This week, SCLAA members received an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Australia Post’s Melbourne Parcel Facility, a highly automated DC which recently underwent a major overhaul extension and modernisation as part of a $2B network investment program in 2014.
The facility, now significantly larger than the playing surface of the MCG, is dominated by various conveyor belts and automated sorting machines intertwined in what might appear to an outsider as a chaotic web, but is a highly efficient system with over 25,000 parcels constantly whizzing by and changing lanes each hour, for up to 24hours a day.
The Netherland’s produced system utilises moving scales, automated truck loading systems (not dissimilar in appearance to a horizontal cherry picker) and six-sided barcode scanners, backed up by offsite employees with remote access into package reading cameras. This well-oiled machine has increased Australia Post’s Melbourne Parcel Facility throughput by almost three times.
Aside from efficiency, the focus of Australia Post on safety was prominent, with stringent PPE requirements, vehicle separation and overhead gantries in place, in addition to numerous automated shutdown sensors to eliminate the risk of any potential hazards to employees.
The event was an insightful experience providing a mixture of members the opportunity to meet and witness a black & white picture of the direction of future supply chains. If you missed out, we hope to see you at the next event!
Special thanks to Marylou and Patrick from Australia Post for hosting the event.
Charles Edwards, SCLAA Committee