GEODIS SA yesterday said that it has partnered with Advanced Handling Systems LLC, or AHS, to implement the Skypod robotic system from Exotec Solutions SAS at its site in Nashville, Tenn. The companies said the automation will enable GEODIS to optimize its e-commerce fulfillment process for its direct-to-consumer customers.
“eLogistics is an important strategic initiative for our company, and collaborating with our long-term partners at AHS in new technology with Exotec will be winning formula for our exciting new product,” said Eric Douglas, executive vice president of technology and engineering at GEODIS in Americas. “By implementing the Exotec Skypod System into our GEODIS eLogistics site, we can enable an even faster shipping experience for our customers as e-commerce continues to drive demand.”
GEODIS's transport and logistics service offerings include supply chain optimization, freight forwarding, contract logistics, distribution and express, and road transport. The France-based company has a network spanning nearly 170 countries, and it had more than 41,000 employees globally and generated €8.4 billion ($9.89 billion U.S.) in sales in 2020.
Exotec Skypod designed for density, agility
Exotec's Skypod system uses mobile robots that can move in three dimensions and reach heights of 36 ft. for efficient, high-density storage. It uses laser scanner navigation and robust software to increase warehouse throughput by up to five times with a two-minute response time for all SKUs, said the company.
The goods-to-person system is designed to improve working conditions and foster more sustainable warehouse productivity by reducing highly repetitive, physically intensive tasks like walking, lifting, and bending.
Exotec, which has served the order-fulfillment industry in Europe and Japan, is continuing to grow its presence in the U.S. market. Customers including Gap Inc., Ariat International, and Comoto Holdings have recently adopted the Skypod system. The company raised $90 million a year ago, and its U.S. headquarters are in Atlanta.
“The hockey-stick growth of e-commerce, coupled with the growing importance of supply chain resilience, continue to be a massive tailwind for scalable robotics solutions like Exotec,” said Romain Moulin, CEO of Exotec. “We are delighted to join forces with AHS and GEODIS to better serve the rapidly evolving needs of the North American market.”
GEODIS partners to use cutting-edge tech
GEODIS recently announced that it is expanding its eLogistics service in the U.S. for startups and growing e-commerce retailers to four new locations. GEODIS and AHS plan to integrate the Exotec Skypod into its “state-of-the-art” automated Nashville facility, which will go live in the first quarter of 2022.
Erlanger, Ky.-based AHS said it is the leading Exotec integrator in North America. The company said it will install the system with guidance from Exotec's execution team. AHS and GEODIS collaborated on the design of the new eLogistics site so it can be easily expanded, with plans to double its initial size in the future.
“AHS has been working with GEODIS for several years and has formed a strategic partnership to provide ground-breaking solutions to assist the company with best-in-class offerings,” said Chuck Frank, president of AHS. “The AHS team is committed to being on the cutting edge of technology and expanding its market share by investing in the training, deployment and post go-live support of trending technologies.”
“Exotec is a great strategic partner of AHS, and we are excited about yet another successful installation of an Exotec solution,” he added. “AHS is thrilled to be a part of GEODIS' eLogistics service, and we congratulate their team on their commitment to pushing technology to new levels.”
“As we continue to see a significant increase in direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands today, GEODIS remains dedicated to providing cutting-edge technology solutions that will best meet our customers' unique needs when it comes to enabling fast and flexible operations,” said Drew Bailey, senior director of design engineering at GEODIS in Americas. “The integration of the Exotec Skypod System will allow us to further optimize our e-commerce fulfillment process on behalf of our customers, thanks to its efficient, scalable and responsive goods-to-person technology.”