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How to optimize internal transportation in a company?

Learn about several proven ways to optimize internal transportation in your company. Find out which solution will work best for you.

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Rafał B.

Optimization of internal transportation

Optimization of a company’s internal transportation is a key element of effective logistics management. With proper planning, innovative technologies and implementation of Lean Management principles, companies can increase the efficiency of their material handling, reducing waste, increasing productivity and improving overall operational efficiency. Here are some methods to explore when optimizing transportation in a manufacturing company.

Warehouse organization  – 5S Method

Before analyzing the optimization of transportation, it is worth taking an initial look at where this transportation begins, namely the warehouse. Both the 5S method and Lean Management focus on eliminating waste and creating as much value as possible with as few resources as possible. Optimizing the warehouse layout is a key part of the process, as an efficient warehouse layout eliminates waste in the form of unnecessary transportation and waiting for materials. Grouping materials that are often used together is one way to minimize waste, i.e. unnecessary transportation and movements, which is in line with the lean philosophy. Next, placing the most frequently used items in easily accessible areas is another way to optimize transportation.

Use of automated transport systems

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are a type of mobile robots used primarily in logistics and manufacturing. They operate on the basis of various guidance technologies, such as magnetic, optical, laser or GPS-based, which enable them to move along designated routes without the need for human control. AGVs are designed to perform a variety of tasks, such as transporting pallets, boxes, rolls or other loads in warehouses, distribution centers or factories. Thanks to advanced navigation systems, they are able to avoid obstacles, stop at STOP signs, respond to traffic signals and perform other activities related to safe navigation.
An example of an AGV application could be an automated transport system in a large warehouse. AGVs can be programmed to move loads between different points in the warehouse, such as loading stations, warehouse racks or production lines. This allows the warehouse to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making warehouse operations more efficient. AGVs help improve safety and reduce operating costs, as they minimize the need for manual handling of loads and reduce the risk of human error. As a result, they are being used more and more in various industries.

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are another example. These are advanced machines that can move and perform tasks autonomously, without constant human supervision. AMRs are equipped with advanced sensory systems and algorithms that enable them to autonomously avoid obstacles, plan their route and adapt to changing conditions. AMRs can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks, from cargo transportation to complex operations such as order picking, inspection and inventory monitoring.
The difference between AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) and AMRs lies mainly in the level of autonomy and flexibility. AGVs typically follow fixed routes that are predetermined and do not have the ability to avoid unexpected obstacles. AMRs, on the other hand, have the ability to navigate autonomously in an open environment and can adjust their route on the go in response to changing conditions. This tends to make AMRs more flexible and can be more effective in variable and dynamic environments, such as warehouses, which are often crowded and changing throughout the day. In contrast, AGVs may be more suitable for simple, repetitive tasks in stable environments.

Conveyor belts

Belt conveyors are an extremely valuable tool in logistics and manufacturing, and their popularity is due to several key advantages. First of all, belt conveyors can move large amounts of material quickly and efficiently, increasing operational efficiency. In addition, they are flexible and can transport a variety of materials, from small parts to large boxes and pallets. Thanks to their design, they make efficient use of space, moving materials vertically or diagonally, which is especially valuable in areas where space is limited. Belt conveyors can also operate without a break. This is a key advantage for sites where process continuity is essential. There are many different applications for belt conveyors, both small and large scale. Conveyors are a key component of most production lines, transporting products between different processing stations. Belt conveyors are also indispensable in the food industry. There they are used to move ingredients and finished products through various stages of the production process.


Monorail – also known as a monorail system – is a form of transportation that uses a vehicle running on a single rail, which distinguishes it from the standard double-track system. This type of transportation technology offers many unique advantages. Like mountain cable cars, the monorail is highly efficient in transporting heavy loads. It works great even in difficult and tight spaces. As a result, the monorail can significantly increase operational efficiency in many industries. It is ideal for places where speed and reliability are important.
Monorail applications are extremely diverse and cover a wide range of industries, such as manufacturing, warehousing and mining. In manufacturing, similar to mountain cable cars, monorail systems can be a key component of tight and narrow lines, moving products between different processing stations.

Pneumatic transport systems

Pneumatic transport systems – that is, systems that use negative pressure and tubes to move objects. Pneumatic conveying are an innovative transportation solution that brings a number of benefits. Pneumatic conveying systems are highly effective in moving small, usually round objects. This makes them priceless in areas where precision and speed are key. Due to their unique design, pneumatic systems can make efficient use of space, moving loads even in difficult spaces.
Applications for pneumatic transport systems are varied. They can be used in medical laboratories to transport samples quickly, in the food industry to move ingredients, or in warehouses and distribution centers to move small parts. In the manufacturing sector, pneumatic conveying systems can be used to move small parts between different processing stations. Wherever fast, safe and efficient transport of small parts is needed, pneumatic systems are the ideal solution.

Standardization and modularity

Optimizing a company’s material handling is a process that requires not only careful analysis of current operations, but also innovative approaches that can increase the efficiency and flexibility of the system. Two concepts that can greatly facilitate this process are standardization and modularity. Standardization is the unification of various system components, such as packaging, boxes or pallets. When these components have standardized dimensions and characteristics, they become easier to store and transport. Standardization also makes the system more predictable. This enables better planning and resource management. Modularity, on the other hand, involves the use of standard-sized modules. This approach allows for greater flexibility, as modules can be easily replaced, added or removed, depending on current needs. If a company uses standard-sized modules, this can increase the flexibility of its system. For example, if demand for one of the company’s products suddenly increases, additional modules can easily be added to the system to meet that demand. Modularity allows the company to respond quickly to changing conditions and needs, which is crucial for effective optimization of material handling.

Automated storage and order picking systems (AS/RS)

AS/RS are complex systems that combine both storage and material handling. AS/RS can automatically retrieve materials from the warehouse and deliver them to designated work stations. They can significantly increase the speed of order picking, as well as significantly reduce errors. Of course, implementing such systems requires a not inconsiderable investment – both financial and in terms of time. The company needs to train employees and adapt its infrastructure to the coming changes. Nevertheless, over time, this investment can bring significant benefits in the form of increased productivity, reduced errors and better utilization of resources.

Many paths  – one goal

There are many paths to optimizing a company’s internal transportation. The solution a company decides on depends on its internal specifics. Nevertheless, the decision to choose a solution should be supported by an internal analysis and an estimation of the cost of the investment and its return in the long term.

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