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Logistics Giants Are Turning to Remote-Run Forklifts After Labor Crunch

  • ArcBest, NFI to deploy thousands of remote-operated forklifts
  • Duo also leading $42 million investment in startup Phantom
A driver operates a forklift remotely.
A driver operates a forklift remotely.Source: Bloomberg
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As surging omicron infections keep workers at home and labor shortages disrupt the world’s supply chains, two of the biggest logistics companies in the U.S. are looking to remote-operated equipment as a solution.

Arkansas-based ArcBest Corp. and New Jersey-headquartered NFI Industries Inc. will deploy thousands of forklifts running on software supplied by Phantom Auto, a startup focusing on vehicle teleoperation. The duo have also led a $42 million investment in the California-based group, according to Phantom Auto Co-Founder Elliot Katz.