Hollanda’da yayınlanan ‘Transport & Logistiek’ dergisinde, TNT Express operasyon ağı içerisindeki bir gönderinin hareketlerinin incelendiği bir makaleye yer verildi. Her gün uluslar arası ekspres gönderilerinin % 70inin transfer işlemlerinin yapıldığı TNT Express Liege Euro Hub’daki yoğun ve komplike gece operasyonunu inceleyen makaleden öne çıkanlar:

liege

From 10 PM to midnight the darkness is buzzing with activity in front of the entrance of the TNT Express Euro Hub, where several hundred colleagues prepare to process about 440 tons of consignments.

In the sorting centre, it’s still quiet. “A few hours later that will be completely different,” says Pascal Dosseray, Team Leader Inbound. “The first aircraft arrive at 10 PM, but the real rush starts at about 1:00 AM. From then on, a plane lands every two minutes and the sorting system runs at full speed. Within a few hours the cargo from about 40 aircraft and 120 vans and trucks must be unloaded, sorted and loaded again according to its destination. 70% of the 1,500 employees at the Euro Hub work at night in two shifts. Peak time is between 2:00 and 4:00 AM when 14 teams are busy loading and unloading aircraft and trucks.”

On the tarmac where planes unload, aircraft start arriving around 10:30 PM including a Boeing 777 from Dubai and a Boeing 747 from Asia. The latter departed from Shanghai 12 hours earlier carrying a variety of consignments for European destinations. “Those consignments have been collected from customers in China and other Asian countries by TNT Express, delivered to the depot in Shanghai, then shipped to our Euro Hub”, says Pascal.

The barcode applied at the first depot (in this case Shanghai), tells the origin, destination and weight of a consignment. It also shows whether the consignment should travel on our Express or Economy service. From Liège, all parcels to be delivered within a radius of 400 kilometres are transported by road. Depending on the chosen service, the rest of the parcels will be transported via air or by road.

On week days, a parcel destined for The Netherlands continues its way to one of our four main Dutch depots – Dordrecht, Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Duiven. During the weekend all parcels to The Netherlands are transported via our road hub in Duiven. If a parcel needs to go to another destination in Europe, such as Denmark, and there’s no rush, it is transported to the Duiven road hub, combined with shipments from other European countries and transported to Denmark by truck. If a fast delivery is required, the package is flown from the Euro Hub in Liège to Denmark.

While another TNT Express plane lands, several carts drive full aircraft containers (URLs) from the Boeing 747 to the infeed-docks. “The country of origin has specified what consignments are in these containers so we know exactly what comes in,” explains Pascal. After the containers have been driven into the sorting centre, five colleagues from the inbound team start to unload them. This pre-sorts standard/small parcels (500 g – 30 kg) based on their label number, to air (1) or road / air (2). Documents are also sorted and put onto the sorting system. From this point, each package follows its course on the 8 km long sorting system with 25 scanners and 134 sorting-outfeeds. The sorting system covers 75,000 m², or eight football fields, and has a capacity of 18,000 parcels per hour.

The parcels move via a maze of conveyor belts to the first floor where the sorting system ejects them at their destination. A colleague from the outbound team places these parcels in containers according to destination. One hour before departure, the containers are brought down with the elevator where their contents are transferred to aircraft containers.

On weeknights, consignments from intercontinental origins like Shanghai going to Dutch delivery addresses are trucked from Liège to TNT Express depots in the Netherlands. Departure time is early – 3:30 AM at the latest. At the Euro Hub, 60% of inbound volumes travel by air and 40% travel by road. 80% of outbound consignments travel by air while 20% travel by road.

“Working in the TNT Express Euro Hub is challenging because we need to constantly anticipate and plan ahead, and at the same time keep the pace as speedy as possible to ensure items go through the system on time. The most important challenge for me is to keep my team motivated and focused. We can only do it together,” Pascal concludes.
Facts & Figures: TNT Express Euro Hub:
• TNT opened its European Express Centre at Liège Airport in 1998
• Every night from Monday to Friday an average of 40 planes and 120 vans and trucks carry consignments to the sort centre of the hub, which is split into airside and roadside sections.
• 70% of all international express consignments transported by TNT Express transit through the Euro Hub.
• Once sorted, consignments are sent to 68 European airports and five international destinations in the United States, Asia and Middle East.
• 59% of consignments comply with the standard weight (500 g – 30 kg) and size and move via the conveyor belt. 27% of the consignments are documents, they are handled separately. 14% of the consignments are heavier than 30kg and cannot move on the conveyor belt. They are handled with forklifts.
• The TNT Value Added Service Centre (VASC) is a central function located in the Hub using different locations and teams for temporary storage and value-add activities. The VASC enables activities such as merge in transit, Integrated Direct Express (IDE) support, consolidation services, dry ice fulfilment for the Healthcare sector and relabeling of packages.