New parcel handling systems for Australia Post reduce manual intervention and boost capacity

Australia Post upgrades its parcel sorting facilities in Sydney and Melbourne with technology from Lödige Industries

Location: Sydney/Melbourne, Australia
Completion date: 2015
Customer: Australia Post

In 2015, Lödige Industries has upgraded parcel sorting facilities for Australia Post in Sydney and Melbourne. The parcel sorting systems were equipped with new conveyor systems and other technologic upgrades to make them more efficient and reliable. Constructions and the integration into existing infrastructure were finished in 2015.

About the project and the building, Australia Post facility at Sunshine West

Australia Post’s managing director and group chief executive Ahmed Fahour said work to expand the Sunshine West warehouse began last July, as part of a $2 billion investment announced in 2012. The upgrades and extended 30,000sqm centre support Australia Post’s transition into a parcel delivery company.

How Australia Post managed to more than double throughput 
In the last few years, Australia Post has out a stronger focus into becoming a modern parcel delivery service. The facilities in Sydney and Melbourne needed urgent upgrades to fulfil the rising throughout demands. The two facilities in Sydney and Melbourne were accordingly equipped with new conveyor systems and other 
technologic upgrades including conveyors, lifts, turntables, and scanners to make them more efficient and reliable. Furthermore, the improvements include better tracking capabilities, reliability, and worker safety. The new systems allowed significant increases in throughput rates and decreased the necessary manual interactions. The Sydney parcel facility, which was formerly able to process 13.000 parcels and hours, is now equipped for up to 30.000 hourly parcels. At the Melbourne parcel facility, the increase was even more outstanding: the throughout rates were pushed from 9.000 parcels to up to 23.000 parcels an hour. 

The main focus was the harmonization of the different conveyor belt systems. The previous solutions only brought unsatisfying results and were not able to fulfil the throughput demands. Furthermore, the customer was unsatisfied by the lack of reliability and accessibility of the formerly installed wide variety of conveyor systems. 

In turn, Lödige Industries not only increased efficiency and reliability, but also standardized and harmonized the installed systems. The solution is a combination of different modules like lifts, conveyors and turntables. It also includes a scanning system which prevents damaged ULDs from getting stuck inside the whole system. In turn, the customer now has highly efficient systems which are easy to maintain and more fault-proof than the predecessors. 

About Australia Post 
Australia Post provides postal services in Australia and its overseas territories. It has been keeping Australia connected for more than 200 years. They do this by delivering mail, helping businesses and consumers with parcels, and providing a national retail network that supports local communities and organisations. As the needs of the community have evolved, so have Australia Post’s services, with a range of services spanning stores, online and the Australia Post Digital MailBox. Australia Post complements its national logistics and retail network with convenient digital products to help make everyday life a bit simpler. 

Facts and figures

Application: Parcel handling & sortation
Customer challenge: Increase throughput
Solution: Parcel handling and sortation system
Capacity (units per hour): 23,000 parcels (Melbourne), 30,000 parcels (Sydney)
Capacity improvement: 17,000 parcels (Sydney), 14,000 parcels (Melbourne)

Challenges of handling emerging demand

  • Existing systems were unable to fulfil desired throughput rates.
  • In addition, they were consisting of a number of very different solutions (namely chain conveyors, roller conveyors, slat conveyors, etc.) which were often unreliable and did not perform well in combination.
  • Conventional alternatives were unable to achieve the desired performance either.


Australia Post fulfilling parcel handling demand

  • Lödige Industries has developed a custom-made conveyor system for both facilities
  • The systems include a combination of different modules like lifts, conveyors and turntables.
  • In addition, a scanning system was installed. It prevents damaged ULDs from getting stuck within the conveyor system by scanning the ULDs for damage.
  • The parcel handling capacities were increased from formerly 13.000 parcels per hour to 30.000 hourly parcels in Sydney and from formerly 9.000 parcels to up to 23.000 parcels an hour.

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