SoftBank Robotics Corp. and SB Logistics Corp., Softbank Group Corp. subsidiaries, with Berkshire Grey, Inc. today announced a joint partnership to offer the most technically advanced third party logistics (3PL) service for eCommerce fulfillment. SB Logistics’ 3PL offering utilizes Berkshire Grey’s Intelligent Enterprise Robotics solutions, including leading AI-enabled robotic automation solutions that autonomously pick, carefully place, and pack customer orders to best meet the extremely high standards prevalent in the Japanese market.
Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Pick and Pack (RPP) systems will enable SB Logistics to process customer orders by robotically handling tens of thousands of SKUs ranging from high-end cellphones and electronics to packaged foods, toys, health and beauty items, and other general merchandise at its flagship fulfillment center in Ichikawa, Japan.
“Berkshire Grey’s RPP systems are capable of handling significantly higher volumes of SKUs than other robotic providers can handle, while offering levels of careful handling and precise placement that is unmatched in the industry. We challenged Berkshire Grey to increase their capabilities even further to best meet the very high expectations of customers in our target markets. Berkshire Grey met that challenge and developed advanced functionality to enable the most innovative solutions in warehouse robotics,” says Fumihide Tomizawa, President and CEO, SoftBank Robotics and SB Logistics. “With Berkshire Grey’s RPP systems, we will be able to directly improve the productivity, quality and reliability of our fulfillment services.”
The majority of 3PLs face several challenges including hiring qualified workers, meeting customer demands for lower costs and pricing pressures, delivering faster response times, and keeping pace with rising consumer expectations. Third party logistics providers are also faced with throughput fluctuations, capital investment concerns, and customer specific service level agreements. From an operations standpoint, damage costs are often absorbed by 3PLs. Shipping less-than-perfect items causes costly returns, as well as unhappy consumers, resulting in damaged reputations for the 3PLs and their customers. Berkshire Grey’s AI-enabled robotic solutions help 3PLs and other enterprises overcome these challenges.
“On behalf of their customers, SB Logistics is creating a leading-edge eCommerce fulfillment facility that will become a fully automated 3PL outbound operation,” says Jessica Moran, Senior Vice President and General Manager of 3PL and Parcel Businesses at Berkshire Grey. “This operation will be the model for automated fulfillment centers now and for future generations. We are pleased that our Intelligent Enterprise Robotics solutions are the foundation for the next level of innovation in SoftBank’s 3PL services.”
“SoftBank Robotics and SB Logistics have worked closely with the Berkshire Grey team to create a first-in-world, fully automated 3PL fulfillment service for eCommerce,” says Tomizawa. “The team was able to provide cutting-edge robotics technology to help us carefully and efficiently robotically piece pick a large variety of SKUs. Berkshire Grey’s ability to seamlessly work with us remotely – due to the limitations caused by the pandemic – was truly profound and shows both teams’ strong passion for driving results. Together, we were able to transform an idea into providing a real business value for the 3PL industry in Japan.”
About SoftBank Robotics Corp.
SoftBank Robotics Corp. is a subsidiary of SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. in Japan. SoftBank Robotics Group is driving technology forward by becoming a worldwide leader in robotics solutions. Rapidly expanding with offices in Tokyo, Paris, London, San Francisco, Boston, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney, SoftBank Robotics Group is constantly exploring and commercializing robotics solutions that help make people’s lives easier, safer, more connected, and more extraordinary. There are currently over 35,000 SoftBank Robotics robots, Pepper, NAO and Whiz, used in more than 70 countries worldwide and offer innovative applications relevant in the fields of retail, tourism, healthcare, finance, education, facilities management and cleaning.
About SB Logistics Corp.
SB Logistics is providing Pay-per-use type 3PL logistics service, enhanced by AI based robotics and automation technology. Starting from E-Commerce (B2C) fulfillment business, expanding target area to Offline Merges Online (B2B) and D2C fulfillment. SB Logistics owns Ichikawa Distribution Center, 220,000 sqm warehouse as a mother site, in Ichikawa City, Chiba prefecture which can provide same day/next day delivery to greater Metropolitan area in Japan. SB Logistics runs daily operations on top of material handling equipment layout and systems designed/developed by SoftBank Robotics.
About Berkshire Grey
Berkshire Grey helps customers radically change the essential way they do business by delivering game-changing technology that combines AI and robotics to automate fulfillment, supply chain, and logistics operations. Berkshire Grey solutions are a fundamental engine of change that transform pick, pack, move, store, organize, and sort operations to deliver competitive advantage for enterprises serving today’s connected consumers. Berkshire Grey customers include Global 100 retailers and logistics service providers.