Integrated logistics solutions specialists, Swisslog, is delivering an automated warehouse solution for online retailer Ocado.

Swisslog’s AutoStore system will provide Ocado’s new non-food DC in Hertfordshire with automated storage, handling and picking facilities.

Established in 2000, the Ocado group is one of Britain’s leading online supermarkets offering customers a simple and convenient alternative to old-fashioned supermarket shopping. The business has grown rapidly, supplying over 20,000 product lines, notably from the Waitrose and John Lewis Partnership, servicing over 70% of British households.

The success of the independent online grocer has led to increased business for non-food items and household goods, making the desire to maximise the efficiencies of storage and picking operation even greater.
Ocado’s James Matthews, Director of Non-Food, said: “We are very excited about the opportunities presented by Swisslog’s AutoStore. An operation of this size presents many complex requirements. From the outset we were looking to work with a supplier that had the skills and resources to effectively design and manage the whole process and present a solution that would facilitate further expansion. Happily, AutoStore and Swisslog ticked all the boxes.”

First delivered in Scandinavia, AutoStore offers a range of benefits, including the efficient warehousing and order processing of single items and small cases in a very compact area. The system provides the highest possible rate of space optimisation teamed with extremely dense storage, as robots on the top of the grid automatically retrieve and store goods with minimum space requirements. Compared to traditional automated solutions, AutoStore allows far greater capacity and storage density, with up to 60% more goods stored in the same space as a conventional materials handling solution.