Requirements for Intralogistics and the Handling of Retail and Fresh Produce

Food retail ensures that consumers are supplied with everyday goods. The demands on the width and depth of the product range as well as the quality and security of supply have increased enormously over the past ten years. Diverse store formats offer an extensive range of dry, fresh and frozen products in a large variety and different packages. This results in a vast spectrum of requirements for intralogistics and the handling of the product range:

  • Consideration of best before dates and traceability of batch numbers.

  • Gentle handling of often fragile products for appealing and customer-friendly appearance in store.

  • High flexibility and efficiency capacity of the logistics system due to recurring peaks, resulting from seasonal and sometimes weekly campaigns.

  • Stores prefer multiple deliveries with smaller batch sizes and store-optimized packed pallets and roll containers to be able to replenish shelves quickly.

  • Volume optimization for transport.

  • The growing e-commerce share for the food industry and in everyday products calls for new concepts in warehouse logistics, such as delivery to the doorstep or customer pick-up.

  • Rising energy and personnel costs, staff shortages and higher requirements in the fields of occupational health and safety in the warehouse.

  • High performance requirements and deadline pressure in food logistics. In deep-freeze warehouses, employees have to wear e.g. personal protective equipment and stick to regular warm-up breaks.

  • Rising prices for logistics space lead to topics such as space saving and optimum use of space when building storage facilities.

All of these developments reinforce the trend towards semi-automation and full automation in the area of picking trade units as well as in the compilation of individual items. The technology must be able to be used for all temperature zones in food logistics and to automatically and stably pack containers of different sizes and weights on different pallets and roll containers.