-Written by Yousra El-Otmani and Dharmakrishnan Suresh
Our Poland visit group comprised of 28 individuals from 12 different countries around the globe, 26 students and 2 members of faculty.
The first day was sunny, helping Wroclaw to show us its wonders. It truly deserves its title of the Venice of the North thanks to its various bridges crossing the Oder River and islands such as the Cathedral Island. We went on a guided tour which revealed many sights which will be unforgettable. In fact, until today, a lamplighter runs through all streetlights of the small island only equipped with his ladder to light them.
Wroclaw is also the land of gnomes; more than 500 are hidden around the city, with each representing a specific theme or as a remembrance of a previous event, characters included: firefighters, prisoner, pizza delivery man, and banker.
Among the surprising and genuine characteristics of this city, the flower market which is open 24 /7, the history of the city which was part of Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Austria through different periods of time, and, more recent architectural attributes such as the cable car linking two parts of the university across the river.
Moreover, Wroclaw, with its position as a bridge between Western and Eastern Europe and thanks to being close to the trade routes, has played an essential role through history. It still nowadays embraces loads of industry and major corporations in sectors like railroad cars, chemicals, high-tech and electronics.
On the first we were invited by the International University of Logistics and Transport who are advanced and pioneer in the logistics operations in Poland. We had a lecture on The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Logistics Operations which was insightful. After visiting the university, it was time to roam around the beautiful city and explore its wonders.
The following day, we visited Volvo’s division which manufactures buses (hybrid and electric). After a briefing of what happens inside the plant, we were taken into the site to catch a glimpse of a day in Volvo: thinking of simple solutions for the problems was a key learning. Then it was time for a beautiful boat ride on the river: the most interesting part of this ride was getting to know the diverse history and culture of Wroclaw.
On the third day, we visited the Amazon Warehouse which is one of the largest warehouses in Europe. We toured inside the warehouse, we found amazing technologies which they use to keep record of their stock and its location, and they even had a printing press for books which were printed once the order has been placed!
On the last day, we visited a polish company, Ritex, specialised in warehousing, transport and logistics solutions. Their warehouse is in the periphery of Wroclaw and is located in an industrial park, close to Faurecia, a leader in automotive parts supply. It started operating in September 2018, so it is still brand new, using the latest technologies.
Their main activity is storing different kinds and sizes of SKUs (in the field of inventory management, a stock-keeping unit or SKU refers to a specific item stored to a specific location – Wikipedia) for various industries: automotive, pharmaceutical etc. Ritex is quite unique in its use of drone technology for inventory management and its diverse assets such as a crane to move heavy voluminous items, as well as a cooled area for temperature sensitive products. They operate a fleet of 100 vehicles and can deliver directly to their client’s customers.
Ritex can fully handle companies’ supply chains, be cost efficient and innovative. Their warm enthusiastic welcome was impressive and will remain engraved in our minds.