Case Study

Yusen Logistics

Yusen Doubles Its Storage Volume


Yusen Logistics, a Japanese global logistics provider, installed its first AutoStore™ system in its Singapore warehouse – and upped its throughput eighteen-fold.

Reduced Workforce
Storage Capacity

Yusen Logistics is a Japanese global logistics provider specializing in air freight forwarding, ocean freight forwarding, contract logistics, and cargo management. It designs, manages, and implements supply chains for its customers worldwide.

The company has over 23,000 employees in more than 500 offices and warehouses in Asia, Australia, and Europe. Its head office is in Tokyo.

Kokusai Ryoko Kosh, the company from which Yusen Logistics originated, was founded in 1955. Over the years, the business has grown through several mergers and subsidiaries. They listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2005.

The company currently focuses on developing strong relationships with customers, implementing successful storage, transportation, and distribution strategies, and optimizing the supply chain flow, says Ng Kim Hung, Managing Director of Yusen Logistics Singapore.


Three factors drive decision to use AutoStore

The first of Yusen Logistics’s warehouses to install an AutoStore system is in Tuas, a planning area in the West Region of Singapore.

“Three main factors led us to choose AutoStore: storage efficiency, labor costs, and accurate order fulfillment,” says Francis Kwa, Head of Contract Logistics at Yusen Logistics Singapore.

The team installed the Swisslog-empowered system in 2019. This installation has enabled Yusen Logistics to transform its Singapore warehouse from a conventional facility dependent on labor-intensive processes to one that’s powered by smart robots and data. One of the reasons they installed the automatic storage and retrieval system was to help manage rising business costs in a competitive and relatively low-growth economy.

What Yusen’s AutoStore system looks like

The company’s current AutoStore system operates with:

  • 22 Robots
  • 40,600 Bins
  • 11 Picking Stations

As with other AutoStore systems worldwide, Yusen’s products are stored in Bins, which are stacked on top of each other in 16 layers within an aluminum grid. Each Bin has a maximum storage weight of 30kg (66lbs).

The Robots glide over the top of the grid at a rate of about 3 meters (9.8 feet) per second, using long grippers to pull up the requested Bins from below at a speed of 1.6m (5.3 feet) per second. The Robots use a wireless Local Area Network (LAN) to communicate with each other and with the control system.

If bin digging is required, the system directs the Robots to place Bins containing goods not needed for a specific order in surrounding open spaces. Once the Robot has retrieved the right Bin, another Robot cleans up, moving the displaced Bins back to their original position in the grid.

How AutoStore has benefited Yusen

The benefits for the company range from savings on labor costs, dramatically increasing their storage volume, less physical labor for the employees, quicker order processing, a higher throughput of warehouse items, and energy savings.

The numbers speak for themselves:

  • The labor headcount has been reduced by 60%.
  • Manual picking, which is both physically tiring and time-consuming, has been eliminated.
  • The storage volume of the warehouse has almost doubled from 2,000 cubic meters (70,629 cubic feet) to 3,500 cubic meters (12,360 cubic feet).
  • The team has reduced their order fulfillment lead time. The cut-off time for same-day delivery has been moved from 11 am to 1 pm.
  • The system can print personalized messages to customers and add them to shipping and delivery documents.
  • The throughput for receiving, sorting, and put-away has increased eighteen-fold.

These benefits have meant that Yusen Logistics has remained competitive in a market driven by customers who expect fast, efficient delivery.

Three main factors led us to choose AutoStore: storage efficiency, labor costs, and accurate order fulfillment.

Francis Kwa
Head of Contract Logistics, Yusen Logistics Singapore

Philipp Schitter
VP Business Development APAC

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