Walmart, Symbotic Expand Automation At Distribution Centers

Walmart Inc. of Bentonville, seeking to further automate its distributions centers, is working with Symbotic LLC of Wilmington, Massachusetts, to "reimagine" its regional network, planning to add the company's technology to more of its distribution centers.

Symbotic is a robotics and automation company that focuses on warehouse automation in the traditional consumer goods supply chain. Walmart said Tuesday that it will expand its partnership with the company at 25 regional distributions centers. 

The move comes as all retailers look to further automate their distribution centers and delivery networks to be more competitive and efficient.

"To serve customers now, and in the future, our business must provide the right tools and training to our associates so they can deliver the items our customers want, when they want them, with unmatched convenience," Joe Metzger, Walmart's executive vice president of supply chain operations, said in a news release. "We're investing in our supply chain at an unprecedented scale in order to optimize that process end-to-end."

Walmart began working with the company at a Florida distribution center in 2017. It said Symbotic's systems will allow it to "better modernize and digitize its existing supply chain facilities to support evolving customer demand and create a frictionless experience." 

Symbotic's system includes a fleet of fully autonomous robots running proprietary software the companies said increase efficiency and warehouse capacity. 

"With the new system in place, it will help reduce the time it takes to unload, sort, and stock freight in Walmart stores," the retailer said.