WFS trials autonomous forklifts for cargo
26 / 09 / 2023
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) is trialling the use of Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) forklifts in its cargo terminal at Barcelona Airport.
The trial of Linde AGV forklift trucks will last for seven months and, if successful, will see this technology rolled out across other WFS stations in the Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia (EMEAA) region.
The trial will examine whether the AGVs can reduce the number of transport tasks currently undertaken by cargo agent personnel, giving them more time to conduct other important duties, as well as assess opportunities for productivity improvements.
Two types of AGV forklifts will be used in the Barcelona facility within the inbound and outbound operational areas – one for cargo stores high and the other for cargo stored low.
They will move cargo from the breakdown areas to racking storage locations within the warehouse as well as to the cargo delivery area.
“We have allocated dedicated pick-up areas for the trials in addition to 156 pallet storage rack locations,” said Barcelona station manager, Marc Grau.
The trial has also integrated WFS’s Cargospot Mobile warehouse management system, supplied by CHAMP Cargosystems, with AGV Robotic WMS to provide a one-system solution.
“We are very much looking forward to seeing how the use of AGV technology can enhance our cargo warehouse operations,” said Jimi Daniel Hansen, vice president operational excellence – Europe, Middle East and Africa at WFS.
“We have chosen to do this first AGV forklift trial in Barcelona because it is a prime cargo station in the WFS network and one of the leading locations supporting our operational excellence initiatives.
“Our team in Spain are helping to drive the introduction of new technologies into our operations and to provide the proof-of-concept we need before we roll out these solutions at other cargo stations in our network.”
Earlier this year, the handler also carried out a trial of automated ramp tractors at Barcelona.