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DHL opens first automated e-commerce unit for NJ mail delivery

GERMANY's DHL has opened a new US$20 million e-commerce facility in Avenel, New Jersey, a 200,000-square foot automated warehouse that can process 40,000 shipments an hour and is expected to drive growth in its business-to-consumer division in coming years

DHL opens first automated e-commerce unit for NJ mail delivery

GERMANY's DHL has opened a new US$20 million e-commerce facility in Avenel, New Jersey, a 200,000-square foot automated warehouse that can process 40,000 shipments an hour and is expected to drive growth in its business-to-consumer division in coming years

10 December 2018 - 19:00

GERMANY's DHL has opened a new US$20 million e-commerce facility in Avenel, New Jersey, a 200,000-square foot automated warehouse that can process 40,000 shipments an hour and is expected to drive growth in its business-to-consumer division in coming years.

DHL eCommerce (US) head of operations Scott Ashbaugh said the new hub would take over volumes from neighbouring facilities along the US east coast, including Baltimore and Boston.



'This is significantly bigger than our old site and has been built to absorb the volumes we expect to generate over the next decade,' Mr Ashbaugh told London's Loadstar.



'By the time we hit capacity here, we expect to have adapted and upgraded the other facilities, which will then be operating under the same custom-built automated systems.'



While the company already operates 18 dedicated e-commerce sites, this is its first facility to be equipped with a fully integrated automation system.



From New Jersey, the logistics firm services 1,000 local post offices - with United States Postal Service as its delivery partner - using 216 direct sack sorters to fill delivery bags.



'Looking ahead, we are planning to roll out further facilities using this system with Los Angeles up next, followed by Cincinnati,' he added. 'We may be handling half a billion shipments annually by the time we hit capacity here. In the recent peak period we were processing 250,000 shipments per day.'



Among its features, the system is equipped with new cross-belt conveyer sorting and automated barcode scanning, allowing for higher speed and more throughput.



Although the company's e-commerce division is already operating, it will be recognised as a unique and reportable division from January. 'This facility will very much fall under the remit of that division. It should also act as an indication of where we expect to go in as far as catering to online commerce and the B2C market,' said DHL.


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