The assortments in the online business are getting wider and wider. The seller should cover all needs in their own store. So the spectrum ranges from clothing, to shoes, accessories, electronics, printed goods and more. The number of parts for the single order are decreasing. The number of shipments, on the other hand, is growing exponentially. Increasingly, service providers are dispensing with outer packaging for sustainability reasons. The return rates remain consistently high. These are major challenges for the intralogistics of online retailers.

When goods have to be shipped in the shortest possible time and returns have to be collected at the same time, intelligently regulated processes and maximum control are imperative. The crux of the matter is also to make returned goods available for dispatch again as quickly as possible, so that seasonal goods in particular are available for sale again as quickly as possible and stock does not grow unnecessarily.


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Schönenberger’s modular and flexibly expandable overhead conveyor systems enable both: order-accurate processing every second and sufficient flexibility for fast-reacting work. The Schönenberger intra-logistics system ILS2100 is used for this purpose. The products are transported under the ceiling without contact by means of various goods carriers and held in dynamic storage and buffer areas. Suspended goods can be managed and sorted with single load carriers and flat goods with bags in the same system. The floor space remains free for the functional areas: a plus in safety, overview and cleanliness in production and distribution.

Automated processes and a sorting strategy tailored to the order structure ensure high throughput. Reading stations record the coding of the goods and transfer them to the trolley. The continuous identification of the trolleys by means of barcodes or RFID ensures the defined flow of goods. Automated loading and unloading stations complement the intelligent parts management. This ensures consistent control in the system – and thus process reliability and adherence to schedules.

The filtering of the parts, the required sequence and the transport to the workplace is done automatically. Employees don’t spend time searching for parts or picking. Storage and sorting gyros allow quick access to any item in the system. In addition, the workstations are connected by rails. Employees have more time for value-adding activities.

Schönenberger pouch sorter for efficient returns handling

In order to cope with the growing assortments and the variety of different goods, the Schönenberger intra-logistics system ILS2100 can be equipped with bag sorters, which transports flat goods particularly carefully. High-quality garments such as jackets, dresses, blazers, etc., which must be stored and transported hanging crease-free until shipment, are moved in the same system with the sorter bags. In this way, shipments of flat and hanging garments are sorted together and delivered to the packing station with pinpoint accuracy.

Especially for the optimization of the returns management the use of a Schönenberger bag sorter is worthwhile: With the Schönenberger system returned goods do not have to be stored again or have to go through the entire intralogistic process. After quality inspection and product identification, the individual part enters the shipping buffer protected and is directly available for shipping again. There is no need for return storage and a new picking process, which has a positive effect on inventory and increases availability.

Customizable systems for every customer need

The ILS 2100 in combination with sorter pockets is a powerful and highly flexible intra-logistics system. The system size can be individually adapted to the customer’s needs to make even smaller warehouses efficient. For both smaller and larger businesses, automated processes and optimized logistics are worthwhile to counter the shortage of skilled workers and simplify warehousing, picking and sequencing. The system can be flexibly integrated into existing buildings or new buildings to meet individual customer requirements. In addition, custom-fit loading and unloading options are considered to ensure ergonomic workplaces for employees.

Pouch loading station – Automated or manual for ergonomic work

ILS pouch unloading station – Precise delivery of the required hanging and lying goods

Flexibility – combination of couch and hanging goods in one system

Scope of services

  • Holistic plant design including all peripheral trades
  • In-house switch cabinet construction
  • Plant simulation based on real data to determine the optimal sorting strategy
  • Assembly & Commissioning
  • Maintenance & Service

Central customer benefit

  • Focus on solution, not plant
  • Individual plant adaptation instead of standardization
  • Variety of alternative sorting algorithms for solving a wide range of tasks
  • Material-friendly storage and transport
  • Track & Trace of the products in the system
  • Reliable compliance with critical KPIs
  • Optimal use of space

Technical solution

  • Sorting capacity up to 7,200 parts / hour per sorter block
  • Transport capacity up to 30 meters / minute
  • Manual or fully automated loading and unloading of operating equipment
  • Transparent and reliable tracking of parts thanks to a self-correcting system
  • Combination of different operating resources in one system

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Do you have a project in mind but don’t know exactly how to implement it? Our team of experts will be happy to assist you and advise you individually on your ideas. Simply fill out the contact form on this page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Together we will find the best solution for your project.