Logistics of the Future: Best Warehousing Startups

Logistics of the Future: Best Warehousing Startups

This article is part of the Logistics of the Future series looking at the best logistics startups today.

Read the first article in the series, highlighting the Best Last-Mile Delivery Startups here.

Robots, automation, computation, wearables: warehouses are no longer big storage spaces. Technology has invaded the warehouse to significantly improve efficiency and speed, and it was only a matter of time. Think about it: online spending is up 15.9 percent year-on-year. That is many more orders and fulfilments, and gigantic operations such as Amazon or DHL would simply not be possible without smart, tech-based techniques.

Warehousing is the act of storing goods that will be sold or distributed later, and several major elements of this important supply chain step can be disrupted by technology. The first obviously, is robotics. Along with humans, it is also robots roaming around distribution and fulfillment centers. Including automated conveyors and equipment that assists staff with faster fulfillment processes, robotics is fundamentally changing the way warehouses operate. The second big element is how the warehouse space is distributed – it should be easy for everyone to access it and this is where on-demand warehousing comes into play.

However, there are many more ways technology can improve the operations in warehouses. Machine vision, wearables, and smart platforms can enhance the work experience while also bringing safety and helping employees to take more proactive and data-driven actions.

Best Warehousing Startups

The following are some of the best and brightest warehousing startups that are focusing on efficiency, technology, and automation:

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Seegrid

SeeGrid Best Warehousing Startups

Picture Credit: SeeGrid

Think of Seegrid as an Uber fleet within any factory or warehouse – except for the fact that they are driverless vehicles, operated entirely by machine vision and self-driving technologies. The company out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is in the business of producing cars which see the world just like humans do. The eyes of each vehicle capture and build a detailed, 360-degree map of the world around them.

Seegrid vehicles, which have hundreds of thousands of driverless miles under their belt, are infrastructure-free vision guided vehicles with fleet management software for a complete connected solution. In September, the company debuted a new driverless vehicle that can drive in reverse, hitch to carts, pick up and drop off materials in a warehouse or factory setting automatically. In fact, the company’s tech has already gained the attention of General Motors, Whirlpool, Daimler and Jaguar.

Company: Seegrid

Founders: Hans Moravec

Launch: 2003

Headquarters: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Social Media: Twitter, LinkedIn

Website: https://seegrid.com/

 

Learn More About Seegrid:


 

Flexe

Flexe Best Warehousing Startups

Picture Credit: Flexe

A simple, but a genius concept: Flexe is the marketplace for warehouse space. Think of it as an Airbnb for warehousing. The startup, born in Seattle, Washington, connects retailers and brands who need warehousing and fulfillment services with warehouse operators who have it. There are no long-term contracts, no fixed-fees, and no complicated technology integration – just space on-demand.

E-commerce continues to boom and Flexe caters to those businesses, both big and small, who simply want space as the need arises. The business counts hundreds of warehouse partners across the United States to list itself as one of the country’s most comprehensive network of on-demand warehouses. Business is dynamic, shouldn’t warehouses be as well?

Flexe Best Warehousing StartupsCompany: Flexe

Founders: Karl Siebrecht, Edmon Yue, Francis Duong

Launch: 2013

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington.

Social Media: Twitter, LinkedIn

Website: https://www.flexe.com/

 

Learn More About Flexe:


 

Kinetic

Kinetic-Best-Warehousing-Startups

Picture Credit: Kinetic

The unfortunate truth about working in a warehouse is the physicality of the labor. Picking and sorting packages, all day and every day, is inherently manual work. That is where Kinetic comes in. The startup is producing wearable technology that reduces workplace injuries for the industrial workforce. Their solution is to equip employees with industrial wearables which automatically detects unsafe postures and provides workers with feedback whenever a high-risk motion occurs. Over time, workers can use the tech to improve their biomechanics, resulting in less long-term injuries and an overall improvement to well-being.

The tech contributes to an overall healthier, and happier, workplace. Safety managers can view risk data on the Kinetic dashboard, which can be used to make targeted changes to workplace processes and further reduce injury risks.

Kinetic Best Warehousing StartupCompany: Kinetic

Founders: Aditya Bansal, Haytham Elhawary

Launch: 2014

Headquarters: New York Area, U.S

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://wearkinetic.com/

 

Learn More About Kinetic:


 

Fizyr

Fizyr-Best-Warehousing-Startups

Picture Credit: Fizyr/PostNL

Leveraging new technologies is what warehousing startups are all about and one of the outstanding examples of such is Fizyr. The deep tech company, based in RoboValley Delft, enables the automation of human tasks in logistics by using AI. Their deep learning algorithm adds a layer of understanding, bringing autonomous decision-making to processes that involve identifying, quality control, counting, picking and manipulating.

Any pile of varied items or fully unknown parcels can be sorted using Fizyr’s combination of machine vision and world-class algorithms. The software can almost instantaneously perform quality control for applications in online retail, warehousing, logistics and parcel services. In October 2018, the company was named StartUp Innovation of the Year at PostalPitch’s annual competition.

Company: Fizyr

Chief executive officer: Herbert ten Have

Launch: 2014

Headquarters: Delft, Netherlands.

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://fizyr.com/

 

Learn More About Fizyr:


 

GreyOrange

GreyOrange Best Warehousing Startups

Picture Credit: GreyOrange/XPO Logistics

The robots aren’t coming, the robots are here. GreyOrange is a multinational technology company that designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotics systems for supply chain automation in distribution and fulfillment centers. The Singaporean startup combines expertise in industrial hardware and enterprise software to deliver AI-powered robotics solutions across industries and geographies. The aim? To increase efficiency multi-fold.

The company counts more than 450 people as team members, and already has a number of warehouse solutions on the market. These include Butler, a goods-to-person device for inventory storage, picking and order consolidation, as well as and Linear Sorter, a modular system for automating sorting processes. These robots have been deployed in customer sites in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Company: GreyOrange

Founders: Akash Gupta, Samay Kohli, Wolfgang Hoeltgen

Launch: 2011

Headquarters: Singapore

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://www.greyorange.com/

 

Learn More About GreyOrange:


 

Log-hub

Picture Credit: Log-hub

The times when only experts could handle supply chain analytics are over: welcome to the digital revolution with Log-hub. Based in Zug, Switzerland, Log-hub is a global team of passionate logistics experts with the aim of making supply chain planning as easy and efficient as possible. How? First, Log-hub offers a global on-demand warehouse marketplace which operates across 38 countries and offers more than 1 million pallet places. This marketplace matches businesses seeking flexible space and warehouse providers offering available capacity and related services.

Furthermore, Log-hub embeds the sophisticated technology of supply chain management with easy app workflows in its innovative app portfolio – From network design and transport optimization to advanced forecasting.

Company: Log-hub

Founders: Marianus Papiernik, Dirk Reich

Launch: 2017

Headquarters: Zug, Switzerland

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://www.log-hub.com/

 

Learn More About Log-hub:


 

QubeVu

QubeVu Best Warehousing Startups

Picture Credit: QubeVu

It’s pretty important to know the shape and size of packages in any warehouse, and this is where QubeVu comes in. The business has built its reputation over more than 10 years as one of the leaders in dimensioning. Their patented 3D technology offers the world’s fastest dimensioning for use in a range of situations, including inbound, outbound, warehouse and conveyable freight.

With an industry shift towards dimensional ratings, the technology put forward by QubeVu will help to offset any impacts. The team is also signaling new solutions on the horizon to include in-motion and “panopticon” technologies that integrate machine learning, blockchain, Internet of Things and AI to create truly disruptive solutions.

Company: QubeVu

Founders: Michael Murphy, Elmar Toime

Launch: 2007

Headquarters: Fairfax, Virginia

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://www.qubevu.com/

 

Learn More About QubeVu:


 

6 River Systems

6 River Systems Best Warehousing Startups

Picture Credit: 6Rivers.com

Meet Chuck: a collaborative mobile robot changing the way things move inside the warehouse. The design from 6 River Systems, based out of Boston, uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to help your (human) employees work faster. Chuck is built from the same technology and sensors as autonomous vehicles and leads other employees through their work zones to help them minimize walking, stay on task and work more efficiently.

Chuck is part of the larger movement towards autonomous robots inside logistics warehouses, with the robot integrated into any warehouse management system to pick, count, replenish and sort – elements of warehouse work which could only be done manually in the past. Robots like Chuck are already here – and here to stay.

6 River Systems Best Warehousing StartupsCompany: 6 River Systems

Founders: Christopher Cacioppo, Jerome Dubois, Rylan Hamilton

Launch: 2015

Headquarters: Boston, U.S

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://6river.com/

 

Learn More About 6 River Systems:


 

Atheer

Atheer-Best-Warehousing-Startups

Picture Credit: Atheer

It isn’t only robots who are getting the opportunity to see the world like never before – but human employees too. Atheer is a startup which offers workers the opportunity to see the world around them with brand new eyes through Augmented Interactive Reality. The Californian technology company offers glasses and other solutions which allow employees to interact with their workplace in a digital, responsive way. The tech has been proven to improve productivity across manufacturing, retail, medical, energy, and field services.

One example is the use of augmented reality in the car industry. The company realized that across the manufacturing, service and operations elements of the automotive sector, AR could make a difference by helping reduce downtime, cut “time to repair” and improve overall safety and efficiency in operations. Porsche Cars North America integrated the Atheer solution into their operations – and reported that service resolution times were cut by 40 percent.

Company: Atheer

Founders: Soulaiman Itani

Launch: 2011

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://atheerair.com/

 

Learn More About Atheer:


 

Stord

Stord Best Wareshousing Startup

Picture Credit: Stord

Wouldn’t it be handy if all available warehousing space were searchable in one place? This is what Stord aims to do – breaking down free warehousing space based on industry and location across the United States in one dashboard. Their solution is two-fold: to bring technology and new revenue opportunities to local warehouse partners and small business operators that allow them to grow their businesses.

The Stord solution uses proprietary technology to bind together a network of independent, third-party warehouses that handle product for any customer. The startup, out of Atlanta, Georgia, has run full-scale distribution and pilots for Fortune 1000 clients with a mission to build a global distribution network that brings cost savings and technology to the $163 billion warehousing industry.

Company: Stord

Founders: Jacob Boudreau, Sean Henry  

Launch: 2015

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://www.stord.com/

 

Learn More About Stord:


 

Scandit

Scandit-Best-Warehousing-Startups-compressor

Picture Credit: Scandit

Scandit wants to present a new reality for workers of modern enterprises – an augmented reality. The Swiss startup is in the business of integrating real-time data, which is captured from barcodes, text, objects and other visual identifiers, to inform employees via headsets. The tech seeks to change the way enterprises and customers change how they interact with everyday objects to augment the physical world including the world of warehousing.

Founded in 2009 by a group of researchers from MIT, ETH Zurich, and IBM Research, Scandit offers a cloud-based enterprise mobility and data capture platform for smart devices built on proprietary computer vision, machine learning and augmented reality.

Scandit Best Warehousing StartupsCompany: Scandit

Founders: Christian Floerkemeier, Christof Roduner, Samuel Mueller

Launch: 2009

Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://www.scandit.com/

 

Learn More About Scandit:


 

Locus Robotics

Locus Robotics Best Warehousing Startups

Picture Credit: Sharon Attia/Locus Robotics

It’s picking – but with more robots. The team at Locus Robotics are in the business of creating autonomous products which make life easier for their human counterparts in the warehouse. Their multi-bot picking system triples worker efficiency simply by letting them pick faster and more accurately.

The principal product from the Massachusetts startup is the LocusBot. These robots work collaboratively and safely alongside workers to cut down their walking within the warehouse. Since LocusBots transport the items, workers don’t have to push carts or carry bins, making them more productive and less fatigued.

Company: Locus Robotics

Founders: Bruce Welty

Launch: 2014

Headquarters: Wilmington, Massachusetts

Social Media: TwitterLinkedIn

Website: https://www.locusrobotics.com/

 

Learn More About Locus Robotics:


Do you know any other outstanding Warehousing Startups that did not make it to the article? Let us know in the comments!

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