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Geodis deploying 1,000 Locus Robotics autonomous mobile robots in global warehouses

AMRs are designed to work alongside humans for improved efficiency

Locus’ autonomous mobile robots work collaboratively with humans to improve piece-handling productivity. (Photo: Locus Robotics)

Locus’ autonomous mobile robots work collaboratively with humans to improve piece-handling productivity.  

Global logistics provider Geodis will deploy 1,000 autonomous mobile robots at facilities around the world, the company announced Thursday.

The AMRs will come from Locus Robotics and be deployed in warehouses around the world over the next two years.

“Locus’ built-in flexibility, scalability and fast ROI are helping Geodis to consistently meet and exceed their global customers’ expectations,” said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics. “This strategic expansion enables Geodis to meet the needs of today’s high-growth warehouses and we look forward to continuing to work together to drive operational efficiencies and growth.”

Geodis is currently using Locus AMRs in 14 facilities. They are helping fulfill orders for retail and consumer brands.

“As we continue to navigate industrywide challenges such as skyrocketing e-commerce demand and labor constraints, it is crucial we remain committed to implementing the most innovative and effective robotics automation solutions available into our warehouses to allow us to best serve our customers,” said Eric Douglas, executive vice president of technology and engineering at Geodis in Americas.

Current estimates have warehouse automation at between 5% and 10% of all global facilities. Retail companies dealing with the more labor-intensive e-commerce fulfillment operations are showing particular interest in automation technology. Statista reported the global warehouse automation market is expected to grow steadily to $30.15 billion by 2026. As recently as 2016, it was $9.95 billion.

Locus Robotics works with customers in a robotics-as-a-service subscription model, making it easy for customers to add to or subtract from their robotic fleet without fear of a large capital investment. Its AMRs work collaboratively with humans to improve piece-handling productivity between two and three times, the company said.

“Locus’ collaborative multi-bot approach has proven its effectiveness and reliability at each of our sites, giving us the ability to easily scale performance while providing a safe, smart working environment for our teammates. This new expansion agreement reinforces our clear and ongoing commitment to cutting-edge technology to meet our exploding customer volumes globally,” said Douglas.

In June 2021, DHL Supply Chain reached a “framework agreement” with Locus that would add 2,000 robots to DHL facilities by the end of this year 2022. In September, Locus announced it had secured $50 million in funding from existing investor Tiger Global Management. That followed a $150 million Series E round in February 2021, led by Tiger Global Management and IT investment firm Bond. Total funding for the Wilmington, Massachusetts-based company is $310 million.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected].