Potter Logistics, a leading specialist in multimodal transportation, has enhanced its warehouse management system with updated Container Management functionality. Running alongside Potter Logistics’ CALIDUS WMS warehouse management software is an integrated module that manages ISO containers arriving daily by rail and road at the company’s 62-acre distribution centre and rail freight terminal in Selby, Yorkshire.
The CALIDUS WMS Container Management Module controls all of the container unloading and loading activities in real time over a high speed 150mb/s backhaul mesh wireless network. The containers are stored in order to best balance the space available in the container yard with the logistics of loading/unloading road vehicles that service the rail link.
The fully electronic system eliminates paper documentation, directing the container handler drivers to the required container using a real time link between mobile in-cab terminals and office based host system. The system also captures road vehicle drivers’ signatures on the mobile terminals for proof of receipt.
REAL-TIME ACCURACY AND NOT A SHEET OF PAPER IN SIGHT
Work in the container yard operates on a natural dual cycle, with the unloading and loading of the train occupying the first half of each day whilst the loading of road vehicles arriving at the Selby site builds as a priority during the second half of the day. Typically these vehicles which are visiting the site to collect rail-delivered containers will also bring containers to the site for return by train. This has the effect of removing a very significant number of containers from the road.
Accuracy of placing the right container on the right road vehicle and rail wagon and doing it efficiently is paramount. The two-part Container Management module does this with ease and ensures the operation runs like clockwork.
THE SUM OF TWO PARTS EQUALS EFFICIENCY
The host computer system in the site’s weighbridge office manages the movements of the containers and registration of drivers and road vehicles arriving at the site, recording the vehicle registration and the details of the containers they are also bringing into the Selby DC. Container management includes rail-based container movements, capturing the container load data as well as its physical position on the train and location within the yard.
At the weighbridge the Container Management system communicates with the container lift truck drivers via the in-cab touchscreen radio-data terminals. When the outgoing container is loaded on the road vehicle and is ready to leave, the driver signs the screen at the container lift truck terminal to record receipt of the container eliminating the need to visit the office for paper POD.