Robots roll out across XPO Logistics

XPO Logistics is to deploy 5000 goods-to-person robots across its logistics sites in the US and Europe.

The robots are built by the GreyOrange robotics company and include mobile storage racks and fulfilment stations. They are in place to augment the existing workforce and to support future growth.

Each of the new robots used by XPO Logistics can move a rack weighing up to 3.5 tons, bringing it to a station where the staff member will fulfil up to 48 orders at the same time.

The system is controlled centrally through XPO Logistics’ warehouse management system and is designed to support same-day and next-day deliveries through shortening order-to-shipment times as well as helping workers minimise walk time and manual errors.

XPO chief executive Bradley Jacobs said: “This allows us to dramatically improve efficiency, fulfilment time and costs. The addition of 5,000 collaborative robots will make our logistics operations safer and more productive in picking, packing and sortation. These are important benefits for our customers – particularly in the e-commerce and omni-channel retail sectors, where order speed and accuracy are essential ways to compete.”

XPO Logistics plans to spend $450 million on technology worldwide this year. Other than the goods-to-person robots the company is working on the XPO shared-space distribution network, voice integration with Amazon Echo and Google Home to track the last mile delivery of heavy goods, and the XPO Connect digital freight marketplace with multimodal infrastructure.