The Kroger Co. and autonomous middle-mile logistics provider Gatik have revealed a multiyear commercial collaboration to transport customer orders within the grocer’s Dallas distribution network.
Under the collaboration, Gatik’s medium-duty autonomous box trucks will transport fresh products from a Kroger customer fulfillment center in Dallas to various retail locations. Each truck features a cold chain-capable 20-foot box designed to transport ambient, refrigerated and frozen goods quickly, safely and efficiently. The partnership will involve consistent, repeated delivery runs several times a day, seven days a week across Kroger’s Dallas distribution network while serving the grocer’s customers with greater speed and responsiveness when fulfilling e-commerce orders, lower costs, and dedicated capacity across the supply chain’s middle mile. The operations will launch in Q2 of this year.
[Read more: "Kroger's Roadmap for Driving Plant-Based Sales"]
“Kroger’s commitment to redefining service levels for its customers through innovative technology meant that our collaboration came together very quickly,” noted Gautam Narang, co-founder and CEO of Mountain View, Calif.-based Gatik. “We’re deeply familiar with operating our autonomous fleet within the Dallas ecosystem, and we’re very excited to bring that experience to support Kroger in its mission to reshape the future of goods delivery.”
“We are so excited to see Gatik trucks starting to deliver groceries throughout our Dallas division,” said Raúl Bujalil, VP supply chain strategy and technology enablers at Kroger. “These autonomous box trucks will help us continue our commitment to creating a seamless shopping experience – where customers can access their favorite fresh foods, with zero compromise on value or convenience.”
Gatik also oversees short-haul B2B logistics for Walmart and Canadian retailer Loblaw, among others. This current foray isn’t the logistics provider’s first into Dallas, either: Last year, Gatik automated part of the Georgia-Pacific-KBX on-road transportation network in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, delivering goods 24/7 across a network of 34 Sam’s Club locations.
Serving 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 and Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is No. 11.