KED Global: Coupang Unveils Plans to Invest $4 Billion in Logistics Automation

Dec 01, 2022

(Image Source: Bloomberg News)

According to industry insiders, Coupang Inc. plans to invest approximately $4 billion to automate its logistics infrastructure. Coupang, with its headquarters in Seoul, is the largest online marketplace in South Korea. The company's fulfillment facility in Daegu has the aesthetic of a massive laboratory and is expected to be fully operational in the second half of next year.

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Under the new system, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) move shelves to workers as soon as orders appear on their digital assistants (PDAs). A blue light will indicate which item must be picked up by the employee, who will then place it on the robotic packing machine. After a customer places an order, the product is packaged and loaded onto a delivery vehicle within 10 minutes or so.

For the Daegu fulfillment facility, Coupang will be utilizing robots created by CMES, a provider of robotics and visual technologies based in Seoul. These robots can identify boxes of varying forms and sizes thanks to the high-resolution cameras and scanners mounted on their arms. Bom Kim, founder, and CEO of Coupang has promised to keep pouring money into machine learning (ML) and robotics-based process automation and optimization technology.

This month, Coupang's CFO Gaurav Anand also shared that the firm is sitting on $4 billion in cash with plans to invest it in further developing logistics automation technology. As long as the e-commerce giant's business model depends on advertising, third-party logistics, and finance, many predict it will continue investing massive sums.

"Just as the internet led the software revolution, robots will lead the future hardware revolution," said Cho Kyu-jin, the General Chair of Seoul National University's Center for SoFT meta-Human.

Source: Korea’s e-commerce giant Coupang to invest $4 bn in logistics automation

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