Autonomous forklift roll out

03 February 2022

DHL SUPPLY Chain has introduced its largest ever single implementation of autonomous forklifts to date, with 15 embedded in its warehouse operations at Tyrefort in the West Midlands.

The autonomous forklifts form part of DHL’s operation for a major customer in the automotive sector, taking over picking, put-away and replenishment of products and empty media in the warehouse. The vehicles reduce the number of manual pallet transfers without requiring significant changes in warehouse infrastructure.

The indoor robotics transporters work safely up to 11.5m high - believed to be a first in the logistics industry - easily reaching the highest warehousing racks to handle a range of pallets, stillages and waste cages. Safety features including LIDAR and camera obstacle detection, bumper tip sensors and side bumper bars, all minimise interaction with manual trucks operating in the same facility. The forklifts are fully integrated with the Blue Yonder Warehouse Management System and charge autonomously when required.

The investment marks the next step in DHL Supply Chain's Accelerated Digitalisation strategy, which seeks to roll out the most innovative technologies to benefit its customers and colleagues, while lowering the operation’s carbon footprint.