Verity Warehouse Drone Credit Verity
Verity Warehouse Drone Credit Verity

Inventory management, a critical measure of the flow of freight through supply chains, is a tedious, labour-intensive and sometimes hazardous task, but technology can alleviate some of these pressures, according to Maersk.

The Danish transport group said that, to “take the pressure off its workforce and increase the accuracy of the count”, it had brought in an automated inventory management system designed by Switzerland-based Verity.

During the night, a Verity drone flies through a warehouse checking barcodes to update the warehouse management system. It can avoid obstacles and recharges itself.

A Maersk spokesman told The Loadstar: “They [the drones] fly on nights and weekends when warehouse staff are away from the facility.”

Technologically advanced the Verity drone is autonomous, can avoid obstacles and work in the dark, it updates the warehouse management system automatically and recharges itself when necessary.

Maersk has already tested the drone at its Performance Team warehouses and is ready to roll out the system. Verity’s other clients include Dutch retailer INGKA and Maersk’s Danish compatriot, forwarder DSV.

Staff training to work with the drones takes just a day, however, Maersk said: “Warehouse operators are trained to schedule the drones to perform inventory checks and to review the insights generated by the system, comparing results found by the drones against what is expected from their warehouse management system. There is no programming or flight training needed to operate the system.”

Meanwhile, London-based robotics and data intelligence company Dexory today launched its DexoryView warehouse management system, which is a real time and fully automated data collection system that builds a digital twin via data collected by a robot.

The robot collects data from storage up to 12m high and submits the information electronically.

Dexory said the system “allows companies unprecedented and up-to-date access to their inventory – across the receiving, storing and dispatch stages – from anywhere and at any time”.

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