Royal Mail - Cross Dock
Location : United Kingdom
Industry : Postal Services



· Best size and shape for a bullring
· Layout and operation of serveral "bulk mail" sortation and cross dock centres
· Layout and operation of a new national distribution centre (NDC) for "bulk " and "standard tariff" mail
· Roll cage cross dock
Stillages of bulk mail bags arrive.
The mail in each bag is already sorted and has a destination - so bags do not require opening.
First wave stillages contain bags from local sources only, require "primary sortation" to the correct regional distribution centres (RDC).
Stillages of bulk mail bags, sorted to RDC, are desptached.
Later in same night stillages of bulk mail bags for this RDC, from many other RDCS, arrive.
Whole bags are "secondary sorted" to local sortation centre.
Stillages of bulk mail bags are desptached.


The sorting takes place in a "Bull ring" in which there is a rectangular layout of stillages - some of which are donors and some are acceptors.
This project simulated a variety of size and shape of rectangle to establish an optimum. Additional other sortation systems where tried as shown here.

Layout for Bulk Mail sort and Cross Dock
· Where to have the bullring
· How many for throughput requirement
· Staffing
· Priorities for different mail traffic - 1st, 2nd, 3rd and defered ( start and cut off times established )
· Size and allocation of receiving and despatch lanes
· Size and poisition of weight verification area
· Number of MHE
· Operation of empty stillages
· How best to move roll cages for cross dock - load up to 6 on a roll cage mover and move them or simple push each 1 to the correct lorry.
Simulations carried out for:
· Bristol - stillage sorting
· Bristol - roll cages - cross dock only
· London - Princess Royal Distribution Centre - included large high speed sorter - stillages and cross dock roll cases
· London - East London Hub - cross dock of roll cage
· Midland - Bulk mail part of new NDC - stillages and roll cage cross dock
· Warrington - stillage sorting
Further Simulation of standard tarriff mail at NDC
· 1st class bulk mail sorted to roll cages and intregrated with standard tarriff cross dock operation
· Very large number of vehicles to process in 1 night, hence critical for simulation to establish:

-Sufficient doors
-Priorities for lorries going earlier (generally Scotland)
-Sufficient staff and MHE
-Despatch lane congestion controllable

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