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International Forwarding Association Blog » Intermodal transport in Europe » Connected solutions – automated and integrated transport and storage systems

Connected solutions – automated and integrated transport and storage systems

Automating the logistics activities helps safe time and resources. This is why the international freight forwarders utilize automated systems which provide timely information and allow for the management of the shipments and the stocks in store at all times.


Automating cargo handling and shipments

Being a dynamically developing business, logistics relies on automation in order to cover the management of the entire data flow related to the handling and forwarding of the goods. The European logistics network relies on modern software systems for information processing related to the handling of the logistics services, including:

  • GPS systems
  • Platforms for route management
  • Navigational systems installed in the vehicles used for the transport
  • Software for the optimization of the handled and shipped cargo, and others

Automating the warehouse activities

Storage is a relevant part of the services provided by the European logistics companies. It enables the customers to be guaranteed regular and seamless distribution of their goods. The automation in the warehouses of the member companies of the European logistics association allows for a more effective management of the stock as well as for receiving real time information regarding the stored goods at all times.

The automated systems in the warehouses include systems for pallet, box and rack management. The vertical systems and carousels are especially efficient for saving storage space.

The mobile rack systems used are especially suitable for goods with large lengths.


Vertical warehouse systems

The use of vertical storage systems for distribution logistics is one of the methods for automating the service and allows for decreasing the storage areas used, the time for handling them and the costs associated with the service. These are lifting systems with computerized elevators which reach the storage racks in front and on the back. With the help of the vertical warehouse systems, the goods are stored at greater heights which helps optimize the use of the storage space, and allow for quick and easy access and removal of the goods whenever necessary.


The importance of the ERP systems for the optimization of the logistics activities

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning – planning the resources of an industry) systems used are based on management software from the latest generation. They can easily encompass all processes in any freight forwarding company. The data which can be processed by the ERP systems is great in volume and yet can easily be managed and all necessary data and references can be accessed at any given moment.

The ERP systems optimize and automate the following processes:

  • Tracking the documents, such as insurance, vignettes and others which require that a certain timeline is monitored and that the deadlines for renewal are met in a timely manner
  • The management of the repair and maintenance services of the vehicles used by the freight forwarders Europe
  • Automatic updating of the data in regard to the vehicles
  • The optimization of the routes by vehicle and driver
  • Automatic generation of the accounting operations for the activities being provided and tracked by the system
  • The optimization of the loading and cargo transport
  • Controlling the processes in the logistics companies in the network of freight forwarders
  • The ability for direct connection with external applications
  • Others

With the implementation of ERP systems, the freight transport association optimizes the costs and the utilization of the employees by decreasing the number of employees in the administration and repositioning them for other activities and processes instead. The member companies of IFA have increased their revenues due to the more accurate assessments of the cargo management.

Data shows that 76% of the companies have increased their profits by 10% during the first year of the implementation of ERP systems.