Multiple Walmart fulfillment centers (FCs), including the first of Walmart’s next-generation FCs, have been upgraded with packaging tech that can output significantly more boxes, increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
The company has tapped an on-demand box machine built exclusively for Walmart and powered by Packsize’s X5 technology to reduce packaging waste caused by oversized boxes, emit fewer shipping emissions by removing unnecessary fillers, and improve the end-consumer experience.
The tech produces up to 600 boxes per hour, improving parcel logistics and allowing Walmart to fit up to 33% more boxes on its freight and delivery carriers. The solution has also improved Walmart’s fulfillment speed, giving the company the ability to have its orders packed, labeled, and ready for shipping in about 30 minutes.
Prathibha Rajashekhar, senior vice president, innovation and automation at Walmart U.S., said the innovative packaging solution “tailors each box to the items we are shipping to customers, eliminating unnecessary waste and improving the unboxing experience once the package arrives."
John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S, says it is becoming difficult to measure the differences in e-commerce and stores because stores are acting as fulfillment centers at times. Learn more.
This is Walmart’s latest push to transform its fulfillment centers, focusing on digital innovation to expedite processes and reduce costs and energy consumption. In Canada and Mexico, for example, Walmart has been speeding up fulfillment by opening a unique, tech-powered distribution center in Quebec that will lower transportation costs, improve product assortment, and speed up fulfillment services.
Additionally, within Canada, the company already opened two distribution centers in early 2022, as well as a high-tech sortable fulfillment center. Walmart is also looking to introduce a fully automated ambient distribution center in Ontario in early 2024. Within the U.S., Walmart is renovating all 42 of its regional distribution centers in order to increase speed, efficiency, and safety.
The company has been leveraging robotics and machine learning for its next-generation fulfillment centers — investments which will provide them with the capacity to provide next- or two-day shipping to around 75% of the U.S. population. Walmart plans to build four new fulfillment centers in the next three years.
“Walmart is creating the future of supply chain — a modern system that pairs the latest in software and automation technologies, with a highly trained and specialized workforce of Walmart associates — to disrupt the industry as we know it,” said David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation, Walmart U.S in an earlier statement.