Modern Shipper launched in February with a mission to highlight the last mile of the ever-growing supply chain. Throughout the year we have learned a lot and our readers have helped us inform us about many more.
Thinking back to the current year, many stories resonated with our readers, from drones to automation, from gig workers to last mile delivery providers. Of course, we cannot forget about e-commerce, which is rapidly changing the supply chain and everything that touches it.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our site, read our articles, and engage with us, whether through modernshipper.com, becoming fans of our social media, or watching At Your Doorstep with the host Kaylee Nix, the FreightWavesTV show dedicated to the last mile.
However you choose to engage with us, thank you.
Now, as we look back to 2021, here are the 10 most popular stories that have appeared on modernshipper.com. Today we take a look at warehouse automation and order fulfillment operations.
10. A little help from our friends
DHL Supply Chain, a leader in contract logistics within the Deutsche Post DHL Group, has announced a framework agreement with Locus Robotics to continue expanding its collaboration in automation that began in 2017 as an important part of DHL’s accelerated digitization strategy. As part of the extended agreement, DHL plans to add 2,000 robots by 2022, making it Locus Robotics’ largest customer. DHL already had over 500 assisted order picking robots and planned to add 500 more to more than 20 locations by the end of 2021.
Read: DHL Expands Warehouse Automation Partnership With Locus Robotics
9. The next frontier
Due to heavy consumer spending, growth in e-commerce and other factors, transportation companies are integrating more automation and technology into their operations to streamline administrative tasks and give more visibility to customers. The digital transformation of the industry is well underway. According to a 2020 PitchBook report, venture capital investments in warehousing automation technology in particular have increased by 57% from 2019 to 2020. Automation is now leading the way.
Read: Warehouse automation, the necessary next frontier of logistics digitization
8. Upcoming robots
Among the select group of people who had a banner year in 2020 were the founders of warehouse robotics startups, who have seen venture capital investments in warehouse automation increase by more than 50%. The flow of money has coincided with a massive increase in e-commerce orders and a move towards smaller batch items (people ordering a pair of socks or a six-pack infant formula). These trends send manufacturers and brands on a frantic search for ways to reduce the costs associated with warehouse tasks – sorting, picking, ordering and packaging – as well as dramatically improving the efficiency of the entire operation. .
Read: Warehouse automation: what lies ahead for 2021
7. The people watching
Nimble Robotics, an e-commerce warehouse automation company, has announced a $ 50 million Series A financing round led by DNS Capital and GSR Ventures with participation from Accel and Reinvent Capital. Nimble plans to use the funds to deploy more robots to its customers and accelerate hiring for further product and technology development. Nimble’s robots develop new skills by observing the actions performed by another agent, known as deep imitation learning. This allows its robots to quickly integrate into new customer processes.
Read: Nimble Robotics Raises $ 50 Million For Order Automation
6. Welcome to Savannah
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will open its first distribution center in Savannah. The 640,000-square-foot facility, slated to open next year, will contain Amazon’s robotic technology and create 1,000 full-time jobs, according to a statement from Governor Brian Kemp’s office. The facility will take charge of fulfilling orders for small items like books, toys and small household items, the statement said.
Read: Amazon to open first fulfillment center in Savannah
5. Let the money flow
Realization technology platform Flowspace has announced a $ 31 million Series B funding round led by BuildGroup. The company has now raised a total of $ 46 million. This cycle also included former investors, Canvas Ventures, Industrious Ventures, Moment Ventures, 1984 Ventures, eGateway Capital and Y Combinator. In an interview with FreightWaves, Ben Eachus, co-founder and CEO of Flowspace who managed the growth of e-commerce while working at Honest Company, explained his frustrations with fulfillment and warehousing capabilities. “It is very difficult to quickly find storage space. There is no website or list to find the warehouse that fits your needs, ”Eachus said. “Our platform creates an omnichannel for businesses and warehouses so they have the ability to grow with each other. “
Read: Flowspace raises $ 31 million for omnichannel execution
4. No, we are not open
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is converting one of its Dallas stores into a Market Fulfillment Center for online pickup orders as the retail giant seeks faster ways to serve its clients. It will be Walmart’s first Market Fulfillment Center in Texas and only third in the United States, Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson told FreightWaves. The goal of the new facility – in North Dallas at 13739 N. Central Expressway – is to give more customers faster access to general merchandise and fresh groceries.
Read: Walmart Redesigns Dallas Store Into A Distribution Center
3. To see you better
Coros, a real-time visibility provider for e-commerce and parcel processing, announced it has raised a $ 6.1 million round of venture capital funding led by Dynamo Ventures. Susa Ventures, Greenhawk Capital, Fontinalis Partners, Engage VC, Flexport and Stord CEO Sean Henry also participated in the round. Coros was founded in December 2020. The company is headed by CEO Martin Hitch. “Coros is building the visibility platform that the high-growth parcel industry deserves and needs to support long-term growth above 15% this year,” said Santosh Sankar, partner at Dynamo Ventures. “Coros’ data is extremely accurate and can provide the best visibility into shipments, but more importantly, it helps shippers and 3PLs monitor their fulfillment operations and take action to avoid selection errors,” delays and customer dissatisfaction which can amount to more than a billion dollars in cost to some of the world’s largest shippers.
Read: Coros Raises $ 6.1 Million To Bring Computer Vision To Ecommerce Package Processing
2. A hero in logistics clothes
ShipHero, a New York-based e-commerce and fulfillment software provider, announced it has raised $ 50 million from Riverwood Capital. The deal values the company at $ 225 million post-money. The investment represents the first institutional money that ShipHero has assumed: the company has achieved a turnover rate of $ 30 million out of just $ 435,000 raised from friends and family years ago. ShipHero has two main lines of business: software as a service and e-commerce execution. Today, ShipHero’s software platform represents approximately $ 13 million in annual revenue, and its fulfillment business generates approximately $ 20 million in annual revenue.
Read: ShipHero raises $ 50 million to expand its electronic communications processing network
1. South of the border
Amazon has opened two distribution centers outside the populated Mexico City area, in the cities of Guadalajara and Monterrey. Company officials said the new facility represents a $ 100 million investment in Mexico, as Amazon aims to provide faster deliveries to more people across the country. The two facilities cover a combined area of 742,710 square feet and create 1,500 direct and indirect jobs, Amazon said. Monterrey is located in northern Mexico, approximately 140 miles from the US-Mexico border. Guadalajara is located in central Mexico. The two cities are the country’s largest metropolitan areas after Mexico City.
Read: Amazon opens two new distribution centers in Mexico
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