From Hand Shovels to Front-End Loaders: The Value of Automation in Order Fulfillment

CNBC recently provided an example of a business that has seen tremendous productivity improvement by automating one of its fulfillment centers. is an American online and mobile wholesale e-retailer that sells bulk items via their Boxed app and on their website. According to Boxed’s founder and CEO, Chieh Huang, automating their Union City, New Jersey fulfillment center has resulted in a 6 to 7 times improvement in their picking productivity.

A couple of miles of conveyors helped to eliminate a significant amount of foot traffic around the building chasing product.  Boxed streamlined their order fulfillment operation in part using a robotic picking solution from OPEX Corporation.  According to the article, “A robot, called the iBOT, brings the items that need to be picked directly to workers, allowing them to package items for several shipments at a time.” Now Boxed’s workers are able to fulfill orders on time and with greater accuracy.

Boxed was also able to retain and retrain its workforce. According to Rick Zumpano, VP of Distribution, Boxed’s pursuit of automation has, in essence,  allowed him to take “the shovel out of their hand and [give] them an end loader.”



Video courtesy of CNBC LLC