Small but mighty

The continued growth of e-commerce is having a significant impact on parcel companies. Not only must shorter order lead times and later cut-off times be factored in, but a higher volume of smaller sized consignments (‘smalls’) must now be handled. The quantity of smalls is even predicted to increase further in the future. 
The main challenge will be to cope with the increasing number of smalls, and achieve this with a system built to accommodate larger items. As such, parcel companies are looking to increase the existing capacity of their facilities or build new distribution centres (DCs) with a higher throughput and reduced footprint. 
Tailor-made solutions
The overall trend will be for automated solutions to handle items that are generally smaller in size and weight. As existing systems become less able to handle smalls effectively, the need for innovative sortation equipment becomes evident. Technology for the handling of smalls already exists, but there are doubts as to whether ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions will be effective.
It is impossible to embrace a ‘one solution fits all’ approach, and the challenge will be to create tailor-made solutions on an individual basis. These will need to factor in such criteria as product characteristics, DC capacity and footprint. For Vanderlande, it will be a case of utilising proven technology to design the optimal configuration.
Innovative technology
We offer a wide range of smalls sorters, such as the TRAYSORTER, COMPAXORTER and CROSSORTER 700, which are all acknowledged for their reliability and high performance. By anticipating market needs, we’re planning to provide optimised solutions that are also future-proof, adaptable and scalable. 
The modular design of the TRAYSORTER allows it to be equipped with various interchangeable trays to adapt to different product characteristics. This results in the smallest footprint per destination and offers a quick return on investment.
Vanderlande’s COMPAXORTER benefits DCs through its versatility, efficiency and reliability. It is a high-capacity solution for handling a wide range of products, from small packages to items of larger dimensions. The COMPAXORTER can also process products that are traditionally difficult to sort. 
The CROSSORTER 700 offers flexibility, high availability and an in-built redundancy. It can sort a wider range of parcel dimensions compared to the TRAYSORTER and COMPAXORTER, and makes maximum use of the available working area.
Added value
Owing to our vast experience, we completely understand what is required in a sortation facility. Over the coming years, Vanderlande won’t only be focusing on a single machine, but the overall solution. It is our full expectation that the e-commerce market will grow in parallel with the need for sortation equipment to handle smalls. 
Due to the peaks and troughs associated with this sector, parcel businesses also have difficulty in precisely predicting volume. This is why flexibility and scalability are so important in helping to achieve operational excellence. As an integrator, we’re excited to be reaching out to you in this way to define state-of-the-art solutions together. 

About the author

Rob Qualm
Market Director Parcel