The robots, built by XPO partner GreyOrange, are designed to collaborate with humans supplementing the existing workforce and supporting future growth.
They are part of a modular goods-to-person system that includes mobile storage racks and fulfilment stations.
Each robot can move a rack weighing between 1,000 to 3,500 lbs, bringing it to a station where a worker fulfils up to 48 orders simultaneously.
The process is controlled by XPO’s proprietary warehouse management system, and supports same-day and next-day deliveries by shortening order-to-shipment times and helping workers minimise walk-time and manual errors.
XPO chief executive Bradley Jacobs said: “This allows us to dramatically improve efficiency, fulfilment time and costs. The addition of 5,000 collaborative robots will make our logistics operations safer and more productive in picking, packing and sortation. These are important benefits for our customers – particularly in the e-commerce and omni-channel retail sectors, where order speed and accuracy are essential ways to compete.”
XPO plans to invest $450 million in technology this year. Other innovations include the XPO Direct shared-space distribution network, voice integration with Amazon Echo and Google Home to track the last mile delivery of heavy goods, and the XPO Connect digital freight marketplace with multimodal infrastructure.