While the majority of warehouses worldwide have yet to take full advantage of mobile robots, that number is shrinking. Transport and logistics provider GEODIS SA and Locus Robotics Inc. today announced a new expansion agreement. The companies plan to deploy a total of 1,000 LocusBots at GEODIS warehouse locations worldwide over the next 24 months. This represents one of the industry's largest mobile robot deals to date, they said.
“As we continue to navigate industry-wide challenges such as skyrocketing e-commerce demand and labor constraints, it is crucial we remain committed to implementing the most innovative and effective robotics automation solutions available into our warehouses to allow us to best serve our customers,” stated Eric Douglas, executive vice president of technology and engineering at GEODIS in the Americas.
“Locus’ collaborative multi-bot approach has proven its effectiveness and reliability at each of our sites, giving us the ability to easily scale performance while providing a safe, smart working environment for our teammates,” he added. “This new expansion agreement reinforces our clear and ongoing commitment to cutting-edge technology to meet our exploding customer volumes globally.”
GEODIS adopts AMRs for logistics client needs
“With the explosion of e-commerce and the ongoing labor shortage, adding robotics automation has become a critical, strategic need to meet customer demands,” said the companies.
GEODIS said it is committed to helping clients overcome logstical constraints to growth. The Levallois-Perret, France-based company offers supply chain optimization, freight forwarding, contract logistics, distribution and express, and road transport services.
It has a network spanning nearly 170 countries, employs over 44,000 people, and generated €10.9 billion ($10.8 billion U.S.) in revenue in 2021. GEODIS has worked with other robotics providers, including Bastian Solutions, Delta Drone, and Geek+.
Locus Robotics and GEODIS first began working together in 2018 at an Indiana site. The global third-party logistics provider (3PL) implemented autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to support its workers for a complex picking process. Since then, the LocusBots have improved productivity, flexibility, and agility, said the partners.
LocusBots help GEODIS e-commerce warehouses efficiently manage order picking and inventory replenishment, significantly increasing throughput to speed delivery processes, said Locus. The AMRs significantly reduce unproductive walking time, eliminate the need for people to maneuver heavy manual carts through warehouses, lower the physical demands on employees, and improve workplace ergonomics and quality, it said.
In addition, GEODIS said the robots reduce tedious, repetitive tasks and increase worker retention across its sites. The company said this allows it to enhance its operations and meet evolving customer needs.
Locus Robotics to expand global footprint
Locus said its AMRs collaborate with human workers to double or triple productivity, with less labor than traditional piece-handling systems. The Wilmington, Mass.-based company said it can help retailers, 3PLs, and specialty warehouses meet increasingly demanding fulfillment requirements. It won a 2022 award for International Intralogistics and Forklift Truck of the Year.
Existing warehouse infrastructures can easily integrate LocusBots without disrupting workflows, claimed Locus Robotics. GEODIS has already deployed LocusBots at 14 sites around the world.
“Locus is proud to be a valued, strategic partner with GEODIS, helping them realize their innovative vision of digital transformation to meet today’s exploding fulfillment challenges,” said Jason Gies, sales director for 3PLs at Locus Robotics.
“The partnership between Locus and GEODIS has continued to grow over the years as we work together to identify new opportunities and drive operational efficiencies needed to meet their customers’ needs around the world,” he told Robotics 24/7.
Locus' robots serve a wide range of retail and consumer brands, including warehouses in the U.S and Europe. The latest agreement will expand that footprint significantly as new sites are deployed.
“Locus' built-in flexibility, scalability, and fast ROI [return on investment] are helping GEODIS to consistently meet and exceed their global customers’ expectations,” said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics. “This strategic expansion enables GEODIS to meet the needs of today’s high-growth warehouses, and we look forward to continuing to work together to drive operational efficiencies and growth.”
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