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Faster, Safer: How the Warehouse has Changed Post-Pandemic


Faster, Safer: How the Warehouse has Changed Post-Pandemic

Challenges took a new meaning for logistics operations that require more than the traditional approach to developing protocols and workflows. In 2021, the warehouse is not what it was one year ago. The pandemic put a direct spotlight on the importance of keeping workers–and partners–safe. Adhering to implemented protocols are more than a formality in the new normal and can be the very things that keep a business open in the long term. In the short term, warehouse managers have no choice but to stay diligent in securing the safety of their business by putting their employees’ safety first. 

We talked with Edgardo Hamon, managing director with Dachser Mexico, about how the warehouse has changed and how handling these new challenges successfully can sustain employee wellness and ongoing operations post-pandemic. 

“The handling of materials requires interaction between people and maintaining clear rules of social distancing, not only with the collaborators we have on the day-to-day, but also with the carrier that arrives every hour into our warehouses,” Hamon says. “It becomes an additional challenge to keep a strict process to maintain the correct functionality of the warehouse, and of course, avoid any possible risk to our teams. Strict protocols and sticking to them are critical, such as sanitizing our facilities twice a day, consistent washing of the hands and wearing masks.” 

Dachser is no stranger to the work-from-home dynamic, either. Hamon explained that when it is needed, employees stay at home to secure business continuity—and the warehouse keeps running. 

“We implemented the home office process with success, and we believe it is very efficient to continue with this process as it provides a good solution,” he explains. “Whenever it is needed, people remain at home. We do this to make sure the team stays safe and operations are continuously flowing.”  

Technology continues to serve as a key driver for success when securing strict workflows between workers. For Dachser, technology equals transparency and visibility to ensuring protocols are met and partner relations are sustained.

Dachser’s global warehouse management system, Mikado, serves as a major resource for maintaining a seamless day-to-day process while securing opportunities for expansion. Mikado organizes Dachser’s operational team while promoting social distancing and maximizing efficient workflows. 

Hamon cites Mikado as a primary tech resource that ensures safe operations while solving pandemic-induced challenges. This system is a key driver behind Dachser Mexico’s most recent facility expansion that launched in October. Dachser’s bonded warehouse facility in Parque el Marqués at Querétaro will offer 4,000 square meters of warehouse space with an accommodating electrical substation.

Mikado supports operations beyond warehousing, providing solutions for other sectors, including manufacturing. Systems such as Mikado enable companies to move forward amid the pandemic in expanding operations to better serve customers and maintain a competitive advantage. This further emphasizes the importance of reliable, agile technology post-pandemic.

“Dachser believes strongly in the value of technology as it relates to enhanced efficiency and cost reduction,” Hamon says. “With the continuous further development of our IT systems and their worldwide rollout, we have built up a homogeneous IT landscape characterized by stability, integrity as well as adaptability to new challenges in the logistics business. And, of course, the ability to integrate the IT technology into our day-to-day operational platforms. This makes a big difference in remaining competitive.”

What does all this mean for customers? Customer retention post-pandemic has become more of a challenge than ever before. Hamon explains that customers are experiencing a significant financial impact, creating a greater demand for competitive cost-effective options while increasing demand for space. So, not only are warehouse managers working to implement protocols and keep employees safe, but they are also competing to retain customers, drive down costs and meet demand for space at a competitive price. 

“Customers are always looking for more competitive prices in the market,” Hamon notes. “This puts industry players in a difficult situation to compete and provide the best price. At Dachser, we adapt ourselves as much as possible to meet demand and support the customer needs.”

In addition to the most cost-effective options, customers are now demanding agile and quick solutions. If the logistics arena was not high-speed before, it is now. 

Logistics has taken a new form that quickly eliminates paper processes and traditional methods of management. Automation is now a major differentiator as customers vet the fastest and most efficient providers to meet their needs, rather than an option. In the new normal, customers simply cannot afford the risk associated with manual processes and their potential inefficiencies. Dachser recognizes this and cites the power of automation for meeting market demands and providing adaptable solutions. 

“These last few months have made it clear that the supply chain needs to evolve into a stronger, more agile and adaptable system that can respond quickly to challenges and implement solutions,” Hamon says. “This is where we strongly focus nowadays, providing intelligent solutions to our customers. We adapt to their needs, offer flexibility and dive deeply into their processes to identify their needs. This allows us to maintain a competitive advantage over our competitors–globally and regionally. Adapt to the needs of our customers and market situations to provide the best solutions.”

For now, the brunt of COVID-19 has been felt across the supply chain, allowing companies to understand what it takes to continue operating with boots on the ground. However, the team at Dachser predicts additional market shifts are on the horizon, citing the Amazon effect for changing the course of market responses. Hamon explains that logistics players must prepare for a more dynamic delivery flow to meet customer demand in the new normal and beyond. 

“Customers will continue to request faster deliveries and the industry should be prepared. In the future, the industry will see the need for smaller trucks that provide faster deliveries to meet customer demands, and the successful deployment of technology solutions to receive materials faster. If you have reliable technology in place, you can offer these kinds of services to customers, so they receive orders faster. These dynamic solutions will be critical in the near future.” 


Born in Mexico City, Edgardo Hamon graduated in Business Administration from the Technological University of Mexico. He has worked for the past two decades in the logistics industry, starting as a sales executive working with clients in the pharmaceutical, automotive and technology industries. He joined Dachser as National Key Account Manager Automotive in 2011, and he later became Intra Americas Business Development Manager before being promoted to his current role as Managing Director of Dachser Mexico.


DACHSER’s New LCL Service Offers Expanded Connections for Shippers

Shippers seeking a consolidated access option along the route from Europe to Chile are now offered DACHSER’s latest weekly schedule of LCL services. This added service streamlines the process by collecting container shipments followed by consolidation at its Hamburg warehouse. Once consolidated, the items are shipped directly to San Antonio, Chile without interruption.

“Referring to ‘less than container load,’ our new LCL service is designed to meet the specific needs of our customers with smaller merchandise quantities. The service not only optimizes efficiencies and reduces costs, but the fixed weekly schedule improves the planning process,” said Guido Gries, Managing Director, DACHSER Americas.

“An effective LCL service comes down to timing—from the coordination of the grouping of goods and to the fixed container trips between ports. Our management of this timing allows our customers the benefit of improved planning and transit times as well as transparency of their shipments,” said Mr. Gries.

Markets including Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia are directly connected to the Chilean region thanks to this added service. DACHSER continues to showcase its dedication to expanding network capabilities while supporting the needs of its customers, particularly in a trying time for the supply chain and global logistics players.

“The service offers customers streamlined container coordination and management of all sea freight imports deployed on first-class carriers to Chile,” added Mr. Gries. “Thanks to our extensive European logistics network we can offer seamless visibility from the door of the supplier in Europe to the final destination.”

Additional service offerings include interlocked logistics solutions aimed to support road, air, and sea logistics through transportation and warehousing services as well as pre-carriage handling and transparent supplier tracking.

chinese new year

Here’s How Your Business Can Prepare for Chinese New Year Shutdowns

It’s that time of the year once again where Chinese New Year is around the corner and preparations throughout Asian countries are underway. Countries including Korea and Vietnam are also expected to participate in the Lunar New Year celebrations around the same time as Chinese New Year, requiring other global businesses to consider what preparations need to be made in advance to ensure operations aren’t put to a halt.

In a report from Dachser Logistics, it’s estimated nearly 80 million Chinese workers will be traveling to their hometowns to honor Chinese New Year – also called the “Year of the Rat.” During this time, the Chinese manufacturing infrastructure completely shuts down, from businesses to factories for up to four weeks in the region. Dacher goes on to report that this can impact production for up to two months and lists various ways businesses can be impacted:

-All business during Chinese New Year will face delayed production time, as will quotation requests.

-Many workers will not return to their workplace immediately after the holidays, which means previously estimated production times might be extended.

-If orders are placed late, it is possible they will be placed further back in the production line.

-With more than a month’s worth of orders backed up to start with, factories will favor orders from their preferred partners.

“With the upcoming Chinese New Year period, it is a time of many challenges for importers and exports. Proactive planning and preparation are key to effectively navigate and managing supply chain issues that could occur during this time; ensuring that freight is handled consistently and without interruption. At Dachser, we aim to minimize any impact to our customers.” said Guido Gries Managing Director, Dachser Americas.
“We have reviewed the critical steps that are needed to prepare for Chinese New Year with our customers well in advance. This proactive preparation helps to ensure that there is minimal disruption to their global supply chains.” added Gries.
Dachser Logistics is no stranger to effective planning, however. The leading global logistics provider ensures its customers know exactly what measures can be taken to avoid delays, when holiday business hours take effect and how to keep the supply chain running for each anticipated holiday or possible disruption. These tips are as follows:

-Build up adequate inventory, considering a period of up to four weeks after Chinese New Year and even find out if your Chinese source has inventory in non-Asian locations, so you can use other supply chains.

-Inform your forwarder about your priority shipments, in case there is limited space.

-Book shipments well in advance of Chinese New Year.

-Reserve space on passenger flights for shipments that cannot be delayed. The rates are slightly higher, but this measure will keep your supply chain running.

Source: Dachser Logistics

Johnston Logistics Announces Full Integration with Dachser Network

Global logistics provider, Dachser, continues strong in extending its international footprint, as the company confirmed the acquisition and re-branding of Ireland-based Johnston Logistics Ltd. earlier this month. As of September 2019, Johnston Logistics Ltd. will become Dachser Ireland Ltd., confirming complete integration with Dachser.

“The rebranding makes the full integration of Johnston Logistics into the Dachser network visible to the outside world. At the same time, the connection to all our systems ensures that the Irish country organization is secure and stable for the future,” explains Dachser CEO Bernhard Simon.

The full integration follows a robust 12-year partnership between Dachser and Johnston, with Dachser taking over a majority of the company’s stake in 2017. Dachser’s primary warehouse and transport management IT systems -DOMINO and MIKADO, were integrated earlier this year in addition to Dachser’s truck presence in Ireland.

“With the integration into the Dachser network, we have found a good, sustainable path for future developments. Both family businesses stand for the same values. And both sides contribute expertise that will ensure further growth—in both our domestic and our export business,” concluded Albert Johnston, Managing Director of Johnston Logistics.

Founded in 1979, Johnston Logistics boasts expertise in dangerous goods transportation and will focus efforts specifically for groupage and to serve customers in chemical, pharmaceutical, hardware, plastics and packaging industries. Johnston reported 346,000 shipments and 120 daily departures during 2018.

“The integration of an experienced and capable partner such as Johnston Logistics is absolutely in line with one of Dachser’s main interests: we want our customers in Ireland to get the maximum benefit from uniform services and quality standards, fixed transit times, and the closely integrated network of Dachser branches throughout Europe,” added  Michael Schilling, COO Road Logistics at Dachser.
Source: Dachser USA

Dachser Adds eActros to Test Operations

Dachser Intelligent Logistics announced it will begin test operations with the all-electric, 18-ton Mercedes-Benz eActros for its Emission-Free Delivery program concept in Stuttgart, Germany. Currently boasting a 4-5 metric ton payload, the eActros test operations will ultimately support Dachser’s current emissions-free delivery efforts with other electric vehicles in the Stuttgart region. In addition to the eActros capabilities, Dachser employs maneuverable, electrically assisted cargo bikes as well as an all-electric 7.5-ton FUSO eCanter truck.

Features of the eActros include 240 kWh lithium-ion batteries capable of charging within two hours, 18 pallet space capacity, and a range of 125 miles. The eActros prototype was projected to begin large-scale production in 2021 by Mercedes-Benz Trucks. 

“We’ll be using the eActros for transporting deliveries both directly to customers and to the microhub in the Heslach district of Stuttgart. And for the last mile, we’ll use pedelecs, electrically assisted cargo bikes that are also part of our emission-free vehicle portfolio,” Markus Maurer, General Manager of Dachser’s Kornwestheim branch.

Dachser continues to implement emissions-free options to determine the best options for sustainable transportation in delivering groupage shipments. In addition to the Stuttgart, Dachser confirmed test operations are underway in other regions including Berlin, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Málaga, Mannheim, Paris, Tübingen, and Ulm.

“We’re not looking to take a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, we want to come up with a range of solutions, each of them focused on optimizing deliveries, routes, and times,” says Stefan Hohm, Corporate Director, Corporate Solutions, Research & Development at Dachser.

Source: Dachser

Dachser USA Expands Automotive Logistics Efforts

Following the successful launch of its Mexico-based automotive competence center, global logistics provider Dachser Logistics announced the opening of its Atlanta-based automotive competence center to support efforts in addressing complex logistics within the automotive market. The customer-focused initiative furthers the company’s goal to implement logistics solutions while expanding its presence specifically in auto logistics.

Dachser is committed to providing superior service and customized solutions to our automotive business, which requires highly trained professionals who understand the nuances of transporting automobiles and their respective parts,” said Vincent Touya, Managing Director Dachser USA. “In the U.S specifically, our customers are responding very well to the hands-on approach of our automotive competence team. We continue to evolve and grow this program to ensure it consistently meets our customers’ needs and responds to the challenges of the marketplace.”

Additional initiatives in place to cater to automotive logistics needs include the opening of Dachser’s Detroit location last August, placing the company’s presence in one of the largest automotive regions in the country.

“The move into Detroit reflects our dedication to meeting the needs of our customers, who require we move closer to their business. Being in Detroit not only provides a closer proximity to our customers, it also ensures that we understand the culture—the heart and soul—of the automotive community, which of course, helps us better anticipate our customers’ needs and provide customized, viable solutions,” said Touya.

Dachser is no stranger to global automotive logistics needs, however. On a global scale, Dachser’s Germany location serves Volvo Cars’ customers as it addresses complex needs with the company’s spare parts business. Dachser delivers Volvo’s spare parts through a shuttle service launched specifically for Volvo, delivering spare parts to Volvo’s warehouses throughout the region and Volvo’s Torslanda, Sweden location.

“We provide Volvo Cars with a solution that is tailored to their logistics needs,” says René Sidor, Managing Director of DACHSER Nordic A/S. “By customizing our approach, Volvo gets a unified logistics solution.”