Intelligent automation is designed to make logistics operations safer and more productive.
The robots, which are designed to collaborate with humans, will supplement XPO’s existing workforce and support future growth, the company said.
A strategic partnership with GreyOrange Pte. Ltd. makes XPO the exclusive logistics provider using its robots in North America, the U.K. and eight European countries.
XPO, headquartered in the United States in Greenwich, Conn., and in Europe in Lyon, France, is a top 10 global logistics provider of supply chain solutions. The company operates in 32 countries, with 1,505 locations and more than 97,000 employees.
Bradley Jacobs, chief executive officer of XPO Logistics, said, “We’ve developed our logistics technology to integrate the latest intelligent automation and adapt it at lightning speed. This allows us to dramatically improve fulfillment time and cut 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 omnichannel retail sectors, where order speed and accuracy are essential ways to compete,” Jacobs said.
The autonomous robots are part of a modular goods-to-person system that also includes mobile storage racks and fulfillment stations. Each robot can move a rack weighing about 1,000 to 3,500 pounds, bringing it to a station where a worker can fulfill up to 48 orders simultaneously.
XPO said the entire process is controlled by its proprietary warehouse management system, a high-speed, flexible solution that supports same-day and next-day deliveries by shortening order-to-shipment times and helping workers minimize walk time and manual errors.
XPO said the robotics implementation is part of its planned $450 million investment in technology this year. Other recent innovations include the XPO Direct 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.
See the robots in action here.