Friday 30th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

Pallet scanner boosts bottom line for DHL

DHL has installed a pallet measuring system at its international gateway in London Colney to enable it to weigh, measure and scan large pallets quickly.

Angus MacDougall, DHL’s International Gateway manager, says: “When large parcels and pallets have a low overall weight, we calculate their shipment cost according to their volumetric or dimensional weight – the amount of space they take up in a vehicle or aircraft.”

“While measuring smaller parcels is standard practice in the transport and logistics industries, measuring large pallets is often very difficult using conventional technology, so their dimensions often have to be manually measured and recorded. This is obviously a time-consuming process and is not cost-effective.

“What we needed was a product that could quickly, reliably and accurately capture and record a pallet’s weight, volume and barcode information and transfer this information in a format compatible with our information management system,” he says.

DHL chose a system from Mettler Toledo Cargoscan, the CSN840 Pallet, which automatically collects dimensions, weight and identification information from virtually any kind of pallet, even with dark or glossy surfaces, in less than five seconds. The standard unit can handle some 200 pallets an hour, but throughput can be increased by optimising traffic on the floor. The non-intrusive overhead dimensional scanners can be floor, wall or ceiling mounted. This not only reduces the system’s footprint but also provides operators with the flexibility to place pallets under the measuring system from any direction and in any orientation.

MacDougall says: “By capturing weight, dimension and barcode information quickly and efficiently, the CSN840 Pallet unit allows invoicing to be processed quicker than previously, increasing our revenues. The unit also ensures correct track and trace of all pallets by accurately recording their movement.”