Kuehne + Nagel: Combining Local Expertise with Automation Technologies

National Contract Logistics Manager, Kuehne + Nagel
"By combining local expertise with automation technologies, we are driving meaningful progress aligned with our Roadmap 2026 and Vision 2030, ensuring sustainable and innovative logistics solutions for our customers."

Pankaj Dubey, National Contract Logistics Manager, Kuehne + Nagel

Automation technologies like AGVs and WMS have significantly boosted efficiency, safety, cost reduction, and accuracy.

With the rise in e-commerce, demand for quick deliveries and simple returns has surged, prompting us to invest in technologies such as warehouse management systems, automation, and last-mile delivery solutions.

By integrating advanced technologies such as robotics, AI, and IoT, logistics companies can streamline operations, minimize human error, and optimize resource utilization. For instance, automated systems can handle repetitive tasks like sorting and packing, allowing human workers to focus on more complex activities.

Warehouse automation technologies such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Automated Conveyor Systems, and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) have significantly improved safety and risk management in warehouses.

Warehouse Management Systems optimize inventory management and operational workflows, minimizing the risk of accidents caused by human error. AGVs and Automated Conveyor Systems further enhance safety by navigating autonomously and reducing the manual handling of goods. These advancements enable proactive identification and mitigation of risks through technologies such as sensors and real-time monitoring. Automation also enhances employee well-being by reducing the need for manual handling of heavy items, thus preventing injuries.

Our digital initiatives, such as the myKN platform and Sea-Explorer, provide real-time visibility over shipments.

We have implemented automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) in our warehouses, utilizing computerized systems to automate load placement and retrieval from defined storage locations, resulting in faster processing times and reduced operational costs. We are investing in technology such as big data and predictive analytics to deliver sustainable logistics and fulfillment center solutions.

Our digital initiatives, including the myKN platform and Sea-Explorer, provide real-time visibility over shipments, enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Recognizing the importance of leveraging India's growing talent pool and infrastructural advancements, we aim to implement these advanced digital solutions.

We provide end-to-end supply chain solutions and distribution services across various sectors, including Aerospace, Automotive/New Mobility, Consumer, High-Tech, Industrial, and Healthcare. To develop efficient distribution models, we offer tailored logistics solutions and services, including transport management and fulfillment planning.

Rather than reducing headcount, we are tapping into the expanding talent pool, especially in countries like India, to support our advanced digital solutions and drive innovation.

Automation has enabled us to handle larger volumes of inventory with greater speed and precision. Tasks such as inventory tracking, order processing, and route optimization are now automated, reducing manual labour, and minimizing errors, ultimately improving our overall operational efficiency. With AI-powered systems and predictive analytics, we can now forecast demand more accurately, minimising inventory imbalances and stockouts.

Automation has enhanced order accuracy by minimizing human errors in tasks like picking and packing, ensuring that the right products are delivered to the right customers every time. By optimizing processes and reducing manual labor, we have been able to lower operational costs while increasing productivity. Furthermore, automation has enabled us to optimize our supply chain network, reducing transportation costs and improving overall resource utilization.

Lastly, automated systems can help maximize warehouse space, increase productivity, and enable employees to focus on value-added tasks, fostering a more efficient and satisfied workforce overall. By integrating human expertise with automation, we aim to develop a more dynamic and capable workforce capable of adapting to the changing demands of the logistics industry.

Robust data security measures and compliance frameworks are necessary to safeguard sensitive information and ensure regulatory compliance.

Integrating automation technologies into optimal last-mile logistics poses challenges, particularly the necessity for robust infrastructure such as modern fulfilment centres and efficient transportation networks. To overcome this, we have invested in upgrading our infrastructure to meet the requirements of automation technologies, ensuring seamless operations and optimized supply chains.

Data security and privacy have emerged as critical considerations in the implementation of automation technologies, given reliance on data. To address this topic, we have implemented robust data security measures and compliance frameworks to safeguard sensitive information and ensure regulatory compliance.

The significant capital investment required for automation necessitates careful evaluation of long-term benefits and return on investment. That is why, we have approached adoption of automation technologies by conducting thorough cost-benefit analyses and prioritizing investments in automation technologies that offer the highest potential for efficiency gains and cost savings.

We have implemented various automation technologies, including warehouse management systems (WMS), automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), and robotic process automation (RPA), in our warehouses to enhance operational efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. These tools streamline inventory tracking, order processing, and route optimization, significantly minimizing errors.

Increased efficiency is achieved through faster processing times and the ability to handle larger volumes of inventory with greater precision. Automation technologies have also improved accuracy in order fulfillment by utilizing AI-powered systems and predictive analytics to forecast demand more accurately and minimize human errors during picking and packing processes. This ensures that the correct products are delivered to customers reliably.

The cost savings from automation are substantial, as these technologies reduce operational costs by optimizing processes and lowering the reliance on manual labour. This, in turn, increases overall productivity. Additionally, automation helps optimize the supply chain network, leading to reduced transportation costs and better resource utilization.
LIFTING & SPECIALIZED TRANSPORT, May - June 2024
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