DHL Supply Chain announced it has surpassed 100m units picked in its North American facilities by LocusBots from Locus Robotics. The milestone was achieved in the DHL Hanover Township, PA location, fulfilling orders for an apparel retailer. The milestone achieved in this facility is one of more than a dozen DHL sites in North America, using more than 2,000 LocusBots, which DHL claims is more than any other contract logistics company.
In preparation for peak periods, DHL Supply Chain can add more assisted picking robots where needed, sometimes transferring them from one facility to another to support demand shifts and seasonal peaks. It also makes it easier to train workers with minimal onboarding effort. Worker training is 80% faster than prior to the deployment of the robots, which has become even more helpful amid the current labour crunch. Associates spend less time walking long distances and pushing heavy carts and instead focus on value-added work.
In 2017, DHL Supply Chain North America and Locus Robotics first partnered to support associates in piece picking order fulfilment in warehouses. The LocusBots navigate autonomously to collaborate with associates to improve order picking productivity and throughput. They can be flexibly deployed as demand changes to support a diverse range of picking strategies, significantly reducing time spent on routine or physically demanding tasks, reducing manual errors and increasing productivity. DHL Supply Chain continues to identify sites across multiple sectors that could benefit from this highly flexible, productivity-enhancing technology.
“Robot-assisted picking is just one of the 12 technology categories DHL Supply Chain focuses on as part of our commitment to accelerated digitalization. We are making significant progress in our commitment, as evidenced by this milestone, as well as our collaboration with Boston Dynamics and our recent autonomous forklift deployment,” said Sally Miller, CIO, DHL Supply Chain North America.