Project Management of Automated System Installation for Asendia

The challenge

A global leader in international e-commerce and mail business, Asendia is a joint venture of French La Poste and Swiss Post, with its main UK hub at Heathrow. The parcel and mail service provider has a growing client base including major clothing, skincare and e-commerce brand names.

In order to invest in the future, accelerate throughput and increase hub capacity, Asendia wished to install automated sorting and six new robots for over-labelling – an industry first – at its Heathrow parcel processing centre.  Their UK team asked o&i consulting to provide project management, operations readiness and subject matter expertise to ensure the successful delivery of this programme.


Our role

Tasked with leading the delivery of the overall automation programme, o&i consulting worked closely with Asendia UK and its project stakeholders at all stages of implementation and commissioning of the new facility. Through our involvement in the system development, from concept through to live operation, we had the pleasure of collaborating with automation and robotics solution providers. Together, the team created and fully implemented a bespoke parcel processing system – an automated cross-belt sorter, with scanners, printers, digital photography and six robots – with the capability of seamlessly performing the functions of relabelling, routing, sorting, weighing and dimension-checking of parcels.

In our role of project manager, we engaged and managed stakeholders across a number of locations, providing subject matter expertise, incorporating design revisions and refinements, and overseeing the installation of the technical solution. The challenge was increased by the strict travel restrictions in place as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, requiring much of the early programme communications to take place remotely.

Responsible for ensuring the operation was ready for go-live, o&i consulting created and delivered the ORAT plan and managed the operational readiness activities. This included coordinating and running a series of trials to fully test each aspect of the system under a range of scenarios, identifying and resolving issues and risks along the way.

Asendia’ is now operating its new automated sortation system and six robotic arms for over-labelling parcels; what is believed to be an industry first. The new facility provides an increased parcel throughput for Asendia’s clients at a rate of up to 7,200 parcels per hour, with maximum flexibility for despatch and the ability to sort items into bags, pallet boxes, or onward into air containers. The speed of a parcel’s journey through the sort has been cut from 9 hours to 2 minutes.

o&i consulting is proud to have been involved in the successful delivery of this leading-edge project for Asendia. Please see this flyer for more details.


Asendia UK partnered with o&i consulting in 2018, when they supported redesigning part of the operational flows in our Heathrow hub. A complex new automation project was launched in 2020, and we had no doubt about partnering with o&i again to manage all aspects of the endeavour.

 The new undertaking: to automate sorting and labelling of cross-border parcels, with one single movement. This was a very complex project, involving new and innovative sortation and robotic technology. It was also a significant and important investment on behalf of Asendia UK, in developing the quality of our hubs and delivering innovation and improvement to our customers.

o&i consulting successfully managed all the complexities of the project, dealing and building relations with the various global external and internal stakeholders, in order to ensure the project deliverables matched the requirements and targets set up by us. From design, commissioning, project management, testing and launch, the O&I team supported Asendia UK through all stages of the project until its completion. The result was a successful launch in 2022, and an automated system considered state-of-the-art within the cross-border parcel industry.”

Luis Barros, Chief Operations Officer, Asendia UK


For more information on Asendia’s new automated sortation system, please visit:


o&i expertise

  • Project management
  • Parcel and logistics sector expertise
  • Coordination of automated systems integration
  • Operations planning and management
  • Trial design, set-up and management
  • Operational readiness expertise
  • Issues and risk management and resolution
  • Stakeholder engagement and management

Project Key Facts

Title: Project Management of Automated System Installation for Asendia

Client: Asendia

Theme: Automation