The health crisis forced the Rhenus Group to accelerate the transformation of its working methods. Using exoskeletons to facilitate loading, unloading or moving parcels was already under active consideration in the company. With the social distancing measures imposed by the COVID-19 crisis, it became impossible to ask two operators to pick up heavy packages to unload a sea container. The use of an exoskeleton proved to be a simple and effective solution to this concrete problem.
Beyond this aspect, exoskeletons offer many other advantages to their users and to logistics organisations. They reduce the drudgery of work and allow female staff, or staff without specific physical aptitude, to occupy positions that were previously inaccessible to them. Employers can thus diversify the sources of recruitment for these types of positions, which opens up new perspectives in a sector under stress.
"Some technologies provide both better operational performance and improved working conditions for our staff. This is what guides our choices to go even further in the use of new technologies in the warehouse. We work in partnership with suppliers of robots, picking automation systems, and IoT systems whenever their solutions can improve our agility for the benefit of our customers, both in France and in all the other countries where Rhenus operates," says Laurent Schuster, CEO Rhenus Logistics France.