DHL Supply Chain signs multi-year agreement with Boston Dynamics
DHL Supply Chain to invest $15 million to further automate warehousing in North America through Boston Dynamics Collaboration
●DHL is Boston Dynamics’ first commercial Stretch® robot customer
●Multi-year agreement reinforces DHL’s commitment to accelerating end-to-end supply chain digitization
WESTERVILLE, OH (January 26, 2022) – DHL Supply Chain, the global and North American contract logistics leader within the Deutsche Post DHL Group, today announced a $15 million investment in Boston Robotic Solutions Dynamics, the world leader in mobile robotics, to continue automating warehousing in North America. The companies have signed a multi-year agreement that begins with equipping DHL facilities with Stretch, Boston Dynamics’ latest robot specifically designed to automate the unloading process in fulfillment centers.
This agreement is the culmination of a strategic collaboration between the two companies over the past several years while Stretch was under development and testing. Boston Dynamics will supply a fleet of Stretch robots to several DHL warehouses in North America over the next three years. The deal with DHL marks Stretch’s first commercial purchase, which was unveiled in 2021.
This investment is part of DHL Supply Chain’s Accelerated Digitization Program, a strategy to develop and scale innovative solutions and new technologies. Stretch will tackle multiple box-moving tasks in the warehouse, starting with unloading trucks at select DHL facilities. After the first deployment, the versatile mobile robot will handle additional tasks to support other parts of the warehouse workflow, effectively automating warehouse operations.
“At DHL Supply Chain, we are committed to continuous innovation and digital transformation to optimize the end-to-end supply chain. Investing in warehouse automation plays an important role in increasing operational efficiency and improving service for our customers,” said Sally Miller, CIO, DHL Supply Chain North America. “We are thrilled to partner with Boston Dynamics to deploy their state-of-the-art robotics in our warehouses. The Stretch robot solves complex industry challenges with flexible automation, which we can replicate and scale regionally and globally.
Stretch’s technology leverages decades of robotics advancements from Boston Dynamics to create a flexible, easily integrated solution that can work in any warehouse to increase the flow of goods and improve associate safety by taking into responsible for physically demanding tasks. Stretch features a compact, omni-directional mobile base, a custom-designed lightweight arm, and a smart gripper with advanced sensing and controls that can handle a wide variety of box types and sizes. It also includes computer vision technology from Boston Dynamics, which allows it to identify boxes easily and without any pre-programming. Stretch is able to work independently in complex situations such as messy stacking setups and retrieving dropped boxes.
“Stretch is the newest robot from Boston Dynamics, designed specifically to meet challenges in the warehouse space,” said Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics. “We are excited to work with DHL Supply Chain to provide a fleet of robots that will further automate warehousing and improve safety for its associates. We believe Stretch can have a measurable impact on DHL’s business operations, and we’re excited to see the robot in action at scale.
Deployment of the first Stretch units in DHL warehouses will begin this spring, and DHL plans to gradually scale Boston Dynamics robots for additional tasks and in multiple installations in phases over the next few years.
To learn more, listen to the next episode of DHL’s All Business. No Boundaries.™ podcast, which features Boston Dynamics and will be released on January 31.
For more information on Stretch, visit: bosdyn.co/stretch.