CommonSense Robotics has revealed it is working on the world’s first underground automated warehouse.
Partnering up with an unnamed Tel Aviv grocer, the new facility has been built in the parking structure under the Shalom Meir Tower and will stretch across 18,000 sq ft.
Found on the -1 floor of the skyscraper’s foundations, the micro-fulfilment centre uses vertical systems to utilise the space, unlike the majority of robotic facilities that require at least 120,000 to operate.
With three temperature zones, the underground dark store will store fresh, ambient, chilled and frozen food items.
By utilising valuable real estate, the micro-fulfilment centre will offer one hour grocery deliveries from a subterranean supermarket just a few blocks from Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, one of the cities busiest streets and most popular tourist attractions.
“With e-commerce logistics pushing both retailers’ profitability and urban infrastructures to the breaking point, it’s clear that we need to reinvent the way goods are fulfilled and delivered within cities,” said CommonSense Robotics founder and chief executive Elram Goren.
“In order to fulfill and deliver on demand, you inherently need to be closer to your end customers, but that’s really hard in cities. Taking e-commerce fulfillment underground inside cities is one way we can enable retailers to fulfill online orders in close proximity to their customers — while doing so profitably. Fitting automation into underutilized real estate enables us to create a new PNL for this type of operation, which means we can enable our retail partners to run a sustainable, profitable, one-hour delivery business,” Goren added.
Kroger also announced this week that it will launch a new customer fulfilment centre in Atlanta. The Ocado-powered, $55 million “shed”, which will feature automated robot-driven fulfilment of grocery orders.