SoftBank Robotics and SB Logistics Partner with Berkshire Grey

SB Logistics and Berkshire Grey have raised the bar for innovative robotic pick and pack technology to deliver fully automated outbound fulfillment services for the Japanese Market.

SoftBank Robotics Corp. and SB Logistics Corp., Softbank Group Corp. subsidiaries, with Berkshire Grey, Inc. today announced a joint partnership to offer the most technically advanced third party logistics (3PL) service for eCommerce fulfillment. SB Logistics’ 3PL offering utilizes Berkshire Grey’s Intelligent Enterprise Robotics™ solutions, including leading AI-enabled robotic automation solutions that autonomously pick, carefully place, and pack customer orders to best meet the extremely high standards prevalent in the Japanese market.

Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Pick and Pack (RPP) systems will enable SB Logistics to process customer orders by robotically handling tens of thousands of SKUs ranging from high-end cellphones and electronics to packaged foods, toys, health and beauty items, and other general merchandise at its flagship fulfillment center in Ichikawa, Japan.

“Berkshire Grey’s RPP systems are capable of handling significantly higher volumes of SKUs than other robotic providers can handle, while offering levels of careful handling and precise placement that is unmatched in the industry. We challenged Berkshire Grey to increase their capabilities even further to best meet the very high expectations of customers in our target markets. Berkshire Grey met that challenge and developed advanced functionality to enable the most innovative solutions in warehouse robotics,” says Fumihide Tomizawa, President and CEO, SoftBank Robotics and SB Logistics. “With Berkshire Grey’s RPP systems, we will be able to directly improve the productivity, quality and reliability of our fulfillment services.”

The majority of 3PLs face several challenges including hiring qualified workers, meeting customer demands for lower costs and pricing pressures, delivering faster response times, and keeping pace with rising consumer expectations. Third party logistics providers are also faced with throughput fluctuations, capital investment concerns, and customer specific service level agreements. From an operations standpoint, damage costs are often absorbed by 3PLs. Shipping less-than-perfect items causes costly returns, as well as unhappy consumers, resulting in damaged reputations for the 3PLs and their customers. Berkshire Grey’s AI-enabled robotic solutions help 3PLs and other enterprises overcome these challenges.

“On behalf of their customers, SB Logistics is creating a leading-edge eCommerce fulfillment facility that will become a fully automated 3PL outbound operation,” says Jessica Moran, Senior Vice President and General Manager of 3PL and Parcel Businesses at Berkshire Grey. “This operation will be the model for automated fulfillment centers now and for future generations. We are pleased that our Intelligent Enterprise Robotics solutions are the foundation for the next level of innovation in SoftBank’s 3PL services.”

“SoftBank Robotics and SB Logistics have worked closely with the Berkshire Grey team to create a first-in-world, fully automated 3PL fulfillment service for eCommerce,” says Tomizawa. “The team was able to provide cutting-edge robotics technology to help us carefully and efficiently robotically piece pick a large variety of SKUs. Berkshire Grey’s ability to seamlessly work with us remotely – due to the limitations caused by the pandemic – was truly profound and shows both teams’ strong passion for driving results. Together, we were able to transform an idea into providing a real business value for the 3PL industry in Japan.”

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