Boxed shows off the automated tech it uses to ship toilet paper and more

Gadgets



Boxed offers the online equivalent of the bulk shopping offered at stores like Costco. But big discounts aren’t the only thing the company’s focused on.

Boxed introduced automation to its Union, New Jersey fulfillment center earlier this year, installing a system where the items for shipping are transported to the people doing the packing. And the company says it was able to make the transition without eliminating a single job.

We visited the Union facility, where the company says it ships out 40 to 50 percent of its orders, and where we talked to CTO Will Fong and Vice President of Distribution Rick Zumpano about how technology changes the shipping process. We also got a sneak peek at the autonomous guided vehicles (basically, self-driving carts) that will be involved in transporting goods in the other fulfillment centers.

“If you think about what’s really happening behind the scenes, you’re tapping a few buttons on your phone and two days later a box full of toilet paper, paper towels, your daily essentials just shows up at your door,” Fong said. “So there’s a ton of technology that actually powers these types of transactions and this kind of fulfillment.”



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