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ArcBest debuts automated forklift for logistics

ArcBest debuts automated forklift for logistics
ArcBest debuts automated forklift for logistics
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Arkansas-based ArcBest, an integrated logistics company, has launched a new initiative in its Vaux suite – Vaux Smart Autonomy. This new initiative combines autonomous mobile robot forklifts, reach trucks, and intelligent software. This will allow warehouses and distribution centers to autonomously handle goods. 

Judy McReynolds, ArcBest chairman, president, and CEO, says: “As supply chains become increasingly complex, we are introducing transformational innovations to the market. Vaux Smart Autonomy will revolutionize material handling for customers, helping to optimize and unlock greater efficiencies in their warehouses, distribution centers, and the overall supply chain.”

ArcBest’s innovation is helping shippers 

The company started as a freight hauler in Arkansas in 1923. It has become a public company with 250 campuses and service centers. The business assists shippers with solutions they need regarding operations – from ground, air, and ocean transportation to fully managed supply chains. 

Michael Newcity, chief innovation officer of ArcBest, says businesses are facing challenges when it comes to handling materials, especially when it comes to productivity, labor availability, and safety. “They [businesses] need a practical solution that can be implemented without significant facility or process changes. Vaux Smart Autonomy improves efficiencies, adds labor flexibility, and creates a safer working environment — even for companies with complex operations that traditionally have not been able to adopt autonomous technology,” he says. 

Robotics revolutionizing logistics 

Here’s a scenario: You own a warehouse and suddenly receive a cargo shipment early. The customer who needs cargo stored pleads his case that the goods need to be received because there’s bad weather on the way. Luckily, the warehouse is using autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). In fast time, the artificial intelligence software has already optimized the warehouse floor space to include the incoming cargo. 

The AMRs are now programmed to zoom around the warehouse floor, ensuring the receiving cargo is swiftly moved into the correct stacks and avoiding inclement weather.   

Logistics companies are not ignoring the call to automate. A new report by Economist Impact and DP World titled ‘Trade in Transition 2024’ has revealed that innovation and technology is key to a strong supply chain. 

Challenge with robots and the internet

Locate2u has closely been following developments in robotics. In October, we reported on robots needing a better internet connection to keep this moving. 

The problem with unreliable internet is that a robot moving a palate may come to a standstill, and goods may be damaged. An autonomous truck driving in a distribution truck yard will just stop operating. To fix this problem, warehouses need to look at better network options. Private wireless could be the perfect solution.

Now Read: Pudu Robotics spearheads AI era with robots for retail and restaurants

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About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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