Pitney Bowes Inc., a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services and Ambi Robotics, a provider of robotic sorting systems for supply chain operations, today announced a $23 million deployment expansion of AmbiSort systems in Pitney Bowes ecommerce hubs across the US.
The AI-powered robotics will help Pitney Bowes speed parcel sortation to last-mile delivery providers, while improving productivity, accuracy and worker safety as the company’s shipping and ecommerce businesses surpass 50% of total revenue, the companies stated. Pitney Bowes will make the investment in Robot as a Service (RaaS) fees over the next four years, as part of the expansion.
The expansion follows a successful deployment at the Pitney Bowes Stockton, Calif. ecommerce hub, where Pitney Bowes used AmbiSort systems to successfully sort parcels during the 2021 peak holiday season, nearly doubling the throughput for parcel sortation to local direct delivery units.
“As we continue to scale our global ecommerce business, Pitney Bowes is working with some of the most innovative companies in the industry to configure new solutions that improve our service offerings and make B2C ecommerce logistics easier for our clients,” said Gregg Zegras, EVP and President of Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes. “The deployment of AmbiSort AI-powered systems is part of our long-term plan to further enhance our technologically efficient, employee and client-friendly ecommerce logistics network.”
Ambi Robotics is powered by AmbiOS, which the vendor describes as an advanced AI operating system that leverages simulation-to-reality (Sim2Real) technology. As parcel volume exceeds 131 billion annual parcels globally with more than 37% year-over-year growth in the US alone, as revealed in the latest Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, logistics and global delivery organizations continue to seek automated solutions that can quickly scale to meet their unique needs.
Previously, each package handler was tasked to pick, pack, and place items via a manual vertical putwall. With AmbiSort, Pitney Bowes robot operators work alongside 3-4 automated horizontal putwalls with the same amount of mailsacks. This increases each associate’s productivity and output up to four times manual processes with greater sack density to the last mile.
“Every decision we make at Ambi Robotics centers around the value we bring to our customers and how to uplift their employees,’’ said Jim Liefer, CEO of Ambi Robotics. “Our partnership with Pitney Bowes is symbiotic – the company courageously embraces innovation and technology. There is a reason Pitney Bowes is a 100-year strong company.”
“At the heart of Ambi Robotics’ culture of creativity and client-centricity is a core set of values that we share – we look forward to continued collaboration and innovation through our partnership,” said Zegras.
Improvements to AmbiSort since the initial Pitney Bowes deployment, the vendor explained, include all-new robotic hardware components and advanced AI software that increases throughput per square foot. Additional outbound placement locations increase sorting capacity, and the system’s horizontal putwall increases sack density to the last-mile. A new handoff region between the highly-dexterous piece-picking robot cell and the gantry system allows the robot to singulate and grasp a parcel while simultaneously placing another parcel in the appropriate last-mile mail-sack.