Kenco Logistics to Deploy Remotely Operated Forklifts Via Phantom Auto


July 7, 2021

Kenco Logistics, a North American third-party logistics provider, has announced it will be deploying Phantom Auto’s remotely operated forklift solution. The technology will be deployed in a pilot program within the Kenco Innovation Labs, enabling Kenco’s supply chain solutions experts to identify how customers can increase labor accessibility, help maximize workforce impact, deliver improved workplace safety, and generate greater cost savings, the company said.

Phantom’s interoperable software enables forklifts, tuggers, robots, trucks, and more to be remotely operated by trained operators sitting up to thousands of miles away. Leveraging real-time video and audio input, material handling equipment (MHE) can be safely and skillfully operated by off-site operators, Phantom said. The enhanced visibility from the solution can reduce the rate of workplace safety incidents, improve overall warehouse safety and decrease workers’ compensation premiums.

The Kenco Innovation Labs provide a real-world warehouse setting for experts to research and test emerging technologies on behalf of Kenco customers. WIth an average of 20 new projects per year, the Labs identified more than $5 million in savings for its customers in 2020. The 10,000-square-foot facility allows Kenco to test Phantom Auto’s solutions in several environments, ensuring optimal performance and fit with Kenco’s operations when the solution is deployed in the field.

“The Kenco Innovation Labs are our proving ground for new technologies,” said Kristi Montgomery, vice president of innovation and research and development at Kenco Logistics. “Phantom Auto’s remotely operated forklift solution presents an exciting opportunity to transform not only how we and our customers think about the warehouse workforce, but also help expedite the investment into new technologies given recent equipment shortages.”

For companies struggling to meet labor needs, Phantom Auto’s solution aims to remove geographic restrictions to hiring. Phantom’s customers can hire people anywhere – including rural areas with limited employment opportunities – not just people who live within commuting distances of warehouses. Companies can also use the software to share labor, allowing remote MHE operators to work in multiple warehouses within a single day. The system also allows companies to add greater diversity to their workforce, employing individuals with mobility issues who might otherwise not be considered for driving positions. Remote MHE vehicle operation is also proving to be an attractive career path for digital natives and younger generations, the company said.

“Kenco’s reputation as a pioneer in emerging technologies and dedication to digital transformation in the supply chain make it an ideal partner, and we’re excited to see how they leverage our solutions to expand employment opportunities,” said Shai Magzimof, co-founder and CEO at Phantom Auto. In May, the company teamed up with Mitsubishi Logisnext to remotely control its forklifts.

For more details on Phantom Auto, visit its website here. To learn more about the Kenco Innovation Labs, visit its website here.

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