Fast delivery times are currently ranked as one of key challenges facing the logistics industry. More and more customers expect their goods on the same day or the next day, at the latest. The “Same Day Delivery” service from Amazon is now the norm in built-up areas. Parcel delivery companies such as DHL, DPD, UPS or Hermes are tailoring their services to customer requirements by optimising their processes. The logistics hub plays a decisive role here. The main transshipment centre is the hub and the distribution centre. New, flexible logistics building solutions such as the Urban Delivery Hub combine the benefits of this concept with a site in the city close to customers.
The number of customers purchasing their groceries online is on the rise
The pandemic further increased the trend towards buying food produce online. Alongside full-range traders, such as Rewe, from whom thousands of products can be ordered, an increasing number of delivery services are cropping up on the market, which offer fewer products but are able to deliver them in record time. The same is true in the drinks industry. Micro hubs play a crucial role when it comes to facing the challenge of the “Last mile”, simplifying how goods reach customers. Cross-docking is rather significant in the food industry, since highly perishable goods can be directly transshipped without having to be stored.
Where will we find logistics hubs in future?
The business is however currently still highly volatile. On the one hand, logistics hubs are needed fast. On the other hand, it is difficult to say whether the currently sought-after sites will be just as attractive in a number of years. Nevertheless, the demand for logistics buildings is on the up. However, the vast majority of companies have a planning period of less than three years. Solutions, such as the Urban Delivery Hub, which are assembled in no time at all and can be just as easily dismantled or can be moved to a different site, are not only extremely cost-effective solutions but also sustainable ones.
The hub defines the “main transshipment base” in the logistics chain. In English, a hub refers to the central or main part of something or a transportation hub. It also defines the wheel hub, a central part of a wheel into which the spokes are fixed.
Flows of goods are redistributed in a logistics hub. Delivery, sorting, unloading and loading take place in the hub. It is possible to realign the flows of goods in two directions. The goods collected in channels in the depots can be transshipped via the hub and consolidated in the main leg. It works the opposite way too, the goods are distributed from large trucks to small Sprinters via the hub.
The term Hub and Spoke compares the logistics network to a spoke wheel. While the grid system can be accessed from any other depot, the hub is at the heart of the Hub and Spoke system. The depots cover a large distribution network. The goods are delivered from the depots directly to the hub at a specific time. They are redistributed there and returned from the hub directly to the respective depot. Each depot only accesses the hub and only receives the goods from the hub. If depot A is closer to depot B, a direct delivery would be the more cost-effective option in this case. Considered on the whole, the hub offers considerable benefits. Bundling on the “spokes” and the central transshipment mean that resources are optimally utilised, empty runs are kept to a minimum. Transport costs are reduced in spite of occasionally longer distances being covered.
During Cross-docking, goods are not stored but are directly transferred for delivery and forwarded. Storage costs are therefore substantially lowered, with virtually no storage space being required. Cross-docking is ideally suited to distribution centres, which need to transfer high volumes of goods in a swift manner, for example, for parcel delivery companies, but also for highly perishable goods in the food industry.
Herchenbach Industrial Buildings have developed the Urban Delivery Hub with such requirements in mind, with the hub combining the benefits of a main transshipment centre with the simple and swift setup of a temporary building. The company has created a logistics hub for DPD, among others. The building covers an area of 1300 m². Two truck docks have been fitted on the gable walls. A conveyor belt is installed inside the building, on which the goods are distributed to the side walls to the Sprinters by means of 46 gates. Thanks to its modular system design, the size of the building can be flexibly tailored to the logistics requirements of various industries. As such, the Delivery Hub is ideally suited to central collection and changeover points in major centres as well as to small-scale distribution centres in cities.
The benefits at a glance
- Flexible modular system: Temporary buildings from Herchenbach can be built with a modular system design with an unsupported width of 5 to 40 m and an eave height of 3.4 to 6.4 m. With a truss spacing of 4 or 5 m, the building length can be freely chosen, depending on the wind and snow load. Double-aisle buildings are also possible. TÜV-approved statics are available for 500 building geometries. Gone are the days of costly individual statics.
- Fast assembly: Modular lightweight buildings made of aluminium profiles exhibit high stability. What’s more, the buildings are considerably lighter than similar buildings made with steel or reinforced concrete. In many cases, foundations are no longer required. A modular lightweight building covering 1000 m² can be assembled in around a week.
- Truck docks: The eave height of the docks has been specially designed for swap bodies. At first glance, swap bodies or swap boxes look like normal truck bodies, but offer so much more. For unloading purposes, the swap bodies can be positioned on legs, in addition to this they are designed for Euro pallets (rather than ISO containers). This is why they are a popular choice in transport logistics and can be optimally used on the docks of Urban Logistics Hubs. Additional safety is provided by loading bay bumpers. A canopy can also be fitted, meaning you’ll be protected against the elements, whatever the weather has in store.
- Gates for Sprinters: A gate can be fitted between the profiles in each individual grid on the Urban Delivery Hub with a modular lightweight design. This allows the available space to be used to its maximum. A wide variety of gates is available for different logistics requirements. Thanks to the radio remote control or radar motion sensor, roller shutter doors can be optimally integrated into operations.
- Unheated or insulated warehouse: Depending on the requirements posed by the stored goods, the warehouses can be erected as Safe+ unheated or Therm+ insulated warehouses. The unheated warehouse is rather well suited to the storage of goods which are not sensitive to temperatures. Walls made of robust trapezoidal sheets are fitted into the aluminium profiles. The Therm+ heated warehouse can be set up just as quickly. Walls made of ISO panels with excellent heat transfer values are used. This makes heating the warehouse a more efficient process.
- Manual or automatic transport system: The technology used plays a decisive role when it comes to smoothly processing the infeed and outfeed of goods. While a member of the team places the goods on the sorter during manual infeed, the goods are forwarded during the automated procedure without any support from the employee. With a building floor specially tailored to the conveyor belts, Herchenbach offers ideal conditions so that customers are able to install conveyor belts and transport systems in line with their requirements.
- Reasonable rental options: Thanks to favourable rental options, the Urban Delivery Hub can be set up without the need for a high level of investment. Customers only need to pay for as long as they need the hub. It can be dismantled once they no longer need it. Up to 98% of the individual parts can be reused thanks to the modular system design. Once the rental comes to an end, there is also the option to purchase the Delivery Hub with attractive conditions.
- Comprehensive service package: Herchenbach goes the extra mile by offering additional services such as a pre-assembly inspection of the site or support with the building application. This makes building the hub simple and straightforward. Customers draw on the expertise of thousands of temporary building projects at Herchenbach as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of temporary buildings.
- Your own personal contact: Soon after contacting us, your own personal contact at Herchenbach will be in touch, who will guide you through the project through to signing the contract. Even once the keys have been handed over, our customer service team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding the Urban Delivery Hub.
The “Fast delivery times” topic is in need of new logistics solutions to get goods to where they are going. The Urban Delivery Hub with a modular lightweight design offers a crucial element of the supply chain. Thanks to the flexible modular system and tailored combination of docks and gates, the Urban Delivery Hub can be set up as a major distribution centre as well as a small-scale hub conveniently located close to the city. The temporary building can be erected in no time at all, owing to the swift assembly time. The attractive rental option means the Urban Delivery Hub is a worthwhile option even in the case of a short planning horizon. The individual parts can then be reused in a sustainable manner.