Into the pool

Into the pool

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

For Sodrel Logistics, changing warehousing operations meant a change in technology. The company is a pool point operator, receiving, sorting and segregating consolidated shipments from vendors such as Blockbuster, Old Navy and Payless Shoes for distribution to multiple outlets. Inventory must be monitored in real time and some goods warehoused to accommodate fluctuations in sales patterns.

"With today''s margins we can''t afford to lose one out of 40,000 cartons of jeans," said Jeff Canada, director of Sodrel Logistics, a subsidiary of Sodrel Truck Lines, Jeffersonville, Ind.

Canada said the company''s Indianapolis distribution center began accepting pool shipments in 1999 and the change in warehousing required a modification of its enterprise software to allow for real-time tracking of every single crate.

"They are performing far more complicated services out of their buildings," said Marc Mitchell, transportation project director for systems integrator EIS, which handled the upgrade. "It used to be pure holding. Now they are doing staging, fulfillment, returns processing, routing and OS&D."

Sodrel''s expansion into pooling services followed its customer''s consolidation efforts. Most of the company''s suppliers have contracted into six or less distribution points around the country, Canada said, with one company going from a dozen distribution points to three.