UAE-based retailer Brands for Less, in collaboration with SSI Schaefer, has implemented its first roaming shuttle in a distribution centre in Dubai.
The two companies worked together to create a solution that caters to the wide range of goods stocked by the retailer. For small to medium-sized goods, an automated bin storage system is in place with 123,000 totes and for bulk storage, there is a very narrow aisle (VNA) selective storage system for 4,350 pallets.
SSI Schaefer explains that the solution uses conveyors and vertical lifters to deliver bins to pick-up points where one of 32 roaming shuttles can collect the bin and move it to its assigned storage location.
Ayman Beydoun, deputy chief executive and group chief operating officer, Brands for Less, said: “This automated storage solution has significantly enhanced our warehouse efficiency, allowing us to serve our customers better and meet their increasing demands.
“The system’s flexibility will support our expansion across the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), as well as our growing e-commerce business.”
This is indicative of an industry-wide trend of increasing warehouse automation, especially for e-commerce retailers experiencing high levels of demand and needing to find solutions to meet delivery expectations. A 2022 survey by MHI and Deloitte found that while only 28% of leading supply chain companies have adopted automation in their processes as of today, that number is expected to reach 79% by 2027.