Boxed, the bulk-shopping ecommerce retailer geared toward “updating the Costco experience for Millennials,” is implementing in its Dallas fulfillment center its autonomously guided vehicle (AGV), a lightweight, transportable alternative to larger-scale conveyor-belt systems.
Developed in-house, AGVs require significantly less capital expenditure than their heavier counterparts, and are designed to autonomously roam the aisles of Boxed’s fulfillment centers, relieving order pickers of the need to manually locate items and push a cart throughout their workday. The system can be easily upgraded and implemented, enabling Boxed to rapidly spin up a partially automated facility wherever new pockets of consumer demand arises.
Boxed spent nine months developing the AGV hardware and software. The AGVs themselves are built in-house in its Union, N.J. facility, at a cost of about $6,000 each. This makes it possible for Boxed to quickly develop a fulfillment center that can handle up to $100 million in order volume with an initial expenditure of of roughly $800,000.