How are Companies Utilizing Robotic Technology to Promote Automation in E-commerce and Fulfillment Centers?

December 22, 2021 by Damond Goodwin

Learn about companies like Xometry, Berkshire Grey, and Kroger and how they are pushing automation into their fulfillment operations.

Recently several companies have emphasized a push to bridge gaps created by labor shortages and high costs in the fulfillment and ecommerce industries.

From industrial and mechanical supplies to consumer products, an increase in technology and artificial intelligence (AI) has helped companies remain competitive in the modern marketplace. Efficiency in e-commerce and fulfillment centers play an important role in modern economies and these companies are focusing on improving efficiency through automation.


Xometry Acquires Thomasnet

Xometry recently acquired, a leader in product sourcing, digital marketing solutions, and supplier selection. Xometry hopes that the acquisition will help to expand their growing presence in the digital marketplace. They have already started the process of digitizing the manufacturing industry.


The Thomas logo. Image used courtesy of Xometry


Xometry is hoping to increase efficiency in e-commerce and fulfillment through connecting enterprise buyers across different industries including:

  • Aerospace 
  • Green tech 
  • Robotics
  • Medical
  • Defense 
  • Consumer products

“Thomas has a long and proud history of bringing active buyers and sellers together on our platform and providing the data and marketing services that inform decision-making,” said Tony Uphoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thomas. “In joining forces with Xometry, we’re uniting our products with the power of the Xometry marketplace so we can do even more for industry together.”


Berkshire Grey Introduces Robotic Product Sortation (BG RPS) Solution

Berkshire Grey specializes in AI-enabled robotic solutions that automate supply chain processes. They recently released a new product for order fulfillment. The system is a Robotic Product Sortation solution capable of sorting, picking, and packing items without human intervention.

The Berkshire Grey Robotic Product Sortation (BG RPS) is designed to easily integrate many current systems. The technology is already in operation in several different fortune 100 companies.


Berkshire Grey robots working to promote automation in a warehouse. Image used courtesy of Berkshire Grey


The latest version of BG RPS has an increased speed of up to 25% helping to reduce the stress on companies currently dealing with large labor shortages.

Steve Johnson, COO at Berkshire Grey, mentioned, “RPS is a proven solution that addresses some of the most labor-intensive processes our customers face in their fulfillment operations.”


Kroger Fulfillment Network Expands with Latest Fulfillment Center in North Carolina

The Kroger Company is America’s largest grocer based in the U.S. Recently, they have created a new customer fulfillment center (CFC) located in North Carolina. The Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO) has been commissioned by Kroger to implement vertical integration, robotics, and machine learning to make their new fast, fresh food delivery service a reality.


Some autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) working in a Kroger warehouse. Image used courtesy of Kroge


Kroger hopes the CFC will make a powerful addition to its current ecosystem. The CFC is expected to measure 200,000 square feet and will be completed two years after breaking ground on the building. The center hopes to create over 700 jobs within the next five years.

"As e-commerce continues to grow, I'm pleased Kroger will locate this highly advanced fulfillment center in our state," said Governor Roy Cooper. 

"From our hard working and skilled people to our advanced transportation networks and overall business climate, North Carolina offers the right ingredients for a modern business to succeed."

Through these acquisitions, partnerships, and the availability of new automation technology, these companies hope to streamline warehouse automation and fulfillment centers across the U.S.