XPO Logistics, a leading global provider of transport and logistics solutions, has deployed intelligent robotics for a large e-commerce customer at its facility in Ile-de-France, France. XPO put the robots in place in October in preparation for Black Friday and the holiday peak. The solution is designed to process orders quickly at lower cost by helping workers manage changes in volume.
The autonomous robots are part of a modular system that integrates special bins, picking stations and shelves. The storage capacity includes tens of thousands bins that can be divided into smaller units if necessary or expanded to include more capacity. The system has the flexibility to handle products ranging from fashion and home goods to cosmetics and food.
Each robot moves in three dimensions, picking inventory items from shelves up to four times faster than humanly possible. The robots bring the items to workers at order preparation stations, dramatically shortening fulfillment time and enhancing accuracy and safety. The lightweight robots are easy to transport and install, giving XPO the flexibility to relocate them within the warehouse and add or subtract robots as volumes change.
Richard Cawston, managing director-supply chain, XPO Logistics Europe, said, “Robots are becoming increasingly important to our logistics operations. Our workers can focus on the point of fulfillment, adding value in areas such as packaging, while the robots reduce walk-time and lifting. We’ve designed an adaptive solution that can flex with our customer’s merchandise range and seasonal volumes.”
XPO’s latest robotics implementation is part of the company’s planned $450 million investment in technology this year. Other recent innovations include the XPO Direct shared-space distribution network, last mile innovations that enhance the consumer experience, such as voice tracking and augmented reality, and the XPO Connect digital freight marketplace with multimodal infrastructure.