Highly Automated B2C Distribution Center for Fashion

The e-commerce warehouse of a third-party logistics provider (3PL) comprises an intralogistics solution with end-to-end optimization and the SSI Carrier pouch sorter at its heart

Efficient E-Commerce Fashion Logistics & Returns Handling at the Highest Level

The Initial Situation

Together with a third-party logistics provider (3PL), a global fashion retailer was looking for an intralogistics partner capable of implementing a new highly automated logistics center in Poland on a tight schedule. The e-commerce business, which was experiencing rapid growth even before the pandemic, demands fast, error-free online order processing and quick, efficient returns handling above all.

The Solution

SSI SCHAEFER realized this, installing an extremely complex, highly dynamic intralogistics solution in the new e-commerce fashion warehouse in a space of more than 60,000 m². The total system runs 24/7, processing 70,000 orders per day. Peak performances of up to 600,000 items have already been achieved. The equipment includes container and carton conveying systems, a pick tower with four levels and an SSI Miniload small parts storage system with more than 600,000 storage locations when stored triple-deep. The heart of the system is the SSI Carrier, implemented in six modules, each spanning three levels and equipped with 120,000 pouches. This scalable overhead conveying system combines transport, buffering, sorting, and sequencing functions in a single system and allows fully automatic assembly of multi-part customer orders while protecting the products. Fast movers from returns are temporarily stored in the pouch sorter’s dynamic buffer, making them available directly for new orders.

“Our customer and the well-known logistics service provider succeeded in achieving a higher throughput than originally planned. They’ve been running the system for a few years now, and expansions are already being planned.”

Johannes Zach
VP Market Sector Fashion, SSI SCHAEFER
Johannes Zach
VP Market Sector Fashion, SSI SCHAEFER

Maximum Performance and Availability Guaranteed

SSI SCHAEFER’s sophisticated WAMAS logistics software lies behind the overall system performance. This offers consistently optimized process control on the basis of the current order volume. A local SSI SCHAEFER Resident Maintenance Team made up of 33 technicians ensures continuous 99% availability, which is required in key areas like the SSI Carrier. For the 3PL provider, this highly automated overall system, which implementation partner SSI SCHAEFER supplied from a single source and has supported since it was commissioned, is also an investment in the future. If the demand from the fashion sector continues to increase, expansion is possible at any time, even in sub-areas of the system.

Products Used for the Solution

Pouch Sorter SSI Carrier: A modular pouch sorter for e-commerce and omnichannel distribution

Pouch Sorter SSI Carrier


Carton and bin ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ conveying system

Schäfer Miniload Crane - Stroage and Retrieval Machine for totes, cartons and trays

SSI Miniload


WAMAS WMS ­­­­­­­­­­­­ (Warehouse Management System)

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