DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics leader within Deutsche Post DHL Group, announces a framework agreement expanding its collaboration with Locus Robotics. The multi-million dollar agreement is part of DHL’s wider “Accelerated Digitalization Strategy”.
By 2022, the supply chain specialist plans to take on up to 2,000 robots, becoming the largest customer of Locus Robotics worldwide. Locus provide robotics solutions for warehouse supply chains. The assisted picking robots are mostly used in e-commerce or consumer warehouses to help with picking and inventory replenishment, increasing efficiency and accelerating delivery processes.
“It is particularly important for us to be able to consistently optimize our supply chains – assisted picking robots are very effective in this respect”, said Markus Voss, Global CIO & COO DHL Supply Chain. “So far, more than 500 assisted picking robots are already in industrial use in our warehouses in the USA, Europe and the UK. By the end of 2021, another 500 robots are to be added to a total of more than 20 locations.
“The collaborative picking technology has clearly proven its effectiveness and reliability in modern warehousing. More locations have already been identified with concrete implementation roadmaps for the remaining robots, which we will deploy in 2022. However, the overall potential for assisted picking robots in our DHL warehouses is much bigger, so we are confident that we will meet the targets we have set ourselves together with Locus Robotics”.
Already working together, DHL’s purchase now makes them Locus’s largest customer. Video: Locus.
The introduction of 2,000 robots is part of DHL Supply Chain’s Accelerated Digitalization Strategy. DHL says assisted picking robots can help reduce time spent manoeuvring pushcarts through warehouses, lower physical strain on employees, and increase picking efficiency. In addition, during peak operational periods extra robots can be brought in to combat strain with minimal onboarding effort to the existing fleet. The new robots will be added to the warehouse system landscape via DHL Supply Chain’s already-established Robotics Hub.
DHL Supply Chain says the pandemic has accelerated the booming trend of e-commerce, which makes the labour-intensive picking process in e-fulfilment play an even bigger and more critical role in meeting high end-customer demands. These trends speeded up the introduction of new technologies and automation in various industries, but especially in warehousing.
“Our expanded partnership with DHL reflects the increasing demand for warehouse digitalization worldwide to meet today’s exploding fulfilment challenges”, said Rick Faulk, CEO, Locus Robotics. “Locus is proud to be a valued technology resource that is helping DHL realize their strategic vision of digital transformation”.