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Locus Robotics Now a Unicorn with New Funding

| Mike O'Brien

Locus Robotics, a provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) for fulfillment warehouses, has raised $150 million in a Series E round, led by Tiger Global Management and Bond, bringing its valuation to the unicorn level north of $1 billion as its business multiplies. The company is looking to expand in Europe and enter APAC in 2022.

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Ahold Delhaize Steps Up Automation Efforts

| Mike O'Brien

Ahold Delhaize, the Netherlands-based grocery conglomerate that owns Stop & Shop, Giant and other U.S. chains, plans to pilot micro-fulfillment technology at one of Giant’s fulfillment centers in Philadelphia as it competes with Kroger’s e-fulfillment model using tech partner Ocado.

3PL vs. Internal Fulfillment: Comparing Costs

| Brian Barry

For some ecommerce and multichannel companies, using third-party fulfillment (3PL) can be a viable alternative and provide high customer service as an option to internal fulfillment. The burning question for management: “How will it compare in terms of costs?” Here’s a step-by-step process for conducting your analysis.

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Stalco Acquired by Canada Cartage

| Mike O'Brien

Stalco, a Toronto-based 3PL specializing in fulfillment and distribution for high-velocity ecommerce clients in Canada, the U.S. and abroad, has been acquired by Canada Cartage. Stalco will become a standalone unit within CCLS, Canada Cartage’s fulfillment and distribution division, and operated independently.

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Walmart Expands Store-Based Grocery Fulfillment Automation

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is taking another huge leap forward in its attempt to dominate grocery sales, launching an aggressive plan to increase the number of stores using micro fulfillment via automation and robotics to speed orders to local customers as it builds on the digital legacy of the departing Marc Lore. Dozens of such locations are planned.

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Amazon Files Objection to Alabama Union Vote

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon has filed a motion with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to postpone a planned union vote next month at its fulfillment center in Bessemer, AL, which if successful would create its first union shop, an outcome the ecommerce giant has vigorously opposed at every turn. The vote is scheduled from Feb. 8-March 29.

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10 Ecommerce Fulfillment Trends to Pursue in 2021

| Perry Belcastro

The past year has redefined how Americans shop. Ecommerce, BOPIS and curbside are table stakes, and free shipping is expected. What exactly does that mean for ecommerce fulfillment operations? Now more than ever, they must be strategic, sophisticated and responsive. Here are 10 key areas to pursue in 2021.

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Amazon Gives Break to SFP Merchants

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is giving merchants using its Seller Fulfilled Prime a break in terms of service level commitments, removing a plan to have them meet one- and two-day shipping requirements, in light of ongoing challenges on speedy delivery from carriers, CNBC reported.

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Will Dark Stores Outlast the Pandemic?

| Mike Chou

Dark stores, even as a temporarily approach, can help offset the cost of underperforming stores and the expense of freight and logistics, especially in more densely populated areas. It also takes online fulfillment out of store operations, allowing retailers to concentrate on customer service and minimizing inventory confusion.

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Better Workforce Management Improves Ecommerce Fulfillment

| Derek Jones

It is not farfetched to say that the success of any ecommerce fulfillment operation will come down to human resources and how well they are managed. Here are some of the benefits improved workforce management, even after the pandemic is behind us, can deliver to your ecommerce business.