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TriFactor Home / Material Handling Systems Case Studies / Undisclosed: Third Party Logistics

Material Handling Case Study - Third Party Logistics Company

Company Description

 As an international “Third-party logistics” company, this customer specializes in global freight management and contract logistics. This case study pertains to their project for a major online retailer.


Prior to this project, TriFactor’s customer had already established a solid business relationship with their client in the European market. When the client decided it needed a new sort center in Toronto, they also decided that they wanted to outsource the operations through the Third-party logistics company. Since TriFactor has provided material handling system design and implementation solutions for both the Third-party logistics and the online retailer, the customer leveraged TriFactor’s expertise within this unique space in order to help specify the proper building size, design and install the material handling system and assist in training the operations on use of the system.


Within the online retailer’s typical supply chain structure, the sort centers primarily operated between the fulfillment centers and the last mile carrier. Sort centers are defined by the number of pieces per hour that are received, sorted and palletized for outbound shipment.

The new Toronto sort center operated by TriFactor’s customer operates is a “12k” system, meaning 12,000 pieces per hour. The mandate from the online retailer to the logistics' company was that the facility would have the space required in order to grow into an “auto-sort” facility in the future, which can process almost 30,000 pieces per hour with additional material handling systems and labor.


A new 430,000 square foot building was identified and selected as the location for the new sort center operations in Toronto.  Within this building, TriFactor provided a material handling system with four functional areas; small sorts, unloading, primary sort and run-out. The small sort area includes the use of two automatic gaylord dumpers, each dumping lightweight and small packages to a custom designed manual sort table where associates separate the packages in to four different narrow belted conveyors. The associates stationed along the narrow-belted conveyors then place the small parcels into small-binned carts.

The unloader area consists of a large platform where eight telescopic extendible belts interface with each of their respective incline belts. When trucks back up to the receiving docks where these telescopic extendibles are located, the packages are conveyed up the inclines and deposited onto the main collector belt in order to convey to the sortation area.

The sortation area consists of a large, custom design primary sort platform with seven associate workstations. The conveyor system distributes the inbound packages to each of the associate workstations. The associates read the labels of each package sorted to them and then place the package on one of four adjacent chutes, each of which are associated with a run-out line.

The run-out lines convey the packages to their final destination within the facility, which is a manual pallet building station where built pallets are then loaded on to trucks for outbound delivery to either Amazon’s parcel delivery station or to their contracted parcel carrier.


The project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule. With the Third-party logistic’s company, their client now has the ability to sort 12,000 packages per hour, enhancing the quality of its local delivery service, including 1 and 2-day delivery.


2-3 Years

System Summary

Third-Party Logistics Company 


TriFactor Provided:
Detailed Design Engineering
Equipment Selection and Procurement
Mechanical & Electrical Installation
Mechanical & Electrical Engineering
Control System Programming
Operator Training


430,000 square feet


Facility Type:
Parcel Package Crossdock


Products Handled:
Parcel Boxed Packages
Parcel Soft Packages
Parcel Envelopes


Markets Served:
Direct to Customer


Products Utilized:
Parcel Handling Belt Conveyor
Telescopic Belted Extendable Truck Unloaders
Bulk Flow Package Sortation System
Primary Sort Platform & Slide Unloader Platform
Automatic Gaylord Dumpers
Spiral Gravity Chutes with UHMW Lining
Straight Gravity Chutes
Split Lane Roller Conveyor
Conveyor Control Panels