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FedEx Turns to Robotics to Handle Surge in Ecommerce Packages

FedEx Turns to Robotics to Handle Surge in Ecommerce Packages

FedEx Ground is turning to robotics to streamline the processing of small packages as it experiences exponential growth in ecommerce business.

FedEx Ground recently implemented sortation and identification systems in New York to robotically sort the thousands of small packages that arrive daily in bulk into containers bound for other specific hubs and stations across the FedEx Ground network.

The carrier plans to install additional systems from Berkshire Grey at sortation facilities in Las Vegas, Nev., and Columbus, Ohio, in the coming months.

The Berkshire Grey RPSi systems help solve a core challenge in the traditional package sortation process, according to company executive Jessica Moran: requiring package labels to be manually adjusted so they can be scanned properly.

“With our patented HyperScanner optical identification modules, barcodes can be read from any angle in milliseconds – all without manual intervention,” Moran said.

FedEx Ground said the new technology combines AI and robotics to automate fulfillment, supply chain, and logistics operations.

FedEx Ground, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has over 180,000 employees, 642 distribution hubs and local pickup-and-delivery stations, and 95,000 motorized vehicles operated by 5,400 locally-owned small businesses.

It transported over 12 million packages a day in its latest fiscal quarter.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.