It has long been known that the package handling process is one of the places where efficiency can be greatly improved by the use of robotics and AI. We’ve already written about how FedEx Ground is using automated scanners and other AI to improve efficiency and accuracy, but the company recently announced an expansion of its relationship with Berkshire Grey, Inc. to add even more robotics to the process.
This is because the initial projects went so well, the company has seen the potential to improve its processes even more. But what does this mean to FedEx Ground route owners? Here are some things you should know.
Who is Berkshire Grey?
Berkshire Grey is an international company that works specifically with companies in the supply chain to improve their processes through the use of two different technologies. The first is artificial intelligence, a system that learns as it performs tasks and allows for remote monitoring and alerts if human input is needed in a particular part of the process.
Related to package handling, the system can help determine how better to route packages through the terminal system before they even get to a FedEx Ground truck, but it makes this process faster, so packages can be delivered sooner.
In addition, the company adds robotics where appropriate, reducing the risk to human personnel and improving accuracy and overall package handling. Packages are safer too, and the company states that “product is handled in a more uniform way, reducing the risk of damage.”
For route owners, this means an additional level of customer service, since overall packages arrive at your truck in better shape. The AI can even spot damage and route packages to be inspected before you are faced with them at the load in on your truck or worse, at the point of delivery.
The FedEx Berkshire Grey AI Robotics Relationship
“Our growing relationship with Berkshire Grey for robotic automation is a direct response to the growth of e-commerce, which has accelerated the demand for reliable automated solutions throughout all stages of the supply chain,” said Rebecca Yeung, Corporate VP of Operations Science and Advanced Technology, FedEx. “FedEx believes that continued innovation and automation will improve efficiency, productivity and safety for its team members as they continue to keep the global supply chain moving.”
FedEx has long been committed to innovation, implementing the use of electric vehicles and even a new natural gas powered fleet of long-haul trucks. This commitment is being taken to a new level with this latest partnership.
“Berkshire Grey and FedEx are strategically aligned. These new agreements reflect our mutual commitment to innovations in robotic automation that can remove barriers within the supply chain, ease the physical burden on employees and streamline operations,” said Tom Wagner, CEO of Berkshire Grey. “We look forward to working together on this new program and to advancing other automation programs with FedEx moving forward.”
For route owners, this means a long-term commitment to innovations in the last mile process that will translate to more efficient loading and fewer human errors at the point of truck loading, and even a translation of the use of AI to more efficient route management.
The Impact of AI and Robotics on FedEx Route Owners
The true impact of AI and robotics on route owners comes down to what we mentioned above: the terminal process will be much improved, including accuracy, efficiency, and safety. It will also likely translate to less time spent on the loading process. The better the organization at the loading point, the faster the process moves.
Getting on the road faster means more hours you can dedicate to delivery and customer service, and that translates to real benefits for you, your drivers, and your customers.
Are you looking for a great business opportunity with growth potential in a rapidly developing industry? Contact us here at Route Advisors. We’d love to partner with you every step of the way and help you find the right route at the right price in the right location. Get in touch today!