We’re at a tipping point where automation is about to be a mainstream focus of ecommerce fulfillment centers. But while automation may be a sensible investment for bigger players like Amazon, that doesn’t mean it will scale effectively to smaller operations. So, are fully automated facilities really the future, and if so, what will it look like?
Ecommerce fulfillment software and systems integration provider Vargo has partnered with robotics sortation and grasping robot maker Kindred and autonomous mobile robot (AMR) creator Fetch Robotics to help their systems better sync with order orchestration and workflows. This continues a recent trend of SI/robotics partnerships.
French robotics firm Exotec, which lists Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo as a major client, has raised $90 million to power its global growth in ecommerce fulfillment. Founded in 2015, Exotec is built on a goods-to-person model with its Skypod bots which uses laser guidance to navigate a fulfillment center.
This month, FedEx Express installed four robotic arms inside a sortation hub in its hometown of Memphis, in response to demands placed on its services in the midst of the massive pandemic-influenced surge in ecommerce orders. Yaskawa America supplied the robotic arms and Plus One provided the software system.
Widespread implementation of Industry 4.0 might be down the road, but the elements that underpin the concept are slowly being introduced to logistics and warehouse operations worldwide. The question is: What does this concept mean for me, and how can I prepare for this new industrial revolution? Here’s what you need to know.
What will the world of ecommerce operations and fulfillment look like after World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 pandemic ends? The answer, like predictions of that date, is uncertain. But industry experts firmly believe that the seismic shifts that began in February 2020 will create a new normal in ecommerce operations.
While much is unknown about the long-term impact of coronavirus, retail supply chains will certainly look different once the crisis is past, industry observers agree. Multichannel Merchant spoke with experts from enVista, Le Tote and Johnson Stevens to get their views on the current situation and where things are headed.
Amazon is reportedly using a micro-fulfillment center solution from Dematic at its first grocery store not named Whole Foods outside Los Angeles, sending a loud signal to the rest of the market that an MFC capability is critical to success and maintaining market share in the red-hot e-grocery sector.