24/7 logistics is perfectly attainable, especially with the VIL guide

24/01/2022 — minutes reading time
Nachtvervoer 2

There is no reason whatsoever why warehouses cannot operate 24/7, but many companies are either unable to or do not dare to take that step. VIL has created a method for guiding these companies on the path to nonstop logistical operations. The manual is available free of charge to all VIL members.

Congestion and supply chain disruptions hinder efficient operations in warehouses, and while the idea of a nonstop economy has been doing the rounds for years, it remains a pipedream. A major reason is that logistics is a chain enterprise and not all parties see the gains to be had, often focussing on the issues and additional costs instead of the added value of 24/5 or 24/7 logistics. That's why such a time shift also requires a mindset shift, not least among the shippers and receivers. The transport industry itself is already largely open to the idea.

That fact encouraged VIL to launch the Warehouse 24/7 project together with ten companies. The results of the project were recently released.

Creating value

The primary barriers were summarised in order to shed a light on the possible solutions and best practices. Meanwhile, how value can be created through 24/7 logistics was also investigated, given that the benefits are not only to society as a whole (less traffic congestion and fewer emissions) but also to companies, in the sense that 24/7 operations can lead to improved services, greater capacity and cost-cutting.

Together with Logflow, which is also a Log!Ville Innovation Partner, VIL created a step-by-step plan for 24/7 warehousing. The generic plan can be adapted to the needs of individual users, and it was further fleshed out in the form of a pilot project at Katoen Natie Port Operations and Ninatrans, where the tests were a great success.

Guide and manual

The findings and conclusions have been set out in the VIL ‘Warehouse 24/7’ project report, which also includes the how-to guide and accompanying Excel manual. Taken together, they enable companies to cast a critical eye over their own operations and develop a number of different scenarios. For example, a company can determine what value can be created for which partners in the chain under each different situation. The guide also shows how companies can engage in negotiations with the other parties. The report and guide are available for free to all VIL members, and non-members can purchase it from the VIL online shop for 70 euros (excl. VAT).

Free guidance

Interested companies can create their own business case under the guidance of VIL, with the step-by-step plan and Excel manual applied to both their own operations and to the relevant chain partners. This includes familiarising companies with how these tools can be used.

Please get in touch with project leader Julie Stuer: julie.stuer@vil.be - 0498 71 89 71.