Blog Posts How Can My 3PL Help Manage Growth?
- Shippers need to get creative in order to grow in today’s marketplace.
- Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are providing innovative solutions.
- Saddle Creek uses robotics to help clients increase throughput.
Today’s shippers face numerous barriers to growth – demand surges, labor shortages, cost increases, capacity constraints and more. Overcoming these challenges typically requires creative solutions and, quite often, an innovative partner.
An article in the latest issue of Inbound Logistics explores a number of strategies that third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are using to help shippers level up. Saddle Creek’s Vice President of Engineering Grady Martin details how employing robotics can help manage growth.
We’re looking at new technology for ways to increase productivity and reduce our dependency on labor that also give us the flexibility to help clients handle demand fluctuations.”
– Grady Martin, Vice President of Engineering, Saddle Creek Logistics Services
Following is an excerpt from “Bright Ideas: 3PLs Manage Growth through Innovation”…
Innovating with Robotics
Saddle Creek Logistics Services, a 3PL based in Lakeland, Florida, has enjoyed significant growth in the past two years as order volume has increased for some ecommerce clients while others have expanded into ecommerce channels. To manage this expansion, innovation has been a strategic initiative for the 3PL, which offers brands 31 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space nationwide.
“We’re looking at new technology for ways to increase productivity and reduce our dependency on labor that also give us the flexibility to help clients handle demand fluctuations,” says Grady Martin, Vice President of Engineering for Saddle Creek.
For example, when the 3PL piloted goods-to-person autonomous mobile robots (AMR), productivity improved two to three times over traditional order picking without adding staff. The company has since expanded the technology to several facilities.
Saddle Creek is also in the pilot stages with robotic picking arms, particularly for kitting. “We’ve seen nice improvements in what that robotic arm can pick up,” Martin says. “In the past, it was difficult to pick up small items or certain packaging. With artificial intelligence, a robotic arm can better learn how to pick up different things, almost like a child learns how to pick something up.”
To learn more, read the full article in Inbound Logistics.Automation & Robotics, Fulfillment Technology, Increasing Productivity, Selling Online