This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 19, 2018:
Over the last two or three years, tens of thousands of people have watched YouTube videos (see Sources) of the unbelievable technology that companies like Amazon and British online grocery company Ocado are using to cut delivery costs and times for their customers. Each of Amazon’s “fulfillment centers” ships upwards of a million orders every single day, with nary a human in sight.
Give Amazon credit. It saw the technology it would need as far back as 2012 when they bought Kiva Systems, the developer of the little Kiva robots that look like oversized Roombas. Kiva was leasing their robots and their technology to companies like The Gap, Walgreens, Staples, Office Depot, Crate & Barrel, and Saks 5th Avenue. But when those leases ended, Amazon didn’t renew them. It wanted the Kiva technology for itself.
Today, in its more than 100 massive distribution or “fulfillment” centers, there are hundreds of thousands of Kiva robots doing the work humans used to do just a few years ago.
The million-square-foot fulfillment center in Baltimore is typical, as Christopher Mims explained in The Wall Street Journal: