Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Robots automate Yusen warehouse in Singapore

Steve Rogerson
December 20, 2016

Yusen Logistics’ Tuas warehouse in Singapore will from next year use autonomous robots as part of its light goods automatic storage and retrieval system.
Yusen provides contract logistics and air and ocean freight forwarding. It selected the Swisslog AutoStore automated system, which uses autonomous robots that sit on the top of an aluminium grid, as part of the automated storage system that is expected to go into operation in 2017.
"The future of logistics is paved with innovation and automated technology," said Francis Kwa, head of contract logistics at Yusen Logistics. “The industry has been transforming and growing in the coming years. The third party logistics industry itself is gearing up to take on the challenges and the opportunities offered by the latest technological advancements. With innovative systems like AutoStore, it allows us to be ready for the future of logistics. Innovation will bring about a brighter future as new skills, and innovative products and services are created."
A joint effort between Yusen Logistics and Swisslog, the Tuas Warehouse will be equipped with the AutoStore system to serve multiple customers under one roof and to cater to its growing needs. Swisslog will be responsible for the implementation of the system that includes approximately 16,595 spaces for stored items.
"This investment enables Yusen to deliver five times more put-away and retrieval throughput without increasing current operating headcount cost,” said Kwa. “Storage volume is doubled in the same storage space in the warehouse. Doubling the volume of storage capacity within the current footprint coupled with productivity gains is the means to gain a competitive edge in a global economy that is being disrupted by technology. This investment is one of the many innovations Yusen is embarking on to become a truly global total logistics provider."
Ng Kim Hung, managing director of Yusen Logistics, added: "Singapore is a key logistics hub in Asia, in particular Asean. This partnership with Swisslog is redefining cost, speed and flexibility in regional light goods distribution for our customers. This goods-to-person technology investment is a testament to Yusen investing in the future growth and transformation of Singapore's logistics infrastructure."
And Christian Baur, chief operating officer of the Swisslog Group, said: "The Asia-Pacific region is an important growth market. I'm very excited about this order in Singapore. It's a key step to grow our business and demonstrates the success of our global growth strategy."
Koh Seng Teck, head of Swisslog's south-east Asia warehouse and distribution division, said: "Today, cutting edge technologies like AutoStore are revolutionising the logistics industry to provide faster and more reliable delivery. We are excited to receive this order for our innovative AutoStore from Yusen Logistics who is also actively involved in light goods distribution logistics. This partnership demonstrates our innovative solutions and the expertise of our team to transform the landscape for automation in logistics. We look forward to continuing to support Yusen's growth."
Yusen Logistics offers global services in freight forwarding, warehousing, transportation, distribution services, contract logistics and supply chain management in one package. Its services range from stand-alone operations to control-tower managed global supply chain.
The logistics company has a presence in more than 500 cities in 42 countries with a warehousing footprint of over 2.2 million square metres.
Swiss company Swisslog designs, develops and delivers automation systems for hospitals, warehouses and distribution centres. It has 2500 employees worldwide, supporting customers in more than 50 countries.
Yusen Logistics has won the global supplier award for service quality from French car manufacturer Renault for its Eastern Europe operations, which support the production of more than 1.5 million vehicles per year in Europe.