Schenkelberg Logistik uses freight volume measuring system from AKL-tec

The family-run Schenkelberg Logistik GmbH & Co. KG has specialized in general cargo logistics in addition to long-distance transport with partial and full loads and contract logistics. Thus, 80-90 tons of general cargo are handled there every day, divided into approximately 300 shipments and 400-500 packages. The size of the packages varies, ranging from small cartons of organic juices to decking boards and industrial goods up to six meters long and weighing 1.5 tons. Thanks to cooperations in special logistics networks, such as VTL – a leading general cargo cooperation, the goods are usually delivered within 48 hours. For this purpose, six Schenkelberg trucks take the goods to transhipment companies at night and load the goods there that have to be delivered in their own region.

Two measuring zones for more flexibility

To record the incoming goods, Sebastian Schenkelberg, authorized signatory of Schenkelberg Logistik GmbH & Co. KG, went into the hall every morning and spent up to two hours measuring the pallets with a tape measure. He was particularly interested in whether and which data was incorrectly specified and where errors were located within the cooperations. One value that should not be underestimated is the weight. “After all, the trucks are only allowed to transport a certain number of tons. Unfortunately, experience shows that some service providers don’t take it very seriously and only specify 300 instead of 1000 kilograms. If we rely on this information and are stopped by the police, it becomes expensive. But this danger is now a thing of the past,” says Schenkelberg. This is because the logistics company has recently started using the APACHE freight measurement system from AKL-tec. “We saw the system at a company from the cooperation association and contacted the supplier directly. Within a very short time, we sat together and discussed what was possible in our hall,” the authorized signatory explains further. The APACHE portal multizone is used. The goods are transported directly from the truck to the system, where two laser measuring heads on a movable measuring beam record the object and store the length, width, height and weight in the customer database. Two photos are taken in parallel and also transferred to the database. The advantage of the system used lies in the two measuring areas, which can be freely defined so that measurements can be taken independently of each other. While measurements are being taken on the first measuring zone, the employee can already fetch the next load and position it on the free area. This saves time and increases throughput at the same time. For long goods, the measuring areas can be connected together, allowing freight to be measured up to 5.30 meters, which Schenkelberg says is sufficient in 99 percent of cases. Although all pallets must pass through the eye of the needle APACHE, collecting data and recording dimensions, weight and taking photos is not only a lot faster but also more accurate than before. “The incoming scan has two important reasons. Firstly, we receive correct measurement and weight data according to which we can invoice thanks to the conformity assessment (calibration) of the measurement system. This is because it happens time and again that the data do not match. On the other hand, we can see directly whether there is any damage. These are automatically recorded in a picture and we can clarify whether we loaded the truck ourselves or whether it was loaded. This is an important point with regard to liability,” explains Sebastian Schenkelberg.

Loading the truck optimally

After the measurement, the pallets are sorted in the transshipment hall. To ensure that everything is in the right place, the APACHE was also equipped with a monitor that displays the measurement status, the measurement data, and the relation where the freight must be placed. The measurement system is operated via the company’s own software, so that in addition to transferring the data, the barcode scanner familiar to the employees can also be used. This offers the advantage that the photos previously taken are displayed on the scanner. The driver can thus see directly whether large and bulky goods are present and how he can optimally load his truck. “In the past, it happened that the goods were sometimes placed incorrectly and then the search began. That’s when a sense of proportion was needed, because we only knew the dimensions. Now the driver looks at the photo on the hand scanner and finds his goods much faster. What’s more, the daily ‘Tetris game’ to stow the entire load optimally in the truck has come to an end,” praises Schenkelberg, adding that both the drivers and the warehouse staff were initially skeptical as to whether the purchase was worthwhile. After a short time, however, there was great acceptance and no one wants to do without APACHE anymore. The authorized signatory also has nothing but positive words to say about the cooperation with AKL-tec: “The cooperation was optimal. We were able to ask questions at any time and enjoyed fast service. Within six weeks, the plant was ready for operation. There, AKL-tec has impressively shown what they can do!”.