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DHL Doubles Robots as Humans Alone Can’t Handle Holiday Crunch

  • Company now has about 1,500 picking robots at warehouses
  • E-commerce growth means logistics issues aren’t one-time thing
Inside The DHL Worldwide Express Hub Facility As Deutsche Post Profit Jumps
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Santa Claus is getting a bunch of help from robots this Christmas, as one of the world’s biggest supply-chain firms rushed to add automation to its U.S. operations ahead of the holidays.

DHL’s supply-chain unit doubled its use of robots in the U.S. this year and now has about 1,500 picking robots at its warehouses around the country, on top of adding 15,000 seasonal workers, Oscar de Bok, chief executive of the unit, said in an interview with Matthew Miller on Bloomberg TV Friday. It has helped the parcel-delivery company to stay current on its orders, despite bottlenecks and higher labor costs.