Online shopping, now more than ever, has become mainstream for most consumers. So much so that e-retail sales are expected to reach $4.2 trillion by the end of 2020 worldwide, according to some statistics.
From international online powerhouses to small businesses, the need for fast, effective order fulfillment, sortation, and delivery is desired. We at Hytrol offer a variety of conveyor, sortation, and software products that work hand-in-hand with the e-commerce industry to provide quick solutions to the challenges typically faced by e-commerce focused business models.
Most products being transported in the world of e-commerce are small to medium in size and weight and often move at a fast rate due to the demand for quick shipping. These products may be shipped in polybags, jiffy packs, and padded envelopes as opposed to the once exclusively used corrugated cartons.
When dealing with e-commerce products, it is important to know the best conveyor types and accessories for your desired needs. The small corrugate packages, poly-bags, envelopes, etc., may best be conveyed and accumulated on belted conveyors or rollers places on close centers for the best control.
Low voltage conveyors are ideal in the world of e-commerce order fulfillment and/or distribution. Along with low voltage, conveyors that are flexible in speeds and configurations work well in e-commerce, when the shape of packages are ever-changing. When conveyors are easily changed and configured, facilities are able to support a wide variety of goods. In addition, these products boast low noise operations are ideal in e-commerce facilities, where employees frequently work near the conveyor.
Accumulation is important in e-commerce as well. When thinking about accumulation, you want something that has good product control and knows the exact product location. Belted zoned conveyors are great in maintaining steady product control and can easily transition products to upward or downward slopes. Knowing an item’s location is vital when transporting e-commerce products. Light bars can make ideal sensors to detect exact product locations when handling products that are somewhat fluid in shape.
Sortation Equipment Selection
When looking for a sortation product, you want something that will handle packages quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Sliding shoe sorters can sort items from corrugate packages to polybags or padded envelopes to other forms of packages used for direct to consumer products. These sorters are specifically designed for high-rate sortation of these packages and are ideal for routing cartons to containers based on address or desired carrier. Consider investing in products that are specifically designed for e-commerce, that have a smaller footprint, save space, and are more efficient in handling e-commerce packages.
Other products that are useful in distribution centers are gappers. Gappers work to optimize the gapping of products flowing to label applicators and sorters, and provide fixed or dynamic speed changes to optimize gaps in products for sorting and labeling. Also, it is important to have equipment that scans and label products for proper routing.
Accessories such as guardrails/guiderails are an important component in the transportation of products. Given the nature of many of the packaging types used in e-commerce, extra care should be given to making sure there is no interference in product flow throughout the material handling system.
Transition points are also important and must be given attention to ensure all potential types of packaging can negotiate the transition points with ease.
E-commerce will continue to grow due to the many benefits to online consumers. Hytrol enhances conveyors to function more efficiently within material handling systems that are being designed for the growing direct-to-consumer market. We are dedicated to helping you find the right conveyor and products that work to your e-commerce goals. Get started by talking with a Hytrol Integration Partner near you.