US-based online retailer Zappos.com needed to find a way of controlling costs at its distribution centres while still fulfilling tens of thousands of orders a day.
The retailer currently stocks more than three million shoes, handbags, clothing items and accessories from over 1,136 brands at its facilities, which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet customer demand.
System Logistics designed an integrated order fulfilment system that includes what it claims is the largest horizontal carousel system ever built, when measured in cubic feet of storage space.
The system is made up of 120 carousels, each with 6,300 cubic feet, a total of 756,000 cubic feet.
It will allow the retailer to control fulfilment costs in a direct-to-customer environment as it will reduce the cost per unit shipped and will allow the retailer to react to increasing volumes without increasing the cost of fulfilment.
It has been estimated that the cost per cubic foot of storage will be reduced by 40 per cent, which lowers the cost per unit shipped and improves return on investment.