Thursday 29th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

Faster fish for Tesco

Customer demands for reduced lead time and faster shipping turnaround prompted fish processor Seachill to seek an auto-ID solution that would enable it to automate its dispatch area and
speed up its shipping and dispatching processes.

“Tesco’s short lead times were proving to be a great challenge,” says Steve Wallace, Seachill’s IT manager. “Dispatch was having a hard time handling the influx of data during shipping peaks, making it very clear that we needed to research potential scanning and shipping automation solutions.”

A number of options were considered, including RFID. However, the company was put off by the cost of RFID tags, especially in the context of high volumes of relatively low-cost products, and
concern over RFID’s potential sensitivity to the cold and damp. Instead it went for a Visidot system from Zetes.

Seachill proceeded to tag a large portion of its fresh fish products with industry-standard data matrix (2D) labels. A Visidot gate with two readers, each equipped with three high resolution cameras, along with an operator stand and Visidot SCT (supply chain traceability) servers were then deployed at the Grimsby facility’s dispatch area.

Tag information captured from all outbound fish pallets is archived in image banks on the Visidot SCT servers, enabling future reference and easy production of proof of shipping or proof of product condition, if and when required.

Upon completion of shipping verification, Visidot creates an SSCC (serial shipping container code) pallet label complying with GS1 standard. Tagged pallets are then forklifted past a dock door Visidot gate on their way to the delivery trucks. Truck numbers are associated with all relevant pallets, and ImageID’s Visidot Director produces the ASN document, as required by Tesco.

Wallace says: “Per pallet scan times have effectively gone down from seven minutes using hand-held units to under a minute with Visidot, which provides us with absolute accuracy and essentially eliminates all shipping errors.”