By 2025 there will be more than 4 million warehouse robots in use at 50,000 locations globally, up from 5,000 locations in 2018, according to a report from ABI Research, with much of the growth coming from ecommerce fulfillment including demand for same-day delivery. See what experts have to say about the growing trend.
The pressure is on ecommerce merchants to get orders out faster so customers don’t go to competitors when the experience is flawed. This is why more fulfillment centers are implementing warehouse automation, including robotics, to address throughput and efficiency issues. This MCM report covers the latest solutions and trends.
Kroger plans to build the second of 20 automated distribution centers in partnership with UK grocer Ocado for fulfilling ecommerce orders in Groveland, FL. The state-of-the-art FCs, built by Kroger and powered by Ocado’s automation technology, are just part of Kroger’s innovation push including driverless and same-day delivery.
FedEx is planning to test delivery robots this summer for customers including Walmart and Pizza Hut, while Target and AutoZone are looking at the capability, according to Reuters. The 10 mph robots would have to be approved by the city of Memphis. This is one innovative way companies are looking to cut last mile costs.
Amazon is reportedly experimenting with robotic arms that can visually identify items on a conveyor, pick them up using a compressed air vacuum gripper and place them on a table or shelf. At the same time the company says publicly the state of the art isn’t there yet to handle the wide variety of products it stores and sells.