Driverless trucks to keep Sam’s Club in-stock around the clock
Thirty-four Sam’s Club locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area will soon be receiving shipments of Quilted Northern toilet paper and Dixie products via autonomous 26-foot box trucks.
The deliveries, which will begin next month, will be made with six Class 6 trucks that will replace traditional Class 8 tractor trailers. Gatik, the technology provider, and Georgia-Pacific, the product vendor, believe that using the autonomous vehicles will “the cadence of delivery runs and the flow of goods, while reducing logistics costs and enabling near real-time inventory fulfillment,” according to a press release.
“KBX (the transportation arm of Koch Industries and an independent company) is focused on providing services that increase capacity and reduce costs in a safe, efficient way for the customers we serve,” said Paul Snider, president of KBX, in a statement. “Our partnership with Gatik will enable us to redefine the traditional class 8 short-haul market and deliver Georgia-Pacific goods with even greater speed and efficiency. We’re excited to see these operations form the foundation of KBX’s Autonomous Vehicle Program, as we prepare for wider-scale adoption of autonomous trucks to meet customer demand.”
Hayes Shimp, vice president of sales for Georgia-Pacific, said that autonomous truck deliveries “will enable us to remove cost and complexity from the supply chain so that we can better serve Sam’s Club, and their members.”
The Sam’s Club pilot is part of Walmart’s ongoing efforts to test autonomous vehicles for middle- and last-mile deliveries. The retailer has engaged with Argo AI/Ford, Gatik and Nuro on a variety of pilots in recent years.
Walmart, last year, began a pilot with Gatik to use box trucks to make daily deliveries from a dark store to a Neighborhood Market in Arkansas. Two driverless trucks followed a seven-mile loop daily over the course of 12 hours to deliver goods to the location.
“We’ve identified that autonomous box trucks offer an efficient, safe and sustainable solution for transporting goods on repeatable routes between our stores,” Tom Ward, senior vice president of last mile at Walmart U.S., said last November in a statement.
- Gatik, Georgia-Pacific and KBX Announce Multi-Year Commercial Partnership to Disrupt Class 8 Short-Haul Market – Gatik/Georgia-Pacific/KBX/Business Wire
- Walmart is making store deliveries for the first time with driverless trucks – RetailWire
- Gatik and Walmart Achieve Fully Driverless Deliveries in a First for Autonomous Trucking Industry Worldwide – Gatik/Walmart/Business Wire
- Will Walmart’s latest test ‘pave the way for autonomous delivery’? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think autonomous box trucks will be largely able to replace traditional tractor middle-mile deliveries to retailers in the future? Where do you see the biggest potential benefits from the use of autonomous vehicles within the supply chain?