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Pitney Bowes Inks $23 Million AI Robotics Expansion

Global shipping and mailing company Pitney Bowes and robotic sorting systems specialist Ambi Robotics announced a $23 million deployment expansion of AmbiSort systems in Pitney Bowes’s U.S. e-commerce hubs.

The AI-powered robotics will help Pitney Bowes speed parcel sortation to last-mile delivery providers, while improving productivity, accuracy and worker safety as the company’s shipping and e-commerce businesses surpass 50 percent of total revenue. The expansion follows a successful deployment at the Pitney Bowes Stockton, Calif., e-commerce hub, where AmbiSort systems successfully sorted parcels during the 2021 peak holiday season, nearly doubling the throughput for parcel sortation to local direct delivery units.

“As we continue to scale our global e-commerce business, Pitney Bowes is working with some of the most innovative companies in the industry to configure new solutions that improve our service offerings and make B2C e-commerce logistics easier for our clients,” said Gregg Zegras, executive vice president of the company and president of global e-commerce at Pitney Bowes. “The deployment of AmbiSort AI-powered systems is part of our long-term plan to further enhance our technologically efficient, employee and client-friendly e-commerce logistics network.”

Ambi Robotics is powered by AmbiOS, an advanced AI operating system that leverages simulation-to-reality technology. AmbiSort solutions integrate effortlessly into existing operations and operate on day one, creating flexible systems that can scale with demand.

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As parcel volume exceeds 131 billion annual parcels globally with more than 37 percent year-over-year growth in the U.S. alone, as revealed in the latest Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, logistics and global delivery organizations continue to seek automated solutions that can quickly scale to meet their unique needs, the company said.

Previously, each package handler had to pick, pack and place items via a manual vertical putwall. With AmbiSort, Pitney Bowes robot operators work alongside three to four automated horizontal putwalls with the same amount of mailsacks. This increases each associate’s productivity and output by up to four times manual processes with greater sack density to the last mile.

“Every decision we make at Ambi Robotics centers around the value we bring to our customers and how to uplift their employees,” Jim Liefer, CEO of Ambi Robotics, said. “Our partnership with Pitney Bowes is symbiotic–the company courageously embraces innovation and technology.”

Improvements to AmbiSort since the initial Pitney Bowes deployment include new robotic hardware components and advanced AI software that increases throughput per square foot. Additional outbound placement locations increase sorting capacity and the system’s horizontal putwall increases sack density to the last-mile. Plus, a new handoff region between the highly dexterous piece-picking robot cell and the gantry system allows the robot to singulate and grasp a parcel while simultaneously placing another parcel in the appropriate last-mile mail-sack.

Pitney Bowes provides technology, logistics, and financial services to more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500. Small business, retail, enterprise, and government clients around the world rely on Pitney Bowes to remove the complexity of sending mail and parcels.