Berkshire Grey and FedEx have expanded their strategic relationship. The companies have entered into an agreement for new development activities that will provide broader robotic capabilities to help FedEx improve the safety and efficiency of its package handling operations globally. The two companies also expect to execute a master system purchase agreement in 2022, which will streamline and expedite the procurement process for Berkshire Grey solutions across all FedEx operating companies globally.
Additionally, Berkshire Grey has granted FedEx a warrant to purchase common stock. This vests incrementally and is subject to certain terms, including the ordering of and payment for Berkshire Grey’s products and services at any time prior to December 31, 2025. Full vesting of all 25 million shares are subject to the warrant upon the ordering of or payment for at least $200 million of such goods and services Details on the terms of the warrant agreement are available in the Form 8-K filed by Berkshire Grey.
“Our growing relationship with Berkshire Grey for robotic automation is a direct response to the growth of e-commerce, which has accelerated the demand for reliable automated solutions throughout all stages of the supply chain,” said Rebecca Yeung, corporate VP of operations science and advanced technology, FedEx. “FedEx believes that continued innovation and automation will improve efficiency, productivity and safety for its team members as they continue to keep the global supply chain moving.”
“At Berkshire Grey, we have spent the last number of years focused on building out some killer technology in picking and sortation,” said Jessica Moran, senior VP and GM, Berkshire Grey. “That technology can be modular and flexible, so it can scale as our customers are looking to scale. For strategic customers like FedEx, we also are able to do these development agreements where we engage together and build out something that’s really strategic that can help to benefit them long term.”
“FedEx is just a phenomenal partner for us,” Moran added. “The relationship is a two-way street where they help us and we help them by great sharing of information and collaboration of ideas. The next level of this new agreement we just signed enables more strategic alignment, strategic collaboration and sharing of ideas as we go forward. So we’re super excited about that. The package volume for organizations like FedEx is going through the roof, and we see this huge opportunity for robots to come in and supplement and extend the workforce.”
As previously announced, FedEx Ground and Berkshire Grey are already working together to deploy Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Product Sortation and Identification (RPSi) systems to robotically sort small packages that arrive daily and require distribution. In addition to the recent installations at eight sortation facilities, including Queens, NY, Las Vegas, Nev., and Columbus, Ohio, FedEx Ground plans to have RPSi systems in place at select additional facilities in the network over the next 12 months.
“Berkshire Grey and FedEx are strategically aligned. These new agreements reflect our mutual commitment to innovations in robotic automation that can remove barriers within the supply chain, ease the physical burden on employees and streamline operations,” said Tom Wagner, CEO of Berkshire Grey. “We look forward to working together on this new program and to advancing other automation programs with FedEx moving forward.”
Berkshire Grey won a 2022 RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award for its robotic putwall from our sister publication Robotics Business Review. The system was launched in September 2021 to help meet surging e-commerce demands and mitigate labor shortages. Berkshire Grey said it can sort up to 240 orders at the same time.