the corridors.

The result is that given the magnitude of competition in the textile sector, the company has an advantageous position by having centers strategically located. The only thing that it will have to carry out is the reconversion to warehouses of products and to carry out an effective distribution.

From pickers to personal shoppers

Some jobs could disappear during the next years due to the technology, and some of these affected workers are the pickers. The automatization of picking and other logistic processes offers fewer errors, better inventory control, more fluid information and, of course, fewer labor costs. The automatization reduces the need for hiring workers and jobs like pickers could be in danger. However, time changes and, with it, jobs are evolving quickly, transforming the way we understand them.  Pickers can have a new life outside the warehouses becoming “personal shoppers”, a new kind of picker that has appeared a few years ago thanks to the e-grocery. Today we will discover how they have reinvented themselves.


E-Grocery, a job opportunity for pickers

Lola Market is one of the actors in this field who has changed totally how we understand the work of a picker, transferring them from the warehouses to the supermarkets and giving them another dimension.

How it works? Through an app or webpage, the customer can select different markets or supermarkets and the products that offer each supermarket, combining them in a single order if they wish. Later, the customer chooses the time when he wants to receive the order, and if he selects more than one supermarket, he will receive at the same time, more or less, the products from each supermarket by different personal shoppers, who go to every chosen supermarket and pick up the selected products.


Functions: personal shoppers more than pickers

This business model would mean nothing without the personal shoppers, who are the main actors and the crucial part of the service. Through them, the company performs a customer-centric strategy, where “pickers” carry out customer support:

  • Clients can add products that don’t appear in the inventory of the e-grocery giving a note to the personal shopper, who personally will find these products.
  • In case of replacement of a product, because there is no stock, the personal shopper can keep in touch with the client to offer other alternatives.
  • Thanks to the personal shoppers, customers can buy fresh products and obtain them in one hour, service that doesn’t offer supermarkets within their deliveries.

In the video below (it is in Spanish) you can watch a sample of this kind of service and how a personal shopper works picking products from the supermarkets.

Loop : What about we get rid of packages?


E-commerce is one of the major business that have been developed over the years, in parallel with retail. Nowadays, we don’t care anymore about if we are going to miss any food, drink, shampoo or even toothpaste : we just need to order it or to go to our nearest shopping store.

We’ve learned that products are being shipped on pallets at Mercadona, and that for example milk is being sold in cartonboard bottles. Hence, when I go shopping for my milk, I don’t just buy milk : I buy a bottle + the milk inside. That’s right, when I leave Mercadona, I’m also the owner of a bottle of milk.

But if you like old American movies you remember the milk salesman, bringing the milk into glass bottles and then getting the old ones back. So what happened to our recycling mood ? Why did we change to this amount of packaging, that 1 out of 4 times finish in our oceans ?

Let’s get back 70 years ago, with the development of single use packaging. It won over reuse bottles and packages because it was more affordable and convenient for the customer. Product became cheaper, and it was easier to use. The consumer only saw the advantages of it, and without any knowledges, it’s completely understandable !

So, how can we compete with this convenience and this low price?

Tom Szaky presents the concept of Loop, that is going to start in Spring 2019 in France and USA

Here is the challenge tackled by Loop : a division of Terracycle, mainly owned by Terracycle but also other strategic partners such as P&G and Suez. Loop is a new project of e-commerce platform that will allow their customers to buy the products they usually get in a supermarket, in a zero-waste policy.

The customer order online their product, and they receive them into reusable (and not recyclable!!) packages, themselves contained into totes. Those totes are then used as a « reusable bin » : the consumer put the empty package in the tote. When it’s full, the consumer contacts Loop and the company comes directly to the consumer’s home, and collect the tote full of empty packages.


A client receiving his Loop totes, full of reusable products

What’s the interest for Food Retailers ?

First, this would drastically reduce the use of plastic packages ; the company would own the package, not the consumer. And this will allow them to produce long-term packaging, and minimize the price of it. They would be able to distribute their product in a more sustainable way, and be able to manage from the creation to the end-life their packages. Indeed, for the moment the consumer is responsible for the package, and a bad behavior would, at the end, have repercussion on the brand’s reputation.


The development of packaging was an evidence for the increasing of supermarkets and then, the e-commerce. However, the studies about our impact on oceans and the environnement is clear : we need to find alternatives to single-use packages, and make them reusable instead of recyclable. Another challenge for food retailer, but that definitely have an impact on our future world.

Disaster Management & Logistics


In this subject, we have talked a lot about how Supply & Logistics Management became a key component inside companies. With the development of communication, transportation systems, the demand is increasing and diversifying constantly. Highly developed logistics models have been developed, and now gigantic retailers like Amazon are able to fulfill a large part of the world on a wide range of objects.

However, we have mainly concentrated our thinking on goods and warehouses, but what about managing human lives? The number of disasters have been multiplied by 3 in the last 30 years (see graph n°1), but fortunately the number of death have decreased. This is all due to the development and installation of frameworks and actions in order to react in case of disaster : disaster management and logistics. Continue reading Disaster Management & Logistics

World Cup 2018 – Transport Planning Challenge & Strategy


As we are digging up into flow management during the Logistics class, I wondered myself about events that required a really complex organization and planning.

I’ve been to a lot of concerts, conferences, festivals… But nothing as big as the World Cup. And as it was a successful edition for the French Nation, I’ve decided to analyze the logistics that it needed.

All this article explanations are going to be based on this official document, presented by a Honorary Professor of the Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne, Philippe H. Bovy, as part of a training seminar for the organization of the event.

FIFA 2018 World Cup transport planning challenges and strategy

National Event vs. City Event

The World Cup of Football, in term of visibility and attractibility, is comparable to the Olimpic Games. However, as there isn’t enough football stadiums in ONE city, it’s mandatory to host this event in different cities. In average, every World Cup is hosted in 10/12 cities, hence create issues about mass transportation and hosting. Fans from all around the world are going to follow their teams and therefore will need to move from one city to another. This involves in particular:

  • Improvement of the Airport temporary capacity : high flow of arrivals at the same moment.
  • Hosting capacity : Russia have built over 100 new hotels to host all the arrivals, in each cities.
  • Increase security : with the increasing number of terrorist attacks mass events need to be highly protected (for example, in December 2017, the Harbour Master of the Large Port of St Petersburg informed the port operators that handling of all dangerous chemical, biological, toxic, radioactive and explosive substances will be suspended during the World Cup).

Hence, the World Cup Council decided to cut down into 4 levels of transportation :


This have to take into account that the visitors (the football fans) would travel next to the inhabitants of Russia : the solution was to distinguish them by giving them a Fan ID,  that would allow them to travel more easily around the country.

Host City Mobility Concept

As discussed before, this event gather a high number of people at a specific time; but this one is not predictable. In order to face those periods of large affluence, the committee developed the host city mobility plan.


Indeed, the “Fan Zone” (zone designed to host the fans and in particular display the games on large screens – which can lead to a large affluence), the city center and the stadium receive large human flows, and especially in the “stadium last km concept”.

Responsability Matrix

The Football World Cup is, due to its decentralized aspect, organized and managed by different entities :

  • The FIFA (International Federation of Football)
  • The Local Organising Committee (LOC) 2018 Russia – the organisation in charge of planning and staging the world cup in russia.
  • The Russian Federal Government
  • The Host Cities

Therefore, it is necessary to define which is going to be in charge of the different transportation phase and management, to ensure the good execution and transition of the fans through the event. Here was the matrix that have been designed :


We can clearly see that from the home country’s fan to the stadium, 3 different entities are in charge of the transportation logistics, even though those 3 entities are working all together every time.


The Russian World Cup have faced a lot of difficulties, especially by taking a lot of delay in the construction of stadiums. There are a lot of controversy in those events as they involve a high amount of work in extremely dangerous conditions, especially during the organisation of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where a lot of riots occurred. However, the international promotion that the event releases seems to take advantage on all the other aspects, and countries are putting a lot of effort (and money..) into the organization of this event, even if this not make sense (the next World Cup in 2022 will be hosted by Qatar, in highly air-conditioned stadiums, that are built only for the event…).

logistics and my favorite show

We’ve learned that logistics is basically move products from point A to point B. By such definition we are aware that logistics is a part of our every day life and not only a process in business or industry.

So, I was going through some old pictures at the same time and ran into some old ones from a trip to New York and my visit to Broadway to watch The Phantom of the Opera and remember the final scene with the huge chandelier and suddenly wonder, how do the manage to move that thing!?

Well, I just found out that apparently its pretty easy (although expensive) if you have the correct equipment and the right crew.  “The chandelier slides into a rolling cart with sides to protect the crystals,” says Juenker at NETworks Presentations, whose production of Phantom has been touring for about three years, “While the chandelier’s size makes it awkward for a truck, it does fit, with straps and padding to keep it from harm while on the move”.

And so, the principal thing to have in mind is to get the best suppliers available. NETworks work alongside Clark Transfers, which are a theatric trucking company. They are used to move all kinds of props: customers, sceneries and even flooring. Everything is built and put together out of the final site so imagine the risks! The show’s head carpenter works with the trucking company to coordinate deliveries to each theater. Items are packed into trailers in a way that allows the crew to unload them in the order needed, we could say ‘First Out Last In’.

The trucks works as warehousing while on touring and on short breaks and this is taken into consideration when making everything. The company makes sure of use the right measurements so the job of moving things around can be made a little bit easier. For the long rests NETworks has a formal warehousing.

It takes a 2-day lead time to deliver everything to each new location, and about 12 hours to put it all on stage. That makes the prospect of weather delays a particular hazard. Usually everything works out and stuff gets deliver in time, but if it doesn’t… the show won’t go on…

Anyway, what kind of Phantom would it be without the chandelier?

Technology of DHL warehouses

Today in e-commerce, customers expect a shorter turnaround time after they buy, and most are accustomed to and want free shipping. Shorter order processing time is key in making that work, and Deutsche Post DHL Group is using everything from helper robots to routing apps of a sort to cut down the time it takes to pack a shipment at the warehouse. DHL nowadays is using some technologies in its warehousing business to be more efficient as :

Sensor technology

DHL wants to increase the use of sensors in logistics and sees a potential in using sensors, such as motion and depth sensors, to tell how much room there is left on a pallet, truck or at a warehouse.

Locus Robotics

Wheeled bin-carrying robots take lists of items that need to be added to shipments, optimize their route around the warehouse to get those items, and whisk themselves off to each one. The autonomous Locus helper robots have led to a reduction in order cycle time of 50% and new employee training time of 80%.

Faster order processing time is critical in being able to serve customers as quickly as possible, noted Ilaria Raniero, a senior supply chain analyst at DHL, and so is the faster training. “When it’s peak season, you want to be able to support higher volume right away by training employees quicker,” she said.  

Augmented reality (AR)

Vision Picking process  (AR) has helped to reduce new employee training time and streamline the order-packing process. DHL has conducted successful tests with augmented reality glasses on warehouse staff, when they pick goods. These glasses can scan barcodes, show the picking list, where goods are located and where the goods should be places. The picker can scan each item using the smart glasses’ camera, verifying that the item has been added. the following video to see more how they use the AR :

Group Smart

How do you reduce order cycle time as much as possible?  You’ve got to carve out any excess time in the warehouse you can find. 

DHL’s Group Smart software automatically takes orders that need to be packed and groups them for pickers to shorten the distance between bins for pickers to travel, It’s a kind of routing software — instead of walking up and down, up and down warehouse aisle after warehouse aisle, Group Smart creates a better path for the picker to minimize distance and time spent in packing.

People + Technology = A ‘more flexible’ supply chain

Rather than use technology to replace humans, DHL is using a “people + technology” philosophy that combines both to create a “simpler, more flexible, more capable” supply chain. Carl Behn, vice president of IT at DHL Supply Chain, told “One example of this is in the deployment of cobots to work side-by-side with humans. The combination increases productivity two-fold and enables DHL to accommodate its e-commerce peak day demand while reducing short-term labor dependencies”, Behn said

Finally, you may find the following video interesting to know more about all technologies that DHL is using to have ” Smart Warehouses”.

Kiva systems – a revolution in warehousing

In the last lecture about warehousing, our Logistics Professor mentioned the company “Kiva Systems”. I found it very interesting that amazon bought this start up for $775 million in 2012. I was wondering why amazon would spend that much money for a warehousing system which by the way was amazon´s second largest acquisition at that time. So it did more research on it.

How does the system work?

Traditionally, goods are moved around in a warehouse using conveyors or forklifts which is called “operator to product approach”. With Kiva´s approach, items are kept on portable storage units and automated guided vehicles move the storage units to picking stations where the pack worker picks the items of the storage (“product to operator approach”). The software coordinates the robots and allows wifi communication for path planning and route management. The robots move around the warehouse orientating themselves on many 2D barcode stickers on the floor. Sensors prevent the collision of robots.

The following video shows how amazon uses the system.


Kiva Systems” is a US start up that was founded in 2003 by Mick Mountz and Pete Wurman. By fundraising the company got over $18 million of capital until 2006. Follow this link for details on the fundraising. The company was very successful and by 2012, its revenues passed $100 million and the company hat 240 employees. In the same year – as mentioned above – amazon bought “Kiva Systems” for $775 million dollars which was its second largest acquisition at this time. Since then, Kiva Systems has stopped its marketing activities, as amazon is using it exclusevily for their warehouses.

What are the robots doing?

  1. Customer submits order and order gets into database.
  2. System identifies target storage units where items are located.
  3. System selects the closest free bot and sends the direction of target storage unit.
  4. Bot drives to target storage unit by tunneling the storage units (driving underneath them) leaving the highways free for inventory traffic.
  5. Bot lifts the storage unit with a cork screw motion some centimeters from the ground so it can be carried.
  6. Bot drives on small streets to the highway on the side of the building.
  7. Bot drives on the highway until the queue at the picking stations.
  8. Bot returns the storage unit to a free place in the warehouse depending on what is left on it and dropped it.
  9. If necessary, bot drives to the charging station.

See pictures of the different steps by clicking through the gallery and watch this 3 minutes video where the founder explains the “working day” of a robot.

What are the advantages?

Quantity of orders:
The “Kiva System”can handle “two-to-four times as many orders per hour as they have done the old way” (dispatching workers to find products). This link leads you to a video on a test of the speed of the system at minute 4:51.

Benefits for workers:
Workers have constantly tasks to do and do not have to wait. The system is ergonomically, and workers do not have to walk in the warehouse. The training circle time for new employees can be reduced to less than half a day. To see how a worker picks the items, see the video above at minute 1:34.

Safety, security and inventory accuracy:
As no humans have to move in the storage, the rates of accidents are very low. The security of goods in the warehouse is higher, as no humans are there. The rate of inventory accuracy is at almost 100% as human mistakes are avoided.

Energy savings:
As no workers are in the storage area, light and climate does not need to be adapted to humans what saves energy.

Moving the whole system on a weekend:
In contrast to “old-fashioned” warehouse, the whole “Kiva System” can easily move to another warehouse over one weekend if the old warehouse gets to small.

Customer service:
The customer service increases as the delivery time decreases as the picking can be done much faster.

If you are interested on the advantages, in the following video a company explains how the implemented the Kiva system and how the profited from it.

The transfer of the louvre’s collections in 1939

One of the craziest logistic operation in the history took place in 1939 in France, short before the beginning of the second world war and the entry of the germans soldiers in Paris. The architect of this operation was Jacques Jaujard, the director of the biggest museum in the world, Le Louvre, and had one goal in mind : preserving the art collections from the dangers of the war, what he already had done with the Museum del Prado during the civil war in Spain.

An empty wing of the Louvre in 1939

The operation was well planned , and 4000 of the main pieces were transfered to the Château de Chambord, at 160km from Paris. It was a strategic choice for this main warehouse : the castle was easy to defend, isolated from the bombing zones, and was located near to the others castels of the Loire where the pieces could be redistributed. In three months, 37 convois of 5 to 8 trucks were used, escorted by tank truck in case of a fire, and followed by hydrometric measuring device to ensure the good conservation of the art pieces.

The sculptures and the paintings weren’t easy to transport : some were rolled, others were kept in their frame, putted into special boxes. In three days, 200 trained employees of the museum and volunteers packed 4000 artpieces in 1862 boxes, what would take one year  to reinstall. The famous Winged Victory of Samothrace – 5m57 high, 30 tonnes of marble, was a logistic challenge in itself. The « Radeau de la méduse » – 4,91 m x 7,16 m couldn’t be rolled and was transported in a scenery truck from the Comédie-Française. In Versailles, the painting hook on the tramway’s catheter and provoked a big electricity breakdown.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo prepared to be transported in 1939

Of course, all of this operation was kept secret. The pieces were identified by code names and stickers : red for a masterwork, yellow for a major one, green for the others. The Joconde, hidden in its box, had three red ones.

During the war, the collections moved south and were always preserved, thanks to the collaboration of civils, museum employees but also german officiers like Wolff-Metternich who putted the safety of the world’s heritage above everything else.

If you are interested, the spanish version of a great french documentary about it is accessible on youtube :

Apple Logistics and Supply Chain

1st April 1976
 Steve Jobs
 Incorporated 3rd January 1977
 Apple Computer, Inc.
 Apple Inc. 7th January 2007
 Cupertino, California
 Industry: Computer Hardware, Software and
 46.600 FTE, 2.800 TE
 $65.23 billion


Product  Hardware:  Macintosh  iPod  iPhone  iPad  Software:  Mac OS X  iTunes  Internet browsers  Other Software



-Innovation Superior -Quality

-Growing Industry -Strategic Alliances
-High Price  -Niche Market

-Competition -Substitues


 Competitive weapon
 Vertical integration
 Owns all strategic junctions
 Hardware
 Software
 Chips
 Volume
 Reverse logistics

Supply Chain of an Apple

1. Samsung (Singapore): CPU + Video chips
2. Infineon (Singapore): Baseband
3. Primax Electronics (Taiwan): Digital Camera
4. Foxconn International (Taiwan): Internal
5. Entery Industrial (Taiwan): Connectors

6. Cambridge Silicon (Taiwan): Bluetooth
7. Umicron Technology (Taiwan): circuit board
8. Catcher Technology (Taiwan): Casings
9. Broadcomm (US): Touch Screen Controls
10. Marvell (US): 802.11 Specific Parts
11. Apple Shenzhen (China): Assembling +Inventory


Supply Chain

 11 locations before pick, pack and ship
 4 countries
 iPhone in Business
 Owning strategic junctions
 Merge Centers


Amazon inventory management

From bikes to miles of conveyor belts there’s a lot of ways to get around this massive 1.2 million square foot fulfilment center in phoenix Arizona that’s the size of 28 football fields over 15 million items are stoked in this facility everyday and the endless rows of jumbled consumer goods looks like there’s no method to this mind blowing madness but that’s definitely not the case that process is called random stone and what will happen is the associates will look for places that the that particular item will fit into it up in and it doesn’t necessarily have to be next to the same item we prefer it to be very random you got that right.
With over 2,000 full time employees at facility online shoppers who click buy immediately alert handheld technology scanners that tells associates where to retrieve the product and then uses an algorithm to send employs to the most optimal next item to be picked.

Amazon’s busiest employees are actually there kiva robots their strength is equivalent with an NFL linebacker they weigh over 300 pounds and they can lift up to 750 pounds in a fulfilment center where we handle larger items those particular robots can hand can lift up to 3,000 pounds now the products travel on these yellow boxes called totes through eight miles of sky-high conveyor belts until they reach another incredible technology called the slam line which stands for shipping labeling and manifesting.
And they already know how much product should weigh before it ships, so if it sees that the book you ordered is not weighing as mush as it should within the computer system it will kick off that item to this side and the associate will pick it up and address it and make sure that the right item is sent out the door.
The final step for the packages to head out the door and ship door the boxes are pushed down metal chutes that are separated according to shipping preference workers are then challenged to a game to Tetris as they have to pack the item tightly together wasting no space.


44024242-stock-vector-clock-with-day-night-concept-clock-face-vector-illustration-blue-sky-with-clouds-and-sun-moon-and-stOvernight shipping is an absolute masterpiece of logistic that happens every single night. It may not be cheap , but you can get a package shipped from Florida on Monday night to Alaska by 8:30 am on Tuesday .The speed and efficiency of these worldwide delivery networks is mind blowing , and it all happens while we sleep .

The three major consumer courier companies are FedEx , DHL , and UPS and each is impressive as the last .blogg3

FedEx has more planes than Emirates , Etihad and Qatar airways , combined DHL delivers to every country in the world including North Korea , and UPS flies to more than double as many destinations as the largest passenger airlines . Each has a global network that allows for lighting fast shipping at relatively low prices . behind all this speed are enormous air networks that connect that entire world daily .

Each of these three operates hundred of flights nightly , but FedEx is the best example since their operations make them the largest cargo airline in the world . they have 650 planes , flying to 400 destinations , carrying 6 million packages every single day and the vast majority of these flights operate to or from one of their hubs airports .

The process :


Immediately upon the plane arrival , the planes are unloaded and their Packages are put into the hub’s automated sorting system , within only 15 minutes , each package arrives at a staging area for the next flight where its loaded into containers .

Planes therefore can start taking off again at 2 am and continue to until 4 am . which means that everywhere in the world have a FedEx Plane arriving by 6 am , to get small towns fast , FedEx runs flight in small propeller aircraft from the destination of their large jets .

Packages are transferred from planes to smaller planes , to trucks to reach their destination as fast as possible .

FedEx , DHL and UPS meanwhile are continuously focusing on future increasing the efficiency of their networks since in this business more than Time is Money

A Decathlon worker’s experience. Part 1

In this first post in reference to my experience working for Decathlon’s wholesale chain I will talk about the current logistics situation.

As a long-term worker I was able to see how things were done in the chain on a daily basis as well as on a large movement level due to seasonal changes or removals. So I will talk about two elements

First of all, the daily logistics management of the company. The company’s storage policy is to store those products it intends to sell in a short period of time and replace those that have been sold more abundantly. The supply of products takes place at two times a day. The first one arrives at the opening of the store through a transporter, which deposits the pallets in the warehouse so that the operators through forklifts take them to an area where other operators open them and distribute them by departments. Normally each pallet is grouped by department but even so the operators must divide the contents of the pallets into smaller groups to facilitate transport. Once the products have been placed in a kind of container, they are moved through the use of wheels towards their departments where the facing employees place them in their position facing the customer.

In conclusion, logistics is grouped into three steps. First, the truck is unloaded by the transporter, then a first group of employees opens the container and performs a first unstacking according to some codes. Next, another group of employees divides it by departments and transports them to each section where the picking group places them.

As I said this is done twice daily, at opening and at closing so that there is a constant supply. The system works in such a way that the products exhausted throughout the morning can be ordered from other shops since there is a process of transport of products between shops and within the same space, it guarantees you transport in less than 24 hours. So if a customer is looking for a particular size can come to the store the next morning and have it.

In addition, the system changes completely and the transport of goods varies according to weekly and seasonal demand. Seasonal products are gradually replenished.