E-commerce growth has pushed the boundaries of what logistics companies can handle in their warehouses without further innovation. That innovation is coming in the form of automation and robotics. Warehouse automation saw a 50% growth in venture capital investment in 2020 and the global warehouse robotics section is expected to reach $6.8 billion by 2025. Despite the increasing speed and accuracy pressures being applied by e-commerce, 80% of warehouses are still manually operated with no supporting automation, according to DHL.
The time is coming for companies to automate. Full-service logistics company Cargo Cove is the latest to announce robotics solutions. The company will be deploying the inVia Robotics suite of solutions to optimize its Jacksonville, Florida, facility for e-commerce. Cargo Cove will initially incorporate inVia’s software system before eventually adding the company’s mobile robots.
“InVia’s system will double Cargo Cove’s warehouse workers’ productivity with the introduction of inVia PickMate and then quadruple productivity with the addition of inVia Picker robots,” said Lior Elazary, chief executive officer and co-founder of inVia Robotics. “Our phased approach is ideal for 3PLs, letting them adopt new technology at their own pace across their brands and incrementally increase efficiencies over time.”
Cargo Cove is a third-party logistics company providing everything from same-day fulfillment to reverse logistics.
InVia PickMate is a software application that utilizes inVia Logic, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software, to guide workers along the most efficient route through warehouses from collection of items to packing for shipping. InVia Logic will assist Cargo Cove in placement of inventory and uses dynamic labor assignments to improve productivity, inVia said. AI is used to map a customer’s warehouse and calculate the most efficient paths for moving goods through the fulfillment process, as well as the ideal worker to perform each task. Workers will use inVia PickMate’s intuitive interface on existing handhelds to be directed step-by-step on these paths to pick accurate products to order bins.
“It’s critical that we continually incorporate the latest warehouse innovation into our operation. It gives us a competitive edge because it gives our customers one,” said Robert McFaul, CEO of Cargo Cove. “We wanted smart technology that could optimize our buildings and our people so we can keep our pledge to simplify and automate for our customers. InVia was an easy choice. They simplify and automate for us.”
The addition of inVia Picker autonomous mobile robots later this year will augment existing warehouse labor, the companies said.
InVia offers its solutions as a robotics-as-a-service offering, meaning that Cargo Cove will only pay for the services it is using in each phase, keeping investment targeted and delivering faster ROI.