DB Schenker high-tech logistics centre in Prague

  • November 14, 2022
  • William Payne

Logistics service provider DB Schenker is opening a new high-tech logistics centre in the Czech Republic which will feature the largest autonomous mobile robot (AMR) deployment in Eastern Europe. The company has partnered Körber to implement automated warehouse operations in the new 55,000 square metre fulfilment centre, which will include automated components, picking systems and 100 autonomous mobile robots.

The new distribution centre will open next year and along with retail operations will also manage B2C e-commerce activities, including an extensive value added services area addressing the demand for personalised products requested by consumers.

The new distribution centre will operated a scalable, modular G-T-P (goods-to-person) system combined with a conveyor system and a high-performance cross-belt sorter for shipping parcels that will be provided by Körber.

The implementation consists of automation and software including a large conveyor system, value added service lines, a packaging area as well as a cross belt shipping sorter and integrated AMRs provided by Geek+, a partner of Körber. Körber’s software solution will handle the work assignment orchestration of the BoTs allowing for fast goods-to-person picking activities. Approximately 15 workstations will be equipped with put-to-light and pick-by-light systems for ergonomics and performance. These systems will be integrated to enable optimised strategies for enhanced customer services.

Despite the high automation level, the distribution centre will require more than 1,000 operators at peak times. The centre, which will be located near Prague Airport and a major highway that runs to Germany, will enable very short delivery times to customers in Central and Eastern Europe. The new distribution centre is scheduled to begin operating in the summer of 2023. The current distribution centre, which is also located in the Prague region, cannot accommodate the future demands of the customer.

“DB Schenker has experienced outstanding success since its inception as an early innovator in the Eastern European market. With COVID-19 driving more consumers online, we are well placed to increase and improve the service offering for our rapidly growing consumer base,” said Ingo Brauckmann, Executive Vice President Contract Logistics / SCM Europe at Schenker.

“Our research has found that more than three out of four businesses make digitisation and process automation a strategic priority,” said Dirk Hejnal, CEO at the Körber Business Area Supply Chain. “At the same time, the issues around workplace safety and labour retention have never been greater. That’s why we at Körber look forward to continuing our long-standing collaboration with Schenker.”

“Körber offers the benefits from both a safety and efficiency perspective to turn today’s supply chain complexities into opportunities for future-proof business operations,” said Chad Collins CEO Software, Körber Business Area Supply Chain. “With our uniquely unrivalled depth of solutions, we empower our customers stay ahead of their competition.”