DHL today announced that it will be expanding an ongoing partnership with Locus Robotics. Last year, the logistics giant announced plans to deploy 1,000 of the Massachusetts-based startup’s robots. The number is effectively doubling to 2,000 by 2022 — a deal that would make DHL Locus’ largest customer by a wide margin.

The two have been piloting robotics together since 2021, but interest in automation has picked up significantly during the pandemic. The reasons are myriad, but among them are the fact that robots can help keep things running amid a shutdown and are less likely to serve as a potential vector during a global pandemic.

DHL’s Global Supply Chain COO/CIO Markus Voss breaks down the figures accordingly:

So far, more than 500 assisted picking robots are already in industrial use in our warehouses in the USA, Europe and the UK. By the end of 2021, another 500 robots are to be added in a total of more than 20…

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