The installation of the high bay has given QVC greater flexibility.
QVC, the UK’s largest TV and internet shopping business, has doubled storage capacity at its central distribution centre with an on-site extension designed and built by SSI Schaefer.
More than 25,000 products ranging from household goods, electrical items, to jewellery and clothing, pass through the hub. QVC dispatches some 12 million orders per year which are shipped from one distribution centre in Knowsley Industrial Park, Liverpool, with all items sent to customers within 48 hours of order placement.
QVC wanted to increase existing storage so as to reduce off-site storage costs, and consolidate its logistics processes. As a result, SSI Schaefer installed 8m high, drive-in pallet racking for the storage of some 5,000 fast-moving/large volume goods. Then a 35m high bay rack-supported warehouse extension was built to house bulk storage materials.
The high bay rack-clad warehouse includes mezzanine flooring, a pallet roller conveyor system, chain conveyor, automatic positioning within the shipping area and the integration of two shrink-wrapped systems, lighting, heating, power, sprinklers, ventilation, cranes and a Warehouse IT Control System designed with full pallet and case picking options.
Some 29,000 storage locations are now housed in the warehouse, designed to perform 200 storage and 200 retrieval operations per hour – in case of future expansion, up to 300 retrieval operations can be carried out per hour.
A returns tote conveyor system was installed complete with components belt, curved roller conveyor, repacking tables, diverting unit with integrated belt conveyor, pop-up diverting unit and waste conveyor system.
Andy McNaughton, operations manager, QVC says: “The installation of the high bay has benefited QVC by giving us a greater amount of storage flexibility, and helps us focus on how we can deliver a better service to our customers. Our distribution team have seen the benefit of reduced pallet put-away in narrow aisle in the efficiencies gained from having only one main put-down and put-away point.
“The high bay has also forced a discipline into the quality of pallet receipts to site which had created some issues when pallets were stored in standard racking systems.”