How Robotics Are Changing eCommerce

At ShipJoy, we pride ourselves on bringing logistics and eCommerce expertise in  to our clients. We provide a top service using warehousing support, picking and packing and easy logistics support. Our company believes it’s essential to be knowledgeable about industry advancements. It is by remaining current that we provide the best services for our eCommerce fulfillment customers.

So what’s new in eCommerce these days? Intelligent robotics is a rapidly advancing field.

How Robotics are Changing eCommerce Fulfillment

Gap Inc, recently deployed a robotic AI picking system. The system was supplied by renowned robotics vendor Kindred. This decision was driven by the desire for more efficient and flexible eCommerce fulfilment.

The retailer’s processes were utterly transformed, using Kindred’s SORT system. Gap used to operate using a huge oval belt, referred to as a Bombay sorter. The sorter functions by dropping products from the belt, into piles. These products are separated into sorting stations. Staff members then manually scan items using conventional barcode scanners. When every item has been scanned, staff then pick up the cubby contents and pass them to a different station for shipping.

With a SORT system, Gap can rearrange the Bombay sorter chutes and send products to the robotic arm. The SORT system uses a camera to view whichever items are in the bin. The camera compares images of Gap items to items that are inside the bin. From here, it takes the system data points and performs calculations to deploy a flawless pick strategy.

It took a few short months for the Kindred SORT to pick out a whopping 98% of items autonomously. The system only required pilot assistance on a few rare occasions. Once the robotic arm picks an order, a human staff member finishes the supply chain flow. The SORT system helps to increase the employee’s efficiency ten-fold. Kindred CEO Jim Leifer says, ‘A single employee can pack many more orders at a SORT station because the robotic arm is doing most of the work.’

Which other industries can benefit from robotics?

It’s not just retailers who can benefit from using this kind of tech. It was reported that DHL has been learning about robotics. They plan to use the technology to improve their own services. DHL has been working with companies such as ABB Robotics and Universal Robotics. The company has been using robotic arms to perform repetitive jobs in the warehouse. DHL now uses pick-assistant robots, to aid picking products, and transport robots which can move products. DHL has improved productivity by 30% since introducing these systems.(That sounds good to us. Perhaps we need to deploy robotics for our ShipJoy eCommerce fulfillment)!

DHL’s director of solutions design, Justin Ha, said, “Compared to traditional automation, they’re flexible and fit into our existing infrastructure.” Justin explained that the tech has been especially helpful when order volumes are high. The company has deployed robots in 85 of its centers around America and are set to invest around $400 million.

The Takeaway

As you can see, the eCommerce fulfillment industry is gradually being revolutionized by robotics! At ShipJoy, we are excited about the changes that we will see in eCommerce over the next few years. We are committed to remaining at the forefront of technology.

If you’d like to learn more about ShipJoy eCommerce fulfillment, please contact us for more information.