Contract logistics company DHL Supply Chain is expanding its collaboration with warehouse automation firm Locus Robotics, with plans to more than double its use of the firm’s assisted picking robots by 2022, the company said today.
DHL Supply Chain is using more than 500 Locus Robotics assisted picking robots at its warehouses in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom, with plans to add another 500 by the end of the year. By 2022, DHL says it will implement up to 2,000 assisted picking robots globally. The effort is part of the company’s accelerated digitalization strategy and will make DHL the largest Locus Robotics customer worldwide, company officials said.
“It is particularly important for us to be able to consistently optimize our supply chains—assisted picking robots are very effective in this respect,” according to Markus Voss, Global CIO and COO for DHL Supply Chain, who noted that the technology will be in use at 20 DHL facilities by the end of this year. “... collaborative picking technology has clearly proven its effectiveness and reliability in modern warehousing. More locations have already been identified with concrete implementation roadmaps for the remaining robots, which we will deploy in 2022. However, the overall potential for assisted picking robots in our DHL warehouses is much bigger, so we are confident that we will meet the targets we have set ourselves together with Locus Robotics.”
Among the technology’s benefits, DHL said assisted picking robots help reduce time spent maneuvering pushcarts through warehouses, lower physical strain on employees, and increase picking efficiency. They can also be easily integrated into DHL’s existing systems and added during peak cycles to expand capacity, they said.
The expanded collaboration reflects the shifting fulfillment landscape based on growing e-commerce activity and resulting demand for warehouse automation technology.
“Our expanded partnership with DHL reflects the increasing demand for warehouse digitalization worldwide to meet today's exploding fulfillment challenges,” said Rick Faulk, CEO, Locus Robotics. “Locus is proud to be a valued technology resource that is helping DHL realize their strategic vision of digital transformation.”