Logistics provider GXO will deploy a fleet of autonomous robots, named ‘cobots’, in the UK and the Netherlands, to improve its grocery and large-item operations.
The cobots have been developed by the fulfillment robot developers 6 River Systems, Lowpad, iFollow and Locus. In one 40,000m2 distribution center in the Netherlands, GXO is using Lowpad robots to optimize operations in the traditionally manually focused food and beverage industry. These AMRs are guided by custom software and routing algorithms designed to streamline the distribution process.
Having already integrated cobots into operations for e-commerce and retail customers, GXO has recorded the ability of AMRs to increase accuracy and boost productivity up to 60%. The company also expects the additional AMRs to develop the end-consumer experience as they can reduce the time it takes to process an order. This enables GXO customers to extend their cut-off time for receiving orders. The deployment of AMRs improves safety by reducing material handling equipment movements in the warehouse.
Phil Shaw, vice president of GXO’s center of excellence, said, “Over the past 18 months, we have accelerated our deployment of modular technologies. Because these AMRs are small and mobile, they have significant advantages over heavier, fixed installations. You can easily add AMRs when volumes increase during peak seasons and then redeploy them elsewhere. During the final quarter of 2021, our use of AMRs helped our customers manage the ongoing shift toward e-commerce in consumer buying behavior.”