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The smart terminal system of the future

The smart terminal system of the future

SCA Logistics’ IT experts have a lot to do at present with advanced planning of the new warehousing system in Kiel and integration with the existing warehousing systems in Sheerness and Hull.“It’s both challenging and developing for us to produce the best solutions,” says Roger Sälgh, IT Manager at SCA Logistics.
Every terminal needs its own well-considered IT solutions and operationally reliable networks for deliveries and efficiency to function in the best possible way. Installing the warehousing system to function optimally at SCA Logistics’ completely new terminal in Kiel requires extensive calculations and tests. “In Lübeck we use the port operator’s warehousing system but in Kiel SCA will have its own system. This gives us advantages since the system will be transparent to the other connected terminals and we can make the same changes everywhere without affecting external parties,” Roger Sälgh says.

Special truck-mounted pc
The IT department is responsible for both delivering and operating the terminal’s IT infrastructure, which comprises a depend­able, wireless network of the same kind as the business group in question already has. They are also responsible for purchasing the hardware, for example palm-held computers and truck-mounted computers, that the personnel in Kiel will use. “Regarding the truck-mounted com­puters, these will be a special kind of pc that can withstand rough treatment. It’s mainly the drivers and warehouse personnel who will be using the system as they shift products out and in,” Roger Sälgh goes on.

Smart strategies govern the warehousing system
Together with the personnel in Kiel, the IT department is working on planning the various warehouses and establishing strategies for the warehousing system. The strategies will control how unloaded freight is to be placed in the warehouse to create the best possible conditions for utilising the storage space and optimising for coming dispatches.
“These strategies are highly advanced and many factors need to be taken into account. The parameters may concern anything from the size of the order, the type of product and means of retrieval to the mode of transportation to be used and the product’s destination,” Roger Sälgh continues.

Good collaboration with port operators
The IT department was also deeply involved in SCA Logistics’ relocation of its terminal operations from Tilbury to Sheerness in the UK. There, the warehousing system was integrated with the port operator’s system, a project that involved meticulous testing to ensure a smooth transition.
“The operator in Sheerness has really proved that they understand integration, so the work has gone very smoothly. We also enjoy good cooperation with Port of Kiel as regards warehouse and infrastructure planning. They are very involved in our preparations,” Roger Sälgh continues.
Other important projects are going on at the same time, for example switching to a wireless network at the terminal in Sundsvall. Several IT integration projects with external warehouses, for example in Poland, Denmark and Germany, are also waiting their turn. In parallel with all this, a preliminary study is also being made of book-keeping systems.
“Meeting new colleagues and partners out at the terminals helps our personnel develop. Together we find ways to renew and streamline our operations with the help of the IT systems for the benefit of SCA Logistics’ customers,” he explains.

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