FM Logistic to Operate Fulfillment Center for Robotic Truck Firm BALYO

BALYO to build mobile robot center for Europe and names Mark Stevenson as chief sales officer.

FM Logistic

FM Logistic has operated a 57,000 sq.-m (613,543-sq.-ft.) storage unit for CARREFOUR using Driven by BALYO.
FM Logistic will operate a global technology center for BALYO, which designs and develops technologies to convert lift trucks into autonomous mobile robots, southeast of Paris.

BALYO SA, which designs and develops robotic trucks for materials handling, yesterday said it has opened its own logistics center in Moissy-Cramayel, France, southeast of Paris. FM Logistic will operate the distribution center, which will be part of a Prologis property and enable BALYO to demonstrate its technological innovations at scale and meet with clients and partners. 

“We are very proud to be working alongside BALYO to operate this reference center,” stated Yannick Buisson, CEO for France, Central Europe, and Western Europe at FM Logistic. “With this partnership, we will be able to provide our expertise as a supply chain operator and learn from the latest innovations and functionalities in mobile robotics applied to pallet movements. Our industry is undergoing numerous changes, in which innovation plays a major role in making a difference and responding to our clients’ demands.” 

Founded in 1967, FM Logistic is an independent family-owned company that provides supply chain systems for omnichannel commerce in the consumer, retail, cosmetics, industrial, and healthcare sectors. Its services include warehousing, e-commerce, and retail order picking, co-packing, domestic and international transportation, and control-tower services.

The Roissy-en-France-based company operates in more than 14 countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. FM Logistic generated revenues of €1.38 billion ($1.63 billion U.S.) in the fiscal year ended March 2021, and it has 27,200 employees.

BALYO, FM Logistic seek logistics leadership

The Driven by BALYO technology transforms standard forklifts into smart robots for moving pallets in distribution centers and factories, freeing humans for more enriching, creative jobs, said BALYO. The Ivry-sur-Siene, France-based company claimed that its guidance system enables mobile robots to locate their position and navigate autonomously indoors without the need for any additional infrastructure.

FM Logistic is a longtime client and partner of BALYO and will manage the new center. The companies said their goal is to jointly and rapidly develop one of the leading mobile robotics logistics centers in France and Europe, not just for clients, but also for schools and universities.

The new fulfillment center, formerly operated by a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, now handles pallet movements autonomously with BALYO’s robots for all applications, from dock to dock. Operations are performed under real-life conditions like those in distribution or production centers, said the companies.

BALYO said it has started to sell more than 5,000 pallet storage spaces. In addition, the company said the diverse nature of the logistics flows handled will enable it to step up the pace of ongoing improvement of the operating system and embedded technologies of its robots.

“With this site, BALYO has gained a tool that lives up to its ambitions to maintain its technological leading position by continuing to innovate for the benefit of our clients,” said Pascal Rialland, CEO of BALYO. “The site is also a fantastic opportunity to boost our business momentum, as we can now clearly show our clients and prospects the full added value that our robots offer in complex environments and for a variety of logistics applications.”

“We are also honored to welcome a longstanding client and partner, FM Logistic, which through this collaboration has confirmed the quality and relevance of our solutions and will be an essential ally in making the center a world leader and an operating success,” he said.

In addition, BALYO acknowledged that it is negotiating to launch similar initiatives in Southeast Asia, as well as in the U.S. market.

An American to be chief sales officer

BALYO announced the appointment of Mark Stevenson as its new chief sales officer. Stevenson is an American who has lived in Europe for many years and has worked for more than 20 years in mobile robotics at well-known companies such as JBT and Dematic. The company said his international experience in direct and indirect sales business development will help it market its systems. Stevenson will be responsible for the group’s sales and marketing, as well as client services.

“I am very pleased to welcome Mark on board, who confirms the considerable potential for stepping up the pace of our development that a center of this kind represents,” said Rialland.

BALYO, which has subsidiaries in Boston and Singapore, offers robots for warehouse applications including palletizing, stacking, and materials handling in very narrow aisles. The company has been listed on EURONEXT since 2017, and its sales revenue reached €21.7 million ($25.7 million) in 2020. BALYO has also partnered with KION (the parent company of Linde Material Handling), Hyster-Yale Group, and most recently Körber AG.

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FM Logistic

FM Logistic has operated a 57,000 sq.-m (613,543-sq.-ft.) storage unit for CARREFOUR using Driven by BALYO.

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