Warehouse fulfillment automation vendor Locus Robotics will roll out a swarm of hundreds of new autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in a broad deal that will bring third party logistics provider (3PL) DHL Supply Chain up to a fleet of 1,000 robots, the companies said on Wednesday.
The agreement marks a significant expansion of Wilmington, Massachusetts-based Locus’ existing relationship with DHL, which now includes several hundred AMRs. That initial trial has focused on the life sciences and retail sectors, and delivered up to 80% fulfillment productivity increases in selected operations, DHL said.
The new contract will see LocusBots supporting picking operations in 12 DHL sites in North America this year. "The agreement with Locus Robotics further enables us to bring productivity-enhancing technology to our customers quickly, so they are well-positioned to capitalize on new and emerging opportunities,” Jim Gehr, president, Retail at DHL Supply Chain North America, said in a release. “We now see an opportunity to extend the benefits of utilizing their highly flexible AMR solution at scale for customers across multiple sectors.”
According to Locus, the partners have already identified the expansion sites, and expect deployment this year in time to support volume picking for the 2020 peak season, Locus CEO Rick Faulk said in a release.
Locus’ technology supports a collaborative, piece-picking, order-fulfilment workflow that dispatches rolling “LocusBots” to navigate autonomously within warehouses as they locate and transport pick items to employees. They can be flexibly deployed to support a range of picking strategies, reducing time spent on routine or physically demanding tasks, reducing manual errors, and increasing productivity, Locus says.
The expansion is part of DHL’s 2018 plan to spend $300 million to deploy emerging technologies in 350 of its 430 facilities in North America, an effort to help its clients address e-commerce and omnichannel challenges.
The word is out. We just signed our BIGGEST deal yet — the installation of hundreds of LocusBots at 10 US warehouses run by @DHLsupplychain.— Locus Robotics (@LocusRobotics) March 16, 2020
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