The holiday season is helping shipping company DHL usher in automation quicker than it ever has.
The shipping and supply chain giant has been "rushing" to add automation heading into this holiday season, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
The company "doubled its use of robots in the U.S. this year", the report says, and now has a total of about 1,500 picking robots at its warehouses across the country.
The additional automation comes on top of hiring an additional 15,000 seasonal workers, the report said.
Oscar de Bok, chief executive, told Bloomberg last week that the additions has helped DHL stay current with orders.
de Bok commented: “The supply-chain disruption that we’re seeing at the moment is not a one-time thing. Because of the growth of e-commerce, supply chains are now organized differently because you get major hops and jumps at the end of the supply chain, because that’s the end-consumer."
He continued: "All the stores and the wholesalers and distributors that used to be in between are now less, and that’s why you get more disruptions in supply chains.”
de Bok said that the company started ramping up its holiday season early this year, allowing it to sidestep bottlenecks and logistics problems that have swept the globe.
In order to hire so aggressively, wages have risen as much as 15% in some parts of the U.S., the report notes. DHL has also created eight centers across the U.S. to recruit and train workers, the report noted.