Logistics firm gets automation boost

Bollore Logistics Singapore managing director Fabien Giordano, whose company will tap advanced technology and robotics to improve and mechanise various processes, such as storage and labelling, at its warehouse in Pioneer Turn. He says there is a nee
Bollore Logistics Singapore managing director Fabien Giordano, whose company will tap advanced technology and robotics to improve and mechanise various processes, such as storage and labelling, at its warehouse in Pioneer Turn. He says there is a need to change the mindset that the logistics industry is "old school".ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The opportunities presented by the booming e-commerce market have prompted logistics player Bollore Logistics to invest $10 million in a new automation project.

It will tap on advanced technology and robotics to improve and mechanise various processes, from storage to picking and labelling, at its warehouse in Pioneer Turn.

The project - backed by the Economic Development Board - could increase the products being processed tenfold while requiring only half the number of people needed to carry out the same work now.

Bollore Logistics Singapore managing director Fabien Giordano also told The Straits Times it is expected to cut the time taken to process products by up to two days. "Technological changes like this are getting more relevant with the rising demand in e-commerce, as our customers look for shorter handling times," he said, adding Bollore has secured a long-term contract with an international cosmetic group over use of the new project, which begins operations next January.

The automation initiative - much aligned with strategies laid out in the Government's Logistics Industry Transformation Map - will let the firm move staff into higher-skilled roles with higher wages or to other parts of its business. Bollore hires 1,400 people in Singapore, out of its global workforce of over 28,000.

Central to its efforts to improve operations and raise competitiveness is talent, said Mr Giordano - which is why the firm beefed up its global team of engineers to focus on creating innovative solutions in logistics and freight."A lot of people still think of the logistics industry as 'old school' today. That's a mindset we need to change," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline 'Logistics firm gets automation boost'. Print Edition | Subscribe