XPO Logistics, a global provider of transport and logistics solutions, has embarked on a new autonomous forklift truck technology pilot program in collaboration with Balyo, a specialist developer of robotics for goods handling equipment.
XPO is the first logistics company in Europe to test Balyo’s latest robotic “reach truck” – referring to its higher reach – under real-life conditions. The pilot is underway at an XPO distribution center near Blois, France.
Malcolm Wilson, XPO’s chief executive officer – Europe, says: “We’re pleased that our on-site tests will help optimize intelligent reach trucks for the logistics environment. As we pilot the robotics in our operations, we’re also exploring these applications to increase efficiency for customers and to support our employees.”
Pascal Rialland, chief executive officer at Balyo, says: “We’re working closely with XPO to enhance our latest robotic reach technology for their state-of-the-art distribution centers. Our collaboration validates the performance of our autonomous robots in specific applications in order to deliver the greatest benefit to XPO’s operations.”
The robotic trucks in the pilot program have an overhead reach of up to 11 meters and are capable of manoeuvring through aisles as narrow as 2.9 meters, while moving 10 to 20 pallets per hour, depending on the application.
They operate safely in mixed facility settings, working alongside employees and traditional forklifts. Balyo develops its autonomous reach robots in collaboration with Linde Material Handling.
Holger Böhme, vice president, international key accounts, Linde Material Handling, says: “The pilots leverage our longstanding relationship with XPO and our exciting partnership with Balyo.
“Together, we’re advancing efficient logistics operations and technologies to deliver significant benefits every day.”