Working Gear

Jan 01, 2002 10:30 PM  By

Relay Race

R.R. Donnelley Logistics and the USPS have teamed up to offer consumers the ability to track their packages from the merchant’s fulfillment center to their own front door. As packages move through its national network of sorting facilities, Donnelley Logistics tracks their progress until they reach the postal stream, where the tracking baton is passed to the USPS. Thanks to the Donnelley Logistics/USPS software integration, customers can access the tracking data via the USPS Web site at any phase in the delivery chain. By providing seamless visibility to each major event in the postal delivery process, Donnelley Logistics has made it possible for merchandisers to achieve the flawless, end-to-end visibility their customers demand, without compromising the deep postal discounts that drop-shipping affords them. For more information visit

Astral Plane

You don’t need to phone a psychic to learn about what lies ahead for your distribution center — “The Warehouse of the Future” is only a click away. Salt Lake City-based ESKAY Corp. has developed a simulation model demonstrating how a dynamic combination of material handling systems can support a variety of applications. “Companies are shipping smaller orders more frequently — and to a wider variety of customers,” says Kevin Thuet, ESKAY’s director of advanced applications. “ESKAY’s Warehouse of the Future shows how you can handle these orders accurately and efficiently in a single facility.”

The Warehouse of the Future simulation features systems for handling high-, medium-, and low-volume products, as well as varying pick speeds. It includes pick-to-light-equipped flow racks for small quantities of high-frequency items; a conveyor spur to a value-added services area for customized packaging; picking carts for low-volume, low-throughput items; a mini-load case buffer for medium-level picking activity and volume; and more. Thuet notes, “Although every system we build is configured for the customer’s unique operating requirements, The Warehouse of the Future provides a starting point where companies can see how ESKAY’s material handling systems could work in their environment.” Find out what the warehouse in your future looks like at, or call (801) 359-9900 for more information.

No Pop

Tamper-proof, moisture-proof, and practically impossible to puncture, the eCom Mailer from Polyair Inc., headquartered in Toronto, offers the perfect shipping solution for catalogers, online merchants, and fulfillment houses. Lined with high-slip Durabubble, the eCom Mailer is cushioned with the “toughest bubble in the industry,” and provides protection against shock and impact, especially important when shipping fragile items. Additionally, this tough yet lightweight mailer is less expensive to ship with than traditional Kraft bubble mailers. Contact Polyair at (416) 740-2687, or visit

Control Freak

Harness the power of the Internet to integrate the end-to-end management of your company’s worldwide freight via G-Log’s GC3 Global Command and Control Center. GC3 enables shippers to manage all freight worldwide across all modes in a multi-customer, multi-trading partner environment, thanks to features such as order integration, routing, rating, track and trace, complete visibility, and continuous planning within execution, payment, and settlement.

G-Log’s e-Logistics infrastructure enables companies such as DuPont, DFS, and Exel to reduce transportation costs and decrease inventory levels. Fully scalable and designed for the Web with 100% Java or Enterprise Java Beans application logic, GC3 captures key shipment and supply chain information requirements either by integrating with an ERP/order management system or via manual order entry. GC3 also tenders books and manages freight, enables reconciliation of invoices, and offers analysis that allows companies to report historical data, monitor performance, manage commitment, develop budgets, and forecast. Visit for more information.

Over the Rainbow

FKI Logistex has teamed with member companies Alvey Systems Inc. and White Systems Inc. to offer automated mixed-layer palletizing for manufacturing and distribution operations. The system effectively manages and palletizes, by layer, large volumes of quick-turning SKUs. Combining Alvey’s 520 Series gantry robotic palletizer with White’s multi-position pallet carousel, the system can direct SKU data, pick locations, order configurations, and carousel replenishment.

Starting with empty carousel pallet positions, the Order Manager software alerts an operator to replenish the empty positions with pallets of the proper product by indexing the empty carousel positions to the pallet in-feed. Pallets of product weighing up to 2,500 lbs. are then loaded onto the in-feed for induction into the carousel.

Once loaded, the carousel rotates the product-filled pallets into Alvey’s gantry work envelope, where up to three 1,100-lb. layers can be picked off the carousel and placed on a new pallet until the rainbow load is built. The completed load is then discharged through a unit load conveyor and taken through a stretch-wrapper to a load-picking station for transfer. Featuring an open-architecture, PC-based control system, as well as a touch-screen operation interface, Alvey’s gantry is capable of traveling up to 90″/sec. along the gantry bridge. For more information call FKI Logistex at (877) 935-4564, e-mail, or visit the company on the Web at

Code Blue

Bad bar codes got you down? If your company must conform to bar code compliance standards, and printing a bad bar code results in fines, costly redundant work, or even a loss of business, fear not: RJS’s CP5000 Series portable bar code verifier can help save the day — or at least a batch of mail. Featuring CCD-based imaging technology, the CP5000 provides quality and data analysis of PostNet and PLANET bar code parameters per USPS specifications. Designed specifically for companies that take advantage of discounted mail rates by pre-sorting and imaging outgoing pieces with a PostNet code, the CP5000 can help avoid the repercussions of defective bar codes. Visit RJS at, or call (800) 840-4267 for additional information.

Lisa Marie Smith is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilton, CT. She may be reached by e-mail at