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IKEA: Think global, act local for warehouse distribution

Aug 11, 2011

Posicharge provided the fast-charging system to IKEA's fast-charging facility in their new 750,000 sq ft distribution center in Port Wentworth, Georgia, located near the port of Savannah. The new DC was featured in an article originally published in the February 2008 print edition of Modern Material Handling . The article was republished online in 2011 on Logistics Management. Below is an excerpt from the article.

"IKEA: Thinks global, acts local: IKEA’s new DC employs a global warehouse design and best practices to serve a growing regional market. By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor for MMH.

[...]While the AS/RS is the most visible automated system in the facility, IKEA looked for other opportunities to implement automation. One of those was a fast-charging system to replace the traditional battery changing room. “We knew that each worker was losing 20 to 30 minutes a day for battery changes,” says Morris. “You multiply that by lift truck drivers, and we were losing about 45 hours a day plus the cost of a battery maintenance crew to battery charging time.”

Morris adds that this was the first facility that is a 100% fast-charging facility, but that change is expected to deliver savings of $125,000 a year just from lost time changing batteries.

As the facility begins its second full year in operation, Morris and Leddy say it has met or exceeded all of the goals IKEA set out for the facility. In fact, IKEA is so pleased with the results that it’s implementing the same design in Tacoma, Wa next year with plans to open another at a later date in Joliet, Ill.

“We have reduced our lead time to the stores and reduced our transportation costs,” says Morris. “As we take on more volume this year, we expect this to be our highest-performing DC in North America.”

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