Kroger Launches Autonomous ‘Middle Mile’ Delivery in Dallas Market

Kroger has kicked off a multi-year agreement to have Gatik AI’s autonomous box trucks transport products from the retailer’s Dallas customer fulfillment center to multiple retail locations in the area. The formal launch comes after eight months of local operations, during which time Gatik trucks have made delivery runs multiple times per day, seven days per week.

“Kroger is committed to creating a seamless shopping experience for our customers, and our collaboration with Gatik enables us to continue to enhance that experience,” said Ben Hamilton, VP, Logistics and Engineering Network Strategy at Kroger in a statement. “With Gatik’s autonomous box trucks, we are able to be quicker with our deliveries and focus more on the customer service side of things, which ultimately leads to happier customers and repeat customers.”

While B2C autonomous deliveries, such as those using robotic vehicles meant to travel on sidewalks, have been tested by a few retailers, there may be more opportunity in the B2B or “middle mile” space. With vehicle routes limited to locations that the retailer controls, such as its DCs and stores, autonomous vehicles have to deal with fewer variables than they would for home deliveries.

In fact, Walmart has worked with Gatik for autonomous deliveries from distribution centers to stores in Bentonville, Ark. and Louisiana since late 2020. The retailer also teamed up with Ford Motor Co. for multi-city deployments of autonomous delivery vehicles in September 2021.


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