DHL Invests in Robots to Automate Warehousing in North America

Boston Dynamics Stretch robot
A Stretch robot lifts a package at a warehouse facility. (Boston Dynamics)

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DHL Supply Chain is investing $15 million in robotics solutions from Boston Dynamics to further automate its warehousing in North America, the Westervillle, Ohio, company announced Jan. 26.

Stretch is a robot specifically designed to automate the unloading process in distribution centers. Boston Dynamics will provide a fleet of them over the next three years as part of the multiyear agreement.

“Stretch is Boston Dynamics’ newest robot, designed specifically to remedy challenges within the warehouse space,” CEO Robert Playter said. “We are thrilled to be working with DHL Supply Chain to deliver a fleet of robots that will further automate warehousing and improve safety for its associates. We believe Stretch can make a measurable impact on DHL’s business operations, and we’re excited to see the robot in action at scale.”

DHL said the investment is part of a strategy to develop and scale innovative solutions and new technologies. That includes accelerating digitalization of the end-to-end supply chain. The agreement marks the first commercial purchase of the robot.

Stretch will first tackle truck unloading at select facilities before going on to additional tasks to support other parts of the warehouse workflow across multiple facilities. The deployment is expected to happen in phases over the next few years with the first units arriving in the spring.

DHL Supply Chain ranks No. 7 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America. — Transport Topics

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