FedEx launches AI-powered sorting robot to drive smart logistics

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FedEx Express has launched DoraSorter, an AI-powered intelligent sorting robot, in Guangzhou, China, collaboration with Dorabot, a leading robotics solution provider for logistics. The sorting robot represents the company’s latest push in digitizing its operations and building a smart logistics network to handle the ever-growing volumes of e-commerce-related shipments in the region.

The first of its kind in China for FedEx, the DoraSorter robot is being deployed at the 5,200m2  FedEx South China E-Commerce Shipment Sorting Center in Guangzhou. DoraSorter is already part of the daily sorting operations and is capable of handling small inbound and outbound packages from e-commerce customers in South China.

While FedEx and Dorabot teams continue to fine-tune the robot based on operational requirements and explore more application scenarios, DoraSorter’s core function of sorting parcels based on destination matches the sorting center’s operation process.

Key features of DoraSorter include:

  • At approximately 40m2, the robot can carry up to 10kg of packages, covering up to 100 destinations simultaneously;
  • The robot has a special drawer-shaped gripper that can connect with the conveyor belt seamlessly;
  • Equipped with a barcode reader that scans packages to obtain destination information, the robot uses its gripper to receive a package inward from the conveyor belt and moves it outward to the corresponding destination slot.

“With e-commerce taking center stage in the future of retail in our region, the speed with which a parcel can be picked up and delivered to customers’ doorsteps has become a dominant factor in driving the adoption of sorting robots,” said Kawal Preet, president of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region at FedEx Express. “Bringing DoraSorter to China as a pilot program is a natural choice for us given it’s the world’s biggest e-commerce market with an expected valuation of US$3.3tn by 2025.

“As we look to build a data-driven, smart logistics network to help our customers thrive in the digital economy, this alliance with Dorabot is part of becoming the network for what’s next. AI-powered technology will continue to change how we support customers in the region and enhance supply chains for the future.”

Xiaobai Deng, founder and CEO of Dorabot, commented, “The use of DoraSorter helps FedEx sort a higher volume of cross-border e-commerce shipments. It is the starting point of a global collaboration between Dorabot and FedEx. We hope that we can work together to bring AI and robotics applications to more businesses and consumers.”

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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