XPO Logistics is to deploy 5,000 intelligent robots to work with humans in its warehouses across North America and Europe.
They will roll out to the UK and eight other European countries, as well as North America.
The autonomous robots, which are supplied by GreyOrange, are part of a modular goods-to-person system that also includes mobile storage racks and fulfilment stations. Each robot can move a rack weighing approximately 1,000 to 3,500 lbs., bringing it to a station where a worker fulfils up to 48 orders simultaneously. The process is controlled by a proprietary WMS.
XPO Logistics has announced a $450 million investment in technology this year. Other recent innovations include the XPO Direct shared-space distribution network, voice integration with Amazon Echo and Google Home to track the last mile delivery of heavy goods, and the XPO Connect digital freight marketplace with multimodal infrastructure.
Bradley Jacobs, chief executive officer of XPO Logistics, said there were a number of benefits to the robotics rollout. “This allows us to dramatically improve fulfilment time and cut costs,” he said. “The addition of 5,000 collaborative robots will make our logistics operations safer and more productive in picking, packing and sortation. These are important benefits for our customers – particularly in the e-commerce and omnichannel retail sectors, where order speed and accuracy are essential ways to compete.”
Image credit: XPO Logistics