Ryder Spotlights Investments in E-Commerce at CES

Ryder exhibit at CES 2023
Ryder showcases its e-commerce fulfillment capabilities and warehouse automation at CES 2023. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)

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LAS VEGAS — While many of the exhibits at CES 2023 focused on next-level vehicle technologies, some other companies highlighted their efforts to enhance supply chains in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the ever-increasing demand for home delivery of products ordered online.

Logistics and truck leasing company Ryder System, for one, showcased its recent investments in its e-commerce fulfillment business at the annual technology show, held Jan. 5-8.

The company’s CES exhibit featured a video presentation following the journey of an e-commerce package from the moment a family places an online order for a new hoverboard for their daughter to the product’s final delivery to their home.

Along the way, the package moves through Ryder’s e-commerce warehouse operations, including inventory-picking robots from Locus Robotics that assist workers and speed up the fulfillment process.

“I know we take it for granted these days, but it really is magical that you can send a demand signal and then two days later — or a couple hours later in some cases — you actually have that product in your hands,” said Karen Jones, Ryder’s chief marketing officer and head of new product development.

Ryder has bolstered its e-commerce fulfillment capabilities in recent years through acquisitions, including its purchase of national fulfillment provider Whiplash a year ago for about $480 million.

While the pandemic-driven spike in online orders has been normalizing, demand for e-commerce fulfillment will continue to rise, said Jeff Wolpov, Ryder’s senior vice president for e-commerce.

“You’re going to see e-comm continue to grow and it’s by far the fastest growing sector of our business,” he said.

Warehouse automation could help companies such as Ryder meet that increasing demand, particularly as the logistics industry continues to face constrained warehouse capacity and labor shortages.

“You have to figure out how to be more effective, how to be more efficient, how to be more productive,” Wolpov said. “You have to figure out how to do more with less.”

Ryder also cited growth in its Ryder Last Mile business, which provides home delivery and installation of big and bulky products such as appliances, furniture, bedding and exercise equipment.

“The pandemic has really accelerated people’s comfort level around purchasing online,” said Joel Eigege, vice president of operations for Ryder Last Mile. “And what we’ve seen is that acceleration of big and bulky goods — people buying a dryer and washer online or buying furniture online without ever sitting in it.”

Ryder built up that final-mile delivery business through its 2018 acquisition of MXD Group.

Ryder Supply Chain Solutions ranks No. 13 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.

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