Assisted Picking Robots - Locus Robots at DHL Supply Chain

DHL Supply Chain has signed a framework agreement with Locus Robotics which will see the delivery giant install 2,000 robots across its global supply chain by 2022.

The assisted picking robots will be mainly used in the company’s e-commerce or consumer warehouses to help with picking and inventory.

The deal, worth millions of pounds, is part of DHL’s wider 'Accelerated Digitalisation Strategy'.

Markus Voss, global CIO and COO at DHL Supply Chain, said: “It is particularly important for us to be able to consistently optimise our supply chains - assisted picking robots are very effective in this respect.

“So far, more than 500 assisted picking robots are already in industrial use in our warehouses in the USA, Europe and the UK. By the end of 2021, another 500 robots are to be added in a total of more than 20 locations.

“The collaborative picking technology has clearly proven its effectiveness and reliability in modern warehousing. More locations have already been identified with concrete implementation roadmaps for the remaining robots, which we will deploy in 2022.

“However, the overall potential for assisted picking robots in our DHL warehouses is much bigger, so we are confident that we will meet the targets we have set ourselves together with Locus Robotics".

DHL said the robots will help reduce time spent on manoeuvring cages through warehouses, lower physical strain on employees, and increase picking efficiency.

Assisted picking robots display images of goods to be picked, calculate optimal navigation routes and reduce required training time.

DHL said they can also be quickly integrated into the warehouse system landscape via DHL Supply Chain’s Robotics Hub, adding that they are “well received” by staff. The robots can also be used to meet the demands of peak operational periods.

Rick Faulk, CEO at Locus Robotics, said: “Our expanded partnership with DHL reflects the increasing demand for warehouse digitalisation worldwide to meet today’s exploding fulfilment challenges. Locus is proud to be a valued technology resource that is helping DHL realise their strategic vision of digital transformation.”