Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Kerry Logistics deploys robots in Hong Kong to handle e-commerce growth

Steve Rogerson
September 23, 2015
 
Kerry Logistics has introduced six fully automated and programmed robotic butlers at its PC3 flagship facility in Hong Kong to meet the ever-growing consumer demands in online shopping. Kerry Logistics is one of the first 3PLs in Asia to adopt robotic butlers in its operations to enhance fulfilment efficiency and accuracy.
 
Today, speed-to-market order fulfilment can be the key to success in the retail industry. The process of picking products is at the heart of e-commerce operations where high volumes of small and irregular orders predominate. Kerry Logistics’ robotic butlers are being deployed in the order fulfilment centre where sales orders taken from retailers or e-commerce marketplaces are being processed.
 
Real-time sales orders are transmitted to the robots via Kerry’s proprietary warehouse management system (WMS). Designated shelves are then picked and delivered to the pick station. The system indicates the right items to be picked for shipments using a simple lighting system in which every item is tracked via barcodes.
 
Currently, the robots operate round the clock and can pick 280 items per hour compared with 50 items in the normal course, and the pick rate is four times faster. This is suitable for retail brands that sell a wide variety of consumer products with a potentially expanding e-commerce business.
 
The full system seamlessly incorporates robotic butlers, WMS, pick-to-light and Android-based EPoD to provide order fulfilment for modern B2B2C and B2C businesses. This, says the company, has been proven to enhance and strengthen the overall efficiency of supply chain management and logistics operations.
 
The introduction of the robots is part of the company’s aim to create real value for its clients through innovative products and continuous improvement. As business grows and volumes increase, the ability to manage capacity efficiently becomes paramount and automation will play a crucial role in enhancing the overall supply chain efficiency and delivering customer satisfaction.