Vertical crossbelt sorter for better material handling at Aokang
An Interroll vertical crossbelt sorter system ensures an efficient material handling in the new Aokang distribution center.

The Chinese shoe industry has been booming not only since yesterday. In order to successfully master the growing online and retail business, the leading manufacturer must also adapt: at the new Aokang distribution center in Shangai, a vertical crossbelt sorter from Interroll is now in operation that handles up to 100,000 shoes a day while reducing maintenance costs.

Aokang is a leading company in the Chinese footwear industry. With its four own brands Aokang, Kang Long, MeiRie's, Redess as well as the ownership rights to the Italian brand VALLEVERDE for Greater China, Aokang is creating a stir in the market. According to the National Statistics Office of the People's Republic of China, the company ranks first among the ten most profitable companies in the Chinese manufacturing sector for the fifth consecutive year.  

China's shoe industry is booming

Just a few figures from the Chinese market research company ASKCI Consulting, which illustrate the steady growth: the average annual growth rate of the Chinese women's footwear market over the past five years has been 8.7 percent. The size of the women's footwear market reached a total value of 224.7 billion yuan (approx. 32.5 billion EUR). According to forecasts, this figure will exceed 260 billion yuan by 2018. Clearly: Far Eastern footwear is booming.

Mastering growth with automation

Aokang has to handle more than 100,000 pairs of shoes a day in its distribution centre. Not an easy task in itself, which was even more tricky due to the limited space available and very high distribution demands.

After a total of three years of planning, the solution was clear: in order to master the challenge, the vertical crossbelt sorter in the new distribution center had to automate as many processes as possible. For Guo Yong, Managing Director of the Aokang distribution center, the advantages in terms of space utilisation, logistics efficiency and the reliability of the Interroll crossbelt sorter were the decisive factors in his decision.

Efficient overall solution

6,000 shoe cartons plus 1,000 crates with ten destinations for the online business: a total of 7,000 packaging units per hour, for which the overall solution with Interroll's vertical crossbelt sorter is now designed. With the new distribution center, Aokang benefits from lower maintenance requirements for the crossbelt sorter as it has a very robust mechanical design. And because the system uses helical, energy-saving motors, the speed of which can be precisely regulated, the system can achieve a high level of transport accuracy, which is particularly ideal for sensitive goods.

Both partners are satisfied: Aokang of the strong performance of the vertical crossbelt sorter, which makes it easier for the Chinese shoe manufacturer to sort and deliver its goods. Interoll is happy to be able to help another end user manage its growth and help it further expand its leadership within its business segment.

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