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Automation for XPO Logistics

Transportation and Logistics company XPO Logistics plans to roll out 5,000 AGVs.

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The Grey-Orange AGVs.
The Grey-Orange AGVs.

XPO Logistics has announced plans to deploy 5,000 “intelligent robots” throughout its logistics sites in North America and Europe. “The robots, which are designed to collaborate with humans, will supplement XPO’s existing workforce and support future growth. XPO has a strategic partnership with robotics manufacturer GreyOrange Pte. Ltd. that makes XPO the exclusive logistics provider for use of its robots in North America, the United Kingdom and eight European countries,” XPO stated.


The robots are essentially a type of Lift-AGV that support XPO’s “modular goods-to-person system” of mobile storage racks and fulfillment stations, lifting and moving multi-tired storage units inside a warehouse. “Each robot can move a rack weighing approximately 1,000 to 3,500 lbs., bringing it to a station where a worker fulfills up to 48 orders simultaneously. The entire process is controlled by XPO’s proprietary warehouse management system. This high-speed, flexible solution supports same-day and next-day deliveries by shortening order-to-shipment times and helping workers minimize walk-time and manual errors.


Bradley Jacobs, chief executive officer of XPO Logistics, said, “We’ve developed our logistics technology to integrate the latest intelligent automation and adapt it at lightning speed. This allows us to dramatically improve fulfillment time and cut 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 omnichannel retail sectors, where order speed and accuracy are essential ways to compete.”


XPO Logistics is also looking to leverage technology for a competitive advantage in container transport in the US, where it has its own fleet of approximately 9,500 53ft domestic containers and claims to be the third largest intermodal provider in North America. The company plans to invest US$450M in technology this year on projects including implementing Google Home to track the last mile delivery of heavy goods, and the “XPO Connect digital freight marketplace with multimodal infrastructure”.

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