Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Bolloré deploys autonomous robots in Sydney warehouse

Steve Rogerson
December 17, 2019

French logistics provider Bolloré Logistics is deploying autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in its Sydney warehouse. This is said to be the first AMR implementation by a 3PL in Australia. The technology comes from local firm Cohesio Group.
The project includes 28 AMRs in Bolloré’s Sydney warehouse, facilitating the delivery of luxury goods across various brands via multiple ecommerce platforms and retail outlets across Australia and New Zealand.
The project can save space through increasing storage density and reducing the operational cost through more efficient picking and high throughput. The end-to-end data integration makes order fulfilment faster and more accurate.
With numerous luxury brands housed in a single location, and each brand having a unique product range, an error-proof system was needed. The AMR goods-to-person technology is said to ensure higher accuracy compared with conventional picking methods.
"We chose Cohesio for its unparalleled reputation in innovations in general, and more specifically for AMR," said Frederic Parent, Bolloré Logistics director in the Pacific region. "We've been impressed with the Cohesio partnership with Chinese robotics and AI provider Geek+, and the collaboration meant that we could be first in the Australian and New Zealand market to introduce this particular innovative technology."
Bolloré Logistics claims this deployment makes it the first 3PL and ecommerce distribution business in Australia to automate its operations through robotics of this nature, and the first to use robots in high-end retail goods processing.
"With a compelling offering in the marketplace, efficiency in the order-fulfilment process ensured lower operating costs for Bolloré Logistics' clients," said Tim Baracz, Cohesio Group's sales director. "Typically a project of this nature can take several months from conception to final delivery. This includes proof of concept testing and onboarding the customer. But we were able to halve that time frame and deliver in four months, a feat of which we are very proud."
Cohesio is part of Körber technology group and is an integrator and developer of technology that enables rapid optimisation of workflows and processes. With offices across the Asia Pacific, Cohesio creates technology transformations that span across supply chain and logistics including warehousing and distribution centres, transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceutical, FMCG and retail. Its products range from voice-powered technology that enables hands-free workflows through to mobility software applications that provide actionable business insights and retail fulfilment as well as AMRs that enable automation in distribution centres.
"Bolloré Logistics is successfully integrating the AMRs into their warehouse processes," said Ravi Nath, head of automation at Cohesio Group. “We are thrilled to see the company take the initiative with this type of technology. Payback periods can vary depending on the business environment and the operational nuances but the time frame can be significantly less than the payback period seen with fixed automation infrastructure."
Bolloré Logistics runs a network of 609 offices and employs 20,600 staff worldwide in 107 countries with its headquarters in Puteaux, France. In Asia-Pacific, Bolloré has a network across 19 countries, with a reputation for its expertise in aerospace, luxury fashion, and perfumes and cosmetics.