Real-life Tetris: Computer game tech shakes up DHL’s logistics ops

Anyone who has loaded a truck knows that the process is basically an analog version of Tetris, and with more sweating and swearing. But 33 years after Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov released the tile-matching puzzle video game, the two have finally become twain, thanks to some innovative thinking on the part of DHL and a Nuremberg-based startup.

DHL is using 3D camera sensors from game consoles to measure freight volumes at a trade show. The German integrator is testing the new technology, MetriX Freight, using sensors to record the dimensions of incoming and outgoing shipments at the exhibition grounds of the Messe Frankfurt tradeshow.

freight scanning mount for 3D cameras

MetriX Freight was developed by a start-up called Metrilus, which optimizes 3-D sensors to develop automation and computer-aided assistance systems. The latest iteration scans and computes volumes in less than a second, which Vincenco Scrudato, managing director of DHL Trade Fairs & Events, said enabled, “up to six times faster handling of all shipments.”

Depending on the size, DHL said that, prior to the deployment of MetriX Freight, up to three employees were required to measure and document a single piece of freight in terms of its height, width and length.

An event such as the Messe Frankfurt tradeshow sees approximately 750 to 1,600 pieces of freight per night, making the process very time consuming. “Thanks to the new digital solution, this process now runs almost automatically,” DHL said. At the end of a fair, all freight pieces are ready to ship within less than 24 hours.


To learn more about future innovations in freight forwarding, air freight and logistics, join us at Air Cargo World’s ELEVATE Conference in Miami, Oct. 2. Click here for registration information.

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