Competition between humans and robots in tug of war concept
© Elnur


FedEx has completed the installation of four robotic sortation arms from Yaskawa America and Plus One Robotics at its Memphis Hub, according to a company announcement emailed to Supply Chain Dive. The process began in May as part of the carrier’s efforts to handle increased e-commerce parcel volume amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company said.

The four arms use suctions to pick up and transfer small parcels from bins onto conveyor belts in the hub. Together, their throughput is equivalent to that of three FedEx employees, Richard W. Smith, regional president of the Americas and executive VP of global support at FedEx Express, told Supply Chain Dive via email.

“We see automation as an opportunity to enhance our team members’ jobs, make them more comfortable and easy, and above all, as safe as possible,” Smith said. “Incorporating this robotic installation at the Memphis hub has given team members the opportunity to take on additional tasks within the operations.”

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