Danish transport and logistics company DSV has improved its warehouse operation’s efficiency thanks to barcode scanning drones. The company has been testing out drones in its Moerdijk warehouse in the Netherlands, thanks to a partnership with Verity.

In a normal warehouse, inventory is manually scanned by employees to keep track of stock numbers at a certain time. This is labor-intensive and requires employees to scan products at heights that can be unsafe or even deadly if they were to fall.

This is where a drone equipped with a barcode scanner and obstacle avoidance sensors comes into play. A fleet of drones can power up, fly through each aisle of the warehouse, and scan hundreds of barcodes within minutes. Not to mention, they can also scan barcodes at the top of the shelf, removing the need for a dangerous work environment.

Luca Graf, Senior Director, Innovation, at DSV said:

“The drones know down to each centimeter where goods are located, and the information they provide with their scans can be compared with information in our system. This helps us to increase the predictability and visibility of inventory.”

Along with autonomously scanning barcodes, the drone can also detect empty spaces to make restocking even more efficient, allowing employees to know where there is space without having to check beforehand. Eventually, the system could also automate the purchasing of new stock without human interaction.

The drones operate at night to stay out of the way of employees, allowing them to get through the barcodes at a much faster rate. The drones are now being implemented into several DSV’s warehouses and have already completed tens of thousands of scans.

Peter van der Maas, Executive Vice President, Benelux, DSV Solutions followed with:

“We want to offer our customers high-tech supply chain solutions, which is why we work with innovative companies like Verity. We have had a good, hands-on collaboration with them on this drone system, which we expect can benefit many of our warehouse operations where the business case makes sense.”

Photo: DSV

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