REWE tackles labour shortages with automated fresh food solution from Cimcorp

REWE tackles labour shortages with automated fresh food solution from Cimcorp

  • REWE’s Oranienburg distribution centre ensures in-full and on-time deliveries of fresh produce to REWE markets
  • Cimcorp’s automation alleviates physical labour

REWE Group, one of Germany’s leading food retail companies, has partnered with Cimcorp, a pioneer in intralogistics solutions, to implement a project for an automated fulfilment system for fruit and vegetables at the REWE logistics centre in Oranienburg, approximately 50 km north of Berlin.

Cimcorp’s intralogistics solution provides reliable order picking for fresh products such as fruit and vegetables in plastic crates. The agreement also includes a comprehensive customer support contract with 24/7 system support for high system availability. With Cimcorp’s automation expertise, REWE secures fast and efficient deliveries of fresh produce without picking errors or delays. The automated system provides a safe working environment for logistics employees.

“Fruit and vegetables are an extremely important commodity group for REWE customers,” says Lars Sibel, Director SCM and Logistics at Rewe Markt GmbH, “but characterised by heavy physical labour in the warehouses, which makes it difficult to recruit personnel. Cimcorp offers a unique solution to automate fruit and vegetable picking and alleviate physical labour for warehouse workers and thereby ensure the reliable delivery of fruit and vegetables to stores in the future as well.”

Safe and sound through automation

Labour availability continues to be a major challenge for warehouses and distribution centres around the world. The physical strain that comes with handling heavy items day in, day out in manual warehouse operations is a significant workplace hazard. This is where the automated solution from Cimcorp comes in to automate the handling of heavy items.

“REWE expects a mature technical solution that facilitates the work of employees and offers customers consistently high delivery quality in terms of on-time-in-full deliveries,” says Torsten Prag, Logistics Manager for Region East, REWE Group.

Automation can alleviate ergonomic and labour issues, providing operations with more speed and safety. Cimcorp’s order picking solution takes care of the heavy lifting, leading to a safer and more productive work environment.

Automation ensures reliable deliveries

Automation in the distribution centre is pivotal to meet the demands of REWE’s customers for order accuracy and freshness. REWE aims to increase automation, especially at its existing sites, to ensure rapid delivery in times of increasing labour challenges.

“We believe that the new fulfilment system will guarantee our customers high delivery quality, even in times of labour shortage,” adds Prag. “However, we also want to examine what other opportunities arise as a result of faster order processing.”

With advances in technology and the increasing need for efficiency and productivity, automation has become a key driver of growth and innovation in intralogistics.

“In addition to increased productivity and efficiency, Cimcorp’s fresh food solution offers a variety of other benefits, such as high levels of hygiene and fuller trucks,” explains Riku Puska, Sales Manager, W&D Industry Sales for Cimcorp Group. “The open-floor design with no racking leads to easier cleaning and maintenance. Optimised truck loading results in less traffic and consequently reduces environmental impact.”

Sustainability in action

Automation and strategically planned intralogistics can enable businesses to become more eco-friendly. For REWE Group, sustainability is a fundamental element of its business strategy. The retailer is aware of its responsibilities and committed to sustainable activities.

Cimcorp’s order picking solution will help REWE’s supply chain and intralogistics to become greener and more sustainable. The service agreement includes maintenance and will extend the lifetime of the system. In addition, a faster supply chain enables longer shelf life, leading to less food waste. As a pioneering innovator in the field of automation that has successfully accelerated the intralogistics of customers around the world, Cimcorp is committed to achieving high quality standards while minimising environmental impact.