XPO Logistics, a leading global provider of transportation and logistics solutions, has announced plans to deploy 5,000 intelligent robots throughout its logistics sites in North America and Europe.
The robots, which are designed to collaborate with humans, will supplement XPO’s existing workforce and support future growth. XPO has a strategic partnership with robotics manufacturer GreyOrange that makes XPO the exclusive logistics provider for use of its robots in North America, the UK and eight other European countries.
Bradley Jacobs, chief executive officer of XPO Logistics, said, “We’ve developed our logistics technology to integrate the latest intelligent automation and adapt it at lightning speed. This allows us to dramatically improve fulfilment time and cut costs.
“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.”
The autonomous robots 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 up to 3,500 lb, bringing it to a station where a worker fulfils up to 48 orders simultaneously.
The entire process is controlled by XPO’s proprietary warehouse management system. This high-speed, flexible solution supports same-day and next-day deliveries by shortening order-to-shipment times and helping workers minimize walk time and manual errors.
XPO’s latest robotics implementation is part of the company’s planned US$450m 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.