3PL GEODIS nearly doubles case picking throughput with AMRs

Vecna's pallet handling AMR.
Vecna’s pallet handling AMR in GEODIS’ Indianapolis campus. | Source: Vecna Robotics

GEODIS, a leading third-party logistics company (3PL), recently deployed autonomous mobile robots (AMR) from Vecna Robotics for case picking. The AMRs were deployed at GEODIS’ Indianapolis campus, where the company said it saw a 1.7x increase in productivity after the robot was installed.

GEODIS decided that instead of a worker driving a pallet jack along an order’s pick path and getting on and off to load goods onto a pallet, it wanted a solution that could decrease the amount of unnecessary walking workers need to do.

Vecna’s pallet jack AMRs now traverse the pick path while zone-based GEODIS employees load goods onto the order pallet.

“We have deployed systems together for almost four years, and both recognized a huge unmet need in the market to re-imagine the most common order picking workflow – case picking – in a way that combines the strengths of humans and robots,” Anthony Moschella, SVP of product management at Vecna Robotics, said. “The result is the industry’s first deployment of flexible case picking automation, and an example of customer-driven innovation at its finest.”

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“Case picking is a near-universal workflow across our more than 155 warehouses in the United States. However, manual case picking is a cumbersome, inefficient and time-consuming process that has yet to be automated outside of infrastructure-heavy solutions,” Andy Johnston, senior director of innovation at GEODIS, said. “We knew there had to be a better way to leverage flexible automation and improve the experience for our teammates and customers. Therefore, we chose to work with Vecna Robotics on this cutting-edge solution. We’re excited to have spearheaded the deployment of this first-of-its-kind innovation and our future with Vecna Robotics.”

Since deploying the robots, GEODIS’ employees have seen a reduction in non-value-added travel, a 1.7x increase in efficiency and improved safety by removing the need for humans to step on and off a pallet jack.

Last year, Vecna and Big Joe Forklifts announced Vecna’s latest autonomous offering for labor-intensive material-handling workflows called the Vecna Co-Bot Pallet Jack or Vecna CPJ. The system leverages Vecna controls onboard a Big Joe-designed pallet jack. The result is a fully autonomous pallet jack that brings the strength of both companies together into a strong offering for automated warehouse workflows.

Written by

Brianna Wessling

Brianna Wessling is an Associate Editor, Robotics, WTWH Media. She joined WTWH Media in November 2021, and is a recent graduate from the University of Kansas. She can be reached at bwessling@wtwhmedia.com