SortMate: The Evolution Of Sorting Fresh Goods

By Dayeeta Das
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  • SortMate by System Logistics is a new and innovative automated solution for managing and distributing fruit and vegetable crates.

    SortMate autonomously manages the entire inbound and outbound sorting process for fruit and vegetables, from the arrival of goods to distribution to different destinations.

    It is a flexible and scalable solution that can easily adapt to a customer’s warehouse layout, thanks to advanced yet easy-to-implement technology that does not require significant fixed installations.

    The system mainly consists of state-of-the-art anthropomorphic robots with integrated vision and laser-guided carts (AGV), which handle pallet movement.

    The purpose of the robots is to pick up crates directly from the source pallet and place them on the order pallet – all without the need for the intermediate movements of single crates, thus avoiding unnecessary costs and complexity.


    The AGVs (vehicles) follow the most efficient and safe paths, without being constrained by the predetermined trajectories of classic conveyor belts.

    In chilled warehouses, goods arrive randomly throughout the day and are then sorted and distributed in a few hours based on customer orders for subsequent deliveries.

    The SortMate solution automates this process, optimising a facility’s workflow and improving the working conditions of operators.

    Easy To Install

    Developed by System Logistics, SortMate is based on extremely simple technology, which can be easily installed in any warehouse within a few months of the order. It can be integrated into existing structures without the need to modify the warehouse organisation or customer procedures, with a quick return on investment.


    The first automatic fruit- and vegetable-picking system with SortMate technology in Italy was inaugurated in February, at the Montopoli in Val d’Arno logistics centre – one of the most innovative in Central Italy, and the main distribution centre for Conad Nord Ovest, one of the largest cooperatives operating in the retail industry and associated with the Conad Consortium.

    With a surface area of over 6,000 square metres, the plant handles approximately 43,000 crates per day and employs the SortMate solution for the ventilation, preparation and preservation of fruit and vegetable products, optimising and speeding up the efficiency of processes and transport, reducing food waste, and ensuring the freshness and quality of products at the point of sale.

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