FedEx subsidiary FedEx Ground has implemented a new AI-enabled robotics system to handle thousands of small packages daily as it seeks new innovations to meet demand in e-commerce delivery.
The trial Robotic Product Sortation and Identification (RPSi) scheme, which is up and running at FedEx Ground’s station in Queens New York, is in partnership with Berkshire Grey, a developer of Intelligent Enterprise Robotics solutions.
Berkshire Grey’s RPSi system can autonomously pick, identify, sort, collect and containerise small packages at scale, a process that is traditionally processed and sorted manually. The system can handle a wide array of routine packages, including individual polybags, tubes, padded mailers, and more.
New RPSi System will Support Growth in E-commerce Fulfilment
FedEx says the new technology will introduce the necessary efficiencies to accommodate the rapid growth in e-commerce, autonomously handling thousands of packages a day and sorting them for onward transit to hubs and stations throughout the FedEx Ground network. It adds that the further automation and implementation of robots will improve safety, efficiency, and productivity.
Ted Dengel, Managing Director of Operations Technology and Innovation at FedEx Ground, said he is “encouraged” by the accuracy of this initial trial. FedEx Ground expects to roll the RPSi system out more widely throughout its network, with installations for sortation facilities in Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio planned in the coming months.
“As an industry leader in technology and automation, we see the significant benefits that next generation innovation brings in terms of enabling increased safety and productivity, enhancing customer service and improving flexibility to adjust to changing package volumes and sizes,” Dengel added.
Who are Berkshire Grey?
Berkshire Grey provides solutions to automate online order fulfilment across a variety of logistics segments, including ecommerce, grocery, retail replenishment and third-party logistics. The company began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market in July through a SPAC.
Jessica Moran, SVP Parcels and 3PL businesses at Berkshire Grey, says the company’s solutions “significantly reduces labor challenges, streamlines sorting processes, and increases the efficiency of carrier operations across their networks”.
“More importantly, our system is uniquely able to address a core challenge in the traditional package sortation process: requiring package labels to be manually adjusted so they can be scanned properly,” she adds. “With our patented HyperScanner optical identification modules, barcodes can be read from any angle in milliseconds – all without manual intervention.”