Partnering with U.S. Logistics Companies and Innovative Aisle Configurations for Unit-Load Warehouses



The speaker will share his thoughts on partnering with U.S. logistics companies on research that results in papers as well as a return on investment.  He will use the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution as the foundation of the talk.  He will then discuss a project in depth that meets both of these objectives.  Unit-load warehouses are used to store items---typically pallets---that can be stowed or retrieved in a single trip.  In the traditional, ubiquitous design, storage racks are arranged to create parallel picking aisles, which force workers to travel rectilinear distances to picking locations.  We consider the problem of arranging aisles in new ways to reduce the cost of travel for a single-command cycle within these warehouses.  Our models produce alternative designs with piecewise diagonal cross aisles, and with picking aisles that are not parallel.   One of the designs promises to reduce the expected distance that workers travel by more than 20 percent for warehouses of reasonable size.  We report on the expected performance of these designs under various warehouse configurations and operating policies, as well as relate experiences from the implementation of these designs.
Contact information:
Prof.dr. M.B.M. de Koster