Collaborative mobile robot, or CMR, fleets are growing rapidly. GXO Logistics Inc. today announced that it has made a multi-year agreement with 6 River Systems Inc. to expand its use of CMRs in its contract logistics operations in the U.S. and Europe.
“6 River Systems’ Chucks provide a huge boost to the retention of our team members and deliver a substantial sustained increase in operational productivity,” stated Sandeep Sakharkar, chief information officer at GXO. “This agreement fortifies our long-term partnership with 6RS, ensuring rapid deployment of popular productivity-enhancing warehouse collaborative robots that give our customers a competitive advantage.”
Greenwich, Conn.-based GXO Logistics claimed that it is the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider. It has about 120,000 team members across more than 900 facilities totaling approximately 200 million sq. ft. The company said it “partners with the world’s leading blue-chip companies to solve complex logistics challenges with technologically advanced supply chain and e-commerce solutions, at scale and with speed.”
GXO quickly scales up robot fleet
GXO said it is rapidly expanding its use of technology to meet demand for outsourcing logistics from current and new customers, with hundreds of more robots planned.
Along with productivity improvements, the company said its use of innovative technology helps with employee recruitment by creating a safer and more engaging workplace.
The Chuck robots can help reduce training time for new team members by as much as 80%, said GXO. The collaborative mobile robots use sensors to navigate and are capable of operating in multi-tier installations, directing employees to the correct inventory on multiple levels, processing more goods and maximizing available space.
They also reduce walking distances for employees and speed operations such as stocking, picking, and sorting items, according to Waltham, Mass.-based 6 River Systems.
“Our extended partnership with GXO proves that our wall-to-wall fulfillment solutions provide our customers with the ability to scale their global operations,” said Rylan Hamilton, co-founder and co-CEO at 6 River Systems.
“In less than five years, GXO has been able to utilize 6 River Systems innovations to address some of their biggest opportunities and create a trusted fulfillment ecosystem for their customers,” he added. “We look forward to delivering great business outcomes to GXO with this new phase of our strategic partnership.”
Logistics automation keeps growing
The global market for logistics robots could expand from $2.8 billion in 2020 to $10.8 billion by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.94%, according to Research and Markets.
The research firm attributed the growth to e-commerce demand and cited North America as a leading region. However, it also noted expense and COVID-19 constraints as challenges.
Peerless Research Group (a sibling organization to Robotics 24/7) found that many logistics businesses are just beginning to automate and that most expect to add robotics in the near future for applications such as picking, sorting, and case/tote transport.
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