In an exclusive story first reported by Reuters, Amazon has deployed new warehouse automation tools from Italian firm CMC Srl, called CartonWrap. According to the company, these devices are capable of packing 600-700 boxes per hour, four to five times the rate of a human packer in the warehouse. When pressed on potential job losses for warehouse staff, Amazon highlighted the benefits to both customers and employees alike, with a spokeswoman quoted saying:
“We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across our network. We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”
Amazon has grown to become one of the largest employers in the country and other retailers, including Wal-Mart, JD.com and Shutterfly have piloted CMC’s packing technology.
From Amazon’s acquisition of Kiva systems in 2012, Amazon has been aggressive in rolling out automation initiatives in their warehouses to enhance speed, efficiency and cost savings in the fulfillment process.