Bringoz Industry Weekly 5/20L
owe’s is opening its first Pro Fulfillment Center dedicated to serving professional customers. Amazon is turning to its contracted Flex drivers to deliver packages from malls. Grocery Outlet is working with Uber to test on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery. Read about these stories and more in our weekly industry news roundup.
Lowe’s Opens Fulfillment Center for Professional Customers
Lowe’s is opening its first Pro Fulfillment Center dedicated to serving professional customers. This specialized customer category includes a variety of businesses such as builders, remodelers, landscapers, plumbers, and electricians. The 200,000 sq. ft. center is based in Charlotte, N.C., and offers Charlotte area pros guaranteed next-day delivery of over 1,000 products. Key features include online tracking of orders, which are available through box or flatbed trucks. Lowe’s will use the facility to test, learn and evolve its approach to provide an omnichannel experience tailored for professional customers. Read more on Chain Store Age.
Using Integrations to Make Delivery Management Easier
Delivery operations have been under more pressure over the past few years as last-mile delivery becomes more complex. From vehicle capacity and labor constraints to growing fulfillment networks and increasing customer expectations, maintaining a fast, reliable and efficient delivery service has never been more challenging. Companies have turned to digital solutions to meet their growing needs. Implementing a delivery management solution that can seamlessly integrate with other systems enhances delivery performance and workforce productivity, enabling businesses to better optimize resources and ensure deliveries arrive on time. Here’s a deeper look at how integrations make delivery management easier. Read more in our blog here.
Amazon Tests Using Flex Drivers to Make Mall Deliveries
Amazon is turning to its contracted Flex drivers to deliver packages from mall-based retailers, allowing sellers to ship products from their own stores using the eCommerce giant’s delivery service. The company informed drivers in Las Vegas that it was launching the service at a local mall. Kate Kudrna, an Amazon spokesperson, said a handful of “existing Amazon sellers” are participating in the program, and that Flex drivers operate as normal, but pick up orders from retail stores, rather than Amazon delivery stations or supermarkets. Read more on CNBC.
Grocery Outlet Partners With Uber on Delivery Pilot
Grocery Outlet is working with Uber to test on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery at select stores on the West Coast, the companies announced in a joint press release Thursday. The pilot involves 72 Grocery Outlet locations in California, Oregon and Washington. Customers will not be charged a delivery fee on their first order of at least $30 through June 19, and Uber One members will get free delivery on all orders of $15 or more. Grocery Outlet has recently been expanding its digital operations after long saying it preferred to direct shoppers to its brick-and-mortar locations and did not see a need to offer eCommerce. Read more on Grocery Dive.
FedEx and Aurora Expand Autonomous Trucking Pilot
FedEx and self-driving vehicle technology company Aurora Innovation have expanded their autonomous trucking pilot program in Texas. The expansion is ahead of schedule and continues a project that began last September, in which the companies started hauling freight on Aurora’s autonomous trucks between Dallas and Houston. The companies say the success of the pilot program is driving the expansion. To date, Aurora’s autonomous deliveries have been 100% on time, delivering packages to thousands of FedEx customers every day. Together, Aurora and FedEx have completed 60,000 miles with zero safety incidents, officials said in a press release about the project expansion. Read more on DC Velocity.
Warehouse Robotics Firm GreyOrange Raises $110M
Robotics firm GreyOrange this week announced it has raised $110 million. “We orchestrate fulfillment and optimize inventory in a complex global supply chain environment for more companies that ship millions of items each day than any other player in the market outside of Amazon,” co-founder and CEO Samay Kohli said in a release. Much of the funding will go toward hiring, as the company looks to add an additional 300 roles in engineering, product, marketing and sales. Additional funding will go toward ramping up production and rollout of GreyOrange’s robotic systems. Read more on TechCrunch.