DHL Supply Chain is installing 1,000 warehouse robots from Locus Robotics. The world’s largest logistics company will integrate the Locus robots at 10 of its US facilities in 2020.

DHL and Locus Robotics have an ongoing working relationship, but the new initiative significantly expands this partnership.

The companies have signed an “Expanded Multi-Site Services Agreement” outlining the terms.

Jim Gehr, president, retail at DHL Supply Chain North America, says: “The agreement with Locus Robotics further enables us to bring productivity-enhancing technology to our customers quickly, so they are well-positioned to capitalize on new and emerging opportunities.

“DHL Supply Chain’s initial implementation of the Locus solution within the life sciences and retail sectors was a tremendous success; we saw increases in fulfillment productivity of up to 80% in selected customer operations.

“We now see an opportunity to extend the benefits of utilizing their highly flexible AMR solution at scale for customers across multiple sectors.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Locus to drive productivity, support capacity growth and deliver continuous improvement within our customers’ supply chains nationwide.”

Rick Faulk, CEO, Locus Robotics, says: “We are very excited to be growing our partnership with DHL Supply Chain.

“We’ve already identified the sites in question and expect deployment in 2020 to support volume for peak season. What is particularly gratifying about this expansion is that the DHL decision was based on observed successes in their early facilities.

“We continue to see customers expanding their relationships as they prove out our solution.”

DHL Supply Chain North America and Locus Robotics partnered in 2017 to pilot a collaborative, autonomous robotics solution – LocusBots – to support associates in piece picking order fulfillment in warehouses.

The LocusBots navigate autonomously within warehouses to quickly locate and transport pick items to associates.

They can be flexibly deployed to support a diverse range of picking strategies, significantly reducing time spent on routine or physically demanding tasks, reducing manual errors and increasing productivity.

In 2018, DHL Supply Chain announced a multi-year plan to invest $300 million in emerging technologies in its North American operations.

The company has rolled out an accelerated digitalization program that has identified 14 target technologies – seven of which involve collaborative robotics – that can be fast-tracked into customers’ operations.

Partnerships with emerging technology providers such as Locus Robotics allows DHL to quickly bring proven, productivity-enhancing technology and data-driven insights to customers’ supply chains.