Logistics provider GEODIS SA yesterday said it has partnered with integrator Bastian Solutions to deploy an AutoStore storage system at a new fulfillment site for a leading clothing retailer. The partners claimed that the $48 million material handling equipment deal will deliver the highest documented throughput for any AutoStore in the world. It will support the unnamed retailer's omnichannel capabilities, including e-commerce and its more than 1,000 stores across the U.S.
“GEODIS' strategic partnership with Bastian Solutions and AutoStore will provide us even greater efficiencies and added capacity as we continue to navigate ongoing industry challenges on behalf of our clients, such as swiftly changing consumer buying patterns and labor shortages,” said Rob Thyen, senior vice president of engineering and facilities at GEODIS in Americas. “By investing in technology such as the AutoStore system, we can ensure we are supporting our clients' future growth and exceeding their expectations.”
France-based GEODIS estimated that it moves up to 270,000 order lines per day in service of both retail store and direct-to-consumer channels. The company said its global network spans nearly 170 countries, and it had more than 41,000 employees and generated €8.4 billion ($9.73 billion U.S.) in sales in 2020.
AutoStore provides ASRS
“It is an exciting time for retailers, especially given the substantial increase in e-commerce orders that we have seen over the past 18 months,” said Paul Roy, North American general manager at AutoStore. “We've always aimed to provide an autonomous robotic solution that empowers our customers to fully leverage their warehouse operations to ensure an efficient, reliable, and sustainable supply chain.”
“Now, in partnership with GEODIS and Bastian Solutions, we're proud to continue empowering retailers with a system that delivers the highest throughput globally,” he added.
Founded in 1996, AutoStore claimed that it invented cube storage automation. The Nedre Vats, Norway-based company has more than 600 automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) installed in over 30 countries. In April, SoftBank Group Corp. acquired a 40% stake in AutoStore for $2.8 billion.
AutoStore Bins are stacked vertically in a grid and retrieved by robots that travel on the top layer of the system, allowing the grid to be placed around columns and on mezzanines and multiple levels. This design allows bins of products to be stacked on top of one another, increasing storage capacity up to four times in the same footprint and performance up to 10 times without added workers, said the company.
GEODIS added that it will also use AutoStore's systems to expedite e-commerce returns, which continue to be an industry priority because of recent increases in online purchases.
In addition to AutoStore's storage and fulfillment technology, the 400,000-sq.-ft. (37,000-sq.-m) facility will include robotic piece picking with five robotic arms, automated packing and carton closing, and more automation. Construction for the site is expected to begin in January 2022 and finish in November 2022.
Bastian a team player
“It has been a pleasure working with the GEODIS team,” said Marvin Logan, vice president of solution delivery at Bastian Solutions. “We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the necessary advantage to remain competitive—especially as the retail and e-commerce markets continue to change drastically. With this system, GEODIS will be well-equipped to meet demand, thanks to the advanced automation in this new omnichannel facility.”
Bastian Solutions, a Toyota Advanced Logistics Company, is one of the leading partners in AutoStore installations. This project marks the second AutoStore system that the company has integrated on behalf of GEODIS.
Construction is currently under way for an AutoStore system at a highly automated fulfillment site on behalf of a top pet product retailer, which is expected to be completed in November 2021.
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