Ocado unveils suite of warehouse technologies

Online supermarket and delivery technology developers Ocado have launched a new suite of innovations that it claims will raise its returns and win new customers.

Currently, Ocado has clients in eight countries including the US, Japan and France. These supermarkets have helped drive the UK company to a market value of £10.7 billion.

Among other innovations, Ocado have developed a new picking robot that is 80% lighter than its successor and is described as the “world’s lightest and most efficient grocery fulfilment bot,” and has developed lighter warehouse grids for the robots to operate on.

At the same time, Ocado has developed robotic arms that pick groceries directly from the grids, thereby automating the most labour intensive jobs in Ocado’s warehouses. The company expects them to be able to pick 50% of its product range by the end of 2023 and 80% in the long run.

The technology firm has also worked on loading customer orders into delivery frames for dispatch and a routing system so short lead time and longer lead-time orders can be loaded into the same vehicles.

According to founder and CEO Tim Steiner, the new technologies will allow Ocado and its partners to install its platforms much faster and in buildings with lower capital expenditure to adapt to them.

At the same time, efficiencies would be improved, ensuring faster product throughput from the same or smaller building footprint and reduce labour costs.

“We’ve shattered the trade-off between big warehouses and small warehouses, creating a way for small warehouses to operate close to the customer but at the same time sharing the economics of a large warehouse,” Steiner told Reuters.

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