DHL, the world’s leading international express service provider, recently strengthened its global network with a 14,500m² air hub in Madrid (Spain). From here, international, national and local commerce arrives, is rapidly sorted and despatched.
At the heart of the €93 million hub at Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport is a Vanderlande sortation solution capable of processing more than 24,000 packages per hour. The new system has enabled DHL to quadruple its capacity in Madrid and connect businesses and customers around the world with even greater speed and efficiency.
The air hub combines plane, lorry and van movements in one location, so Vanderlande’s sortation solution needed to consider international, national and local requirements – and different flows and package sizes – all occurring at the same time.
The complicated installation was completed in record time. The ingenious use of space in Vanderlande’s solution includes two CROSSORTERs, a series of ‘fingers’ for the (un)loading of vans, an 8,500m² mezzanine platform and an 80m² control centre.
An SCS1500 CROSSORTER runs around the inside perimeter of the building and handles larger parcels (up to 50kg), while an SCS700 runs on a smaller loop and processes ‘flyers’ (including envelopes as light as 0.05kg).
Investing in the latest Vanderlande sortation technologies has enabled DHL to massively increase its capacity in Madrid. The new facility is capable of processing 24,500 parcels per hour, comprising 10,500 regular parcels and 14,000 flyers.
For DHL, every second is critical because of the risk of missing onward connections, as Performance and Programmes Director for the Madrid hub, Juan-Carlos Carretero explains: “On-time delivery is everything. There’s no question of our flights departing late from Madrid and then arriving late into our other hubs.
“The airport environment is also demanding in terms of security, customs and handling of dangerous goods, so with a system such as Vanderlande’s, we are fully compliant.”
The latest statistics are impressive, with a 99.8% on-time departure rate from the Madrid air hub. Naturally, the system is equipped to deal with future capacity increases, which will help DHL improve its delivery capabilities even further.
“Our operations become more challenging every day, and with partners like Vanderlande, we can meet our customers’ expectations,” adds Vice President, Mediterranean Network Operations Europe for DHL Express, Jesús Sánchez. “Thanks to automation, we’ve reduced process times as well as the number of mis-sorts, and we’ve also enhanced traceability as a result of automatic scanning.”
This is a view shared by Juan Carlos, who concludes with another important benefit of the Vanderlande installation: “The outcome of the project has been excellent. It allows us to deliver one hour earlier in the mornings, and collect half an hour later from our customers, thereby extending the delivery and collection times in a truly remarkable way.”
DHL’s motto is ‘Excellence. Simply Delivered’. Vanderlande is proud to share these values and play an important part in helping DHL achieve them.