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Linde MH and Dematic work hand-in-hand to supply Chinese supermarkets with fresh products

The Dazhang Group is a popular Chinese retail company. The business has been growing steadily over the past few years and has therefore made continuous investments in improving its logistics system. The floorspace at its distribution center in Luoyang, a historical city in the Henan province, has expanded from 5,000 m² to almost 150,000 m². In the process, it has developed into a modern logistics and industrial park, combining warehousing, distribution, and production under one roof. KION subsidiaries Linde MH and Dematic have played an essential part in this development.


More than 20 years of collaboration with Linde MH

In 2000, the Dazhang Group began construction on a first-generation distribution center, which saw the use of conventional goods racking and a forklift truck. At that time, the first and only forklift truck in use by the company was a H18D diesel forklift truck from Linde MH. Why Linde MH? According to Mr. Jinhai Zhang, it was due to the robustness and high efficiency—in fact, the now 22-year-old forklift truck is still working seamlessly to this day.

In light of the influence of the online-to-offline (O2O) business model as well as the expansion of product categories and additional services, the capacities for storage and distribution have become more and more important. That’s why the Dazhang Group set themselves the goal of having no more than 200 km between their distribution center and their main business, and for goods to be distributed within 3 hours. To achieve this objective, the company has expanded its distribution center multiple times, extending its floorspace to almost 150,000 m². This process has relied upon products from Linde MH. In the meantime, the number of trucks has increased from just one to more than three hundred. The product categories now range from counterbalanced trucks through to several different types of warehouse logistics equipment. “Linde has grown with the customer,” says Zhang.

Regarding the trends, he explains that the demand for automation and alternative energies is constantly growing among its customers. He also points out that the development of Linde trucks in terms of achieving greater sustainability has helped to meet customers’ requirements. According to Zhang, the design of the industrial trucks combines ergonomics and efficiency with work safety—another crucial factor when it comes to fulfilling customers’ wishes.

The Dazhang Group is a popular Chinese retail company. The business has been growing steadily over the past few years and has therefore made continuous investments in improving its logistics system.

Dematic sets a new record in China with the construction of a 38-meter-high cold store

Two years ago, the Dazhang Group decided to build a 90,000 m² cold chain logistics and food production park, the focus of which was to create capacities in cold chain storage and distribution. To achieve this, they chose to work with KION Group subsidiary Dematic, who helped them to build a high shelving cold store with pallet storage and retrieval equipment.

The outstanding feature of this project is the element of automation, supported by smart technology. “As well as massively increasing our work efficiency, automation has allowed us to reduce the intensity of work for our employees, meaning we can keep overtime to a minimum during peak times,” explains Head of the Logistics Department, Xinjiang Guo. “And all this has been achieved while also reducing staffing costs.”

With the automated cold chain store and distribution center, the main part of the initial project phase is now officially in operation: “Employees no longer have to carry out work at -20°C in the cold store, which is great news for the health of our employees and for food safety, too,” says a very happy Mr. Guo.

Increasing energy efficiency and guaranteeing stable operations have also been extremely important. The solution for this lies in utilizing the full height of the warehouse without increasing the floorspace. As the Head of the Logistics Department explains, in China, high rack warehouses with storage and retrieval systems tend to be max. 24 meters high. At 38 meters, the ultra-high storage and retrieval system from Dematic sets a record for cold storage in China—at a stable operating temperature of -18°C to -20°C.

The Dazhang Group has already extended its contract with Dematic. In a second project phase, it is already working on a new cold store.