Automated vehicle to launch at Swissport’s Frankfurt facility

The AGV is expected to improve the safety of transportation processes by using data-based controls to regulate operations  

Swissport’s new freight terminal in Frankfurt is set to be supplied with an automated guided vehicle (AGV) from Lodige Industries – a supplier of air cargo equipment – as part of a pilot study at the German base.  

The new initiative is one of the company’s latest innovations and is planned to improve flexibility and safety of transportation processes.  

The project is scheduled to begin in November. 

Lodige Industries
Photo Lodige Industries 

Logige’s AGV is part of Swissport’s plan to enhance cargo handling processes. It has a load capacity of 6,800kg and is designed to replace unit load devices, alongside eliminating the need for fixed ground transportation routes.  

In comparison to alternative solutions, this helps ensure personnel are free for higher-value tasks whilst also saving space, according to the firm.  

"The new AGV is an important addition to Swissport’s state-of-the-art facility in Frankfurt, significantly improving the safety, efficiency and flexibility of their processes,” said Bjorn Ussat, director of airport logistics solutions at Lodige Industries. “Swissport is the first user of our extensively tested AGV. Having equipped Swissport’s terminal with a cargo handling system, we can now support their ambitious plans for an even higher level of automation within the terminal with a reliable and efficient new product that will now prove its performance under demanding conditions." 

Due to its omnidirectional drive system, the vehicle is able to use a secure laser scanning device that redirects it in case it runs into any obstructions.  

According to the supplier, the data-based controls integrated into the solution enables users to regulate its operations and allows for easier integration into a warehouse management complex.  

Within the terminal, several strategic handover positions are connected by the vehicle. This includes the rollers decks of the automated material handling system, the pharmaceutical zone, the truck dock and other stations – covering distances between 60 and 300 meters.  

Lodige was responsible for designing and installing the entire cargo handling system. The AGV was planned to be implemented from the start of the project to complement the existing infrastructure.  

The company has said that due to the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery and inductive charging station, it can provide permanent availability.