FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, announced the launch of DoraSorter – an AI-powered intelligent sorting robot – in collaboration with Dorabot, a leading robotics solution provider for logistics. The sorting robot represents the company’s latest push in digitizing its operations and building a smart logistics network to handle the ever-growing volumes of e-commerce-related shipments in the region.
DoraSorter robot: The first of its kind in China
The DoraSorter robot is being deployed at the 5,200m2 FedEx South China E-Commerce Shipment Sorting Center in Guangzhou. DoraSorter is already part of the daily sorting operations and is capable of handling small inbound and outbound packages from e-commerce customers in South China. While FedEx and Dorabot teams continue to fine-tune the robot based on operational requirements, and explore more application scenarios, DoraSorter’s core function of sorting parcels based on destination matches the sorting center’s operation process.
Key features of DoraSorter include:
- At approximately 40m2, the robot can carry up to 10 kilograms of packages, covering up to 100 destinations simultaneously.
- The robot has a special drawer-shaped gripper that can connect with the conveyor belt seamlessly.
- Equipped with a barcode reader that scans package to obtain destination information, the robot uses its gripper to receive a package inward from the conveyor belt and moves it outward to the corresponding destination slot.
FedEx investment in this warehouse automation echoes broader industry trends. Triggered by the global pandemic, logistics players are optimizing operational efficiencies, from warehouse management to last-mile delivery, to cater to the soaring demand for e-commerce products seasonal peaks, and consumers’ heightened expectations for fast delivery. According to McKinsey & Company, the global warehouse automation market is projected to reach $51 billion by 2030. By 2025, more than 4 million commercial robots will be installed at more than 50,000 warehouses.
Kawal Preet, president of the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region at FedEx Express shares that the speed with which a parcel can be picked up and delivered to customers’ doorsteps has become a dominant factor in driving the adoption of sorting robots.
Bringing DoraSorter to China as a pilot program is a natural choice for us given it’s the world’s biggest e-commerce market with an expected valuation of $3.3 trillion by 2025. As we look to build a data-driven, smart logistics network to help our customers thrive in the digital economy, this alliance with Dorabot is part of becoming the network for what’s next. AI-powered technology will continue to change how we support customers in the region and enhance supply chains for the future.Kawal Preet, president of the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region at FedEx Express
Robert Chu, vice president, Operations, FedEx China also shares that innovation is at the core and is a major factor behind FedEx strategy in China.
To meet customers’ changing needs, we have been exploring and investing in new technologies to enhance every key aspect of transportation. The rapid rise in e-commerce has led to higher customer demand for timeliness and flexibility in logistics services, creating new challenges and opportunities for the entire logistics industry.Robert Chu, vice president, Operations, FedEx China
He added that the collaboration with Dorabot is their latest effort to improve operational efficiencies and build an agile logistics infrastructure through robotics technology that will support the growth of China’s e-commerce industry.
Xiaobai Deng, founder and CEO of Dorabot said that he use of DoraSorter helps FedEx sort a higher volume of cross-border e-commerce shipments.
It is the starting point of a global collaboration between Dorabot and FedEx. We hope that we can work together to bring AI and robotics applications to more businesses and consumers.Xiaobai Deng, founder and CEO of Dorabot
FedEx continues to leverage advanced technologies to streamline its operations and help customers of all sizes in China and beyond seize opportunities in the global market. Last October, FedEx teamed up with Neolix to test an autonomous delivery vehicle in China. The company is also testing FedEx SameDay Bot®, Roxo™ in AMEA to explore the future of contactless, last-mile delivery. In addition, FedEx also launched a sensor-based logistics device – SenseAwareID, designed to enhance tracking precision, reliability and timely delivery of critical shipments such as life-saving pharmaceuticals and emergency medical supplies.
Meanwhile, Dorabot supplies automated intelligent warehousing solutions with a strong technical force, using computer vision, motion planning, planning and reasoning, autonomous navigation, multi-machine collaboration, machine learning and other technologies. The company provides customers from logistics and warehousing, retailing and e-commerce, seaports and airports, intelligent manufacturing and other industries with end-to-end solutions using a combination of hardware and software, including part feeding, sorting, transporting, de-palletizing, and accessing, loading and unloading. It helps customers manage labor shortage problems, reduce operating costs, improve operational efficiency and enhance the level of digitalization and intelligence.