Kuehne+Nagel, international logistic service provicer


Swiss-based Kuehne+Nagel operates in more than 100 countries worldwide, providing logistics solutions and services to companies in different segments, including high-tech solutions, consumer products and pharmaceuticals. Kuehne+Nagel’s customers have counted on its reliable logistics services since 1890.

Contract Logistics is one service that Kuehne+Nagel offers to manage the complex supply chains and distribution for a wide range of customers. One of these customers is a well-known shoe brand with a distribution centre in Luxembourg. For this warehouse, the Costo Group supplied a fully customized warehouse management system (WMS) in combination with a storage and order/zone picking system.

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The challenge

Increasing order capacity within the same space

From the warehouse in Luxembourg, orders are shipped daily to consumers in almost all European countries, including Germany, Spain, Austria and France. In addition, orders are also sent to the shoe brand’s other global warehouses.

Markus Kettenhofen, Site Manager Contract Logistics at Kuehne+Nagel, explains: “European consumers expect a speedy delivery of their new pair of shoes. Especially on Mondays, the number of orders rises sharply due to weekend orders. It is then a challenge to get these packages to all countries on time. In order to guarantee fast delivery also in the future, our customer gave a sales forecast for five years eighteen months ago. ”

The capacity of a warehouse can be increased in two ways: either the warehouse is expanded, or efficiency is improved. The latest was the desired solution for Kuehne+Nagel: “the warehouse layout at the time was inadequate for the provided growth expectations. This was the reason for asking the Costo Group to support us in this growth.”

The solution

Warehouse automation combined with a smart warehouse management system (WMS)

With such sales projections, on-time delivery was under pressure. The solution from Costo ensures that the total output of the warehouse was doubled, without expanding the warehouse to do so.

Markus explains: “Zone-picking was chosen for this warehouse. This means that the boxes are transported to a picking zone via a conveyor. The Arrow-WMS from Costo calculates the required size of the box, so that as little air as possible is packed and transported. The walking distance of our warehouse employees was drastically reduced with the zone picking. In addition, we now work with an RFID tag: with this tag the orders are checked by a scan tunnel. Previously, this was physically checked by a warehouse employee. With this RFID tag, the warehouse now has 100% order accuracy. The Arrow WMS also offers a visualization module: this allows us to see exactly how the intralogistics in the warehouse are running. As a result, we quickly locate any congestion or error message and anticipate any problems more quickly.”


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The Costo Group as an intralogistic partner

Flexible and pragmatic solutions

The Costo Group supplies hardware customized solutions for warehouse automation and has the brain to control this hardware. But how does Kuehne+Nagel experience the cooperation?

Markus Kettenhofen explains why Costo was chosen: “Kuehne+ Nagel asked several parties and finally chose the Costo Group. Kuehne+Nagel chose Costo because of the good price-performance ratio. The professional, but also flexible and pragmatic attitude really stands out.

We were able to determine the software solution entirely according to our own wishes. The warehouse had to keep running during the implementation from a manual to semi-automatic warehouse; this was the biggest challenge of the project. Due to the good cooperation, this was nevertheless successful! Although our employees naturally had to get used to the automation a year and a half ago, they have now become completely used to the new Arrow-WMS.”

According to Markus, the Arrow WMS really distinguishes itself from other providers: “I have worked with several warehouse management systems. What is striking about this WMS is the quality and flexibility. In addition, the reporting and visualization options of Costo are really nice to work with! This is a definite plus in e-commerce: you want to be sure that the order arrives at the right time, at the right place.”


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