Boxbot, a startup that pivoted from autonomous vehicle technology to automated parcel storage and retrieval for last-mile delivery applications, announced a $12 million Series A round that will help the company deploy its “three-dimensional conveyor belt” that handles sequenced sortation.
Danish global shipping and logistics giant A.P Moller-Maersk is jumping into ecommerce fulfillment, opening a micro fulfillment center in Dallas powered by technology from Israeli firm Fabric that will initially serve one client in health and wellness but could be expanded to a multi-tenant operation. The 38,000-square-foot facility will utilize Fabric’s automated storage and retrieval (AS/RS).
CaPow, an Israeli company with a continuous power supply for warehouse robots eliminating charging downtime, has struck a U.S. partnership to expand here, selling into robot makers, 3PLs and companies with fulfillment/distribution networks. CaPow delivers power continuously via a system using copper foil transmitters mounted on fixed points, paired with similar receivers on the robots.
Ecommerce demand may not be exploding like 2020 and 2021, but retailers are increasingly looking at automated solutions like goods-to-person (GTP) systems to help future-proof their operations as conditions fluctuate. Automated storage and retrieval (AS/RS) and autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are gaining serious traction, with rapid market expansion projected between now and 2030.
Savvy shippers are introducing automated intralogistics to deliver an enhanced customer experience to gain competitive advantage. They’re also streamlining their business and making warehouse operations as profitable as possible. A multi-agent orchestration platform that is device and technology agnostic switches things up, bringing more uniformity to your fulfillment operations.
With the opportunity for so much online revenue at stake, it’s critical to delight consumers with optimized ecommerce packaging that delivers products without damage. Packaging enhancements need to go beyond functionality, using materials that can be reused or recycled. This is good for the business and the environment, and increasingly attractive to consumers.
Despite concerns about what generative AI heralds for society and humankind, in the form of warning letters from prominent tech executives and academics, many consumers are excited about the prospects for the technology. Like every technology-driven shift in commerce, smart merchants will take a customer-first mindset when evaluating available generative AI solutions and investments.
Many will argue whether the pandemic was a White Swan or Black Swan event. In either case, the supply chain impacts did not create new trends or problem categories. Instead, they amplified underlying instabilities and dramatically accelerated the pace of change. Supply chain organizations and the companies that support them need to prepare for a world that is less predictable, less stable and faster moving.
Walmart saw 25% growth in Q1 ecommerce, as the beast of Bentonville outpaced expectations on the top and bottom line and raised its full-year guidance, three months after warning that the 2023 outlook was not a particularly good one based on consumer sentiment and macroeconomic signals. The company also addressed theft concerns while reporting strength in advertising and fulfillment services.
Despite all the advances in warehouse automation for ecommerce fulfillment, enabling greater efficiency and addressing the common difficulty of finding enough workers to perform the highly repetitive, physical tasks, most organizations are not looking to jump in with both feet. The COO of 3PL Boxzooka explains why the company is taking a more measured approach.