More robots are coming to major supply chain and logistics operations. Berkshire Grey Inc. and FedEx Corp. today announced that they have expanded their strategic relationship. The companies have agreed to develop new robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence to help improve the safety and efficiency of FedEx's global package-handling operations.
“Our growing relationship with Berkshire Grey for robotic automation is a direct response to the growth of e-commerce, which has accelerated the demand for reliable automated solutions throughout all stages of the supply chain,” said Rebecca Yeung, corporate vice president of operations science and advanced technology at FedEx.
“FedEx believes that continued innovation and automation will improve efficiency, productivity, and safety for its team members as they continue to keep the global supply chain moving,” she added.
Memphis-based FedEx provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services. With annual revenue of $94 billion, the company has 550,000 employees. It has worked with numerous automation providers, including Aurora Innovation, Elroy Air, Dorabot, and Neolix.
Berkshire Grey, FedEx continue collaboration
FedEx Ground and Berkshire Grey are already working together to deploy Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Product Sortation and Identification (RPSi) systems to sort small packages that arrive daily and require distribution.
In addition to recent installations at eight sortation facilities, including Queens, N.Y.; Las Vegas; and Columbus, Ohio, FedEx Ground plans to place RPSi systems at additional facilities in its network over the next 12 months.
The two companies said the new product-development agreement is an expansion of this collaboration. They said it will offer new opportunities for them to further increase efficiencies across the FedEx enterprise using automation.
“Berkshire Grey and FedEx are strategically aligned,” stated Tom Wagner, CEO of Berkshire Grey. “These new agreements reflect our mutual commitment to innovations in robotic automation that can remove barriers within the supply chain, ease the physical burden on employees, and streamline operations.”
“We look forward to working together on this new program and to advancing other automation programs with FedEx moving forward,” he added.
Bedford, Mass.-based Berkshire Grey said it combines AI and robotics to automate fulfillment, supply chain, and logistics operations. The company claimed that its automation can pick, pack, move, store, organize, and sort to deliver competitive advantage for enterprises serving today’s connected consumers. Berkshire Grey's customers include Global 100 retailers and logistics service providers.
Expedited procurement and stock part of the deal
The partners also said they plan to execute an agreement this year that will streamline and expedite the procurement process for Berkshire Grey's systems across all of FedEx's operating companies.
In addition, Berkshire Grey has granted FedEx a warrant to purchase common stock which vests incrementally. This is subject to certain terms including the ordering of and payment for Berkshire Grey AI-enabled robotic automation at any time prior to Dec. 31, 2025, with full vesting of all 25 million shares subject to the warrant upon the ordering of or payment for at least $200 million of such goods and services.
Details on the terms of the warrant agreement are available in the Form 8-K that Berkshire Grey filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.