Gatik’s class 6 autonomous box trucks will deliver goods to Sam’s Club locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Sam's Club locations in Dallas will start receiving deliveries from autonomous trucks.
Self-driving vehicle startup Gatik has entered into a multi-year commercial partnership with tissue, pulp and paper-based packaging manufacturer/distributor Georgia-Pacific, and KBX, the transportation arm for Koch Industries and an independent Koch company. Under the partnership, Gatik will automate part of the Georgia-Pacific-KBX on-road transportation network in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, delivering goods round-the-clock, seven days a week across a network of 34 Sam's Club locations.
In November 2021, Walmart became the first company to use autonomous delivery trucks with no safety driver in the “middle mile” of its supply chain. The discount giant is using multi-temperature autonomous box trucks from Gatik to move online grocery orders from a fulfillment-only dark store to a nearby Walmart Neighborhood Market store in its headquarters city of Bentonville, Ark.
Now, Gatik is moving Georgia-Pacific shipments from point to point on predefined short-haul routes using a dedicated autonomous vehicle fleet with 26-foot boxes. According to Gatik, this pilot represents the first time that class 6 autonomous box trucks have been deployed in short-haul logistics networks that traditionally involve class 8 tractor trailer trucks.
By replacing traditional tractor trailers with autonomous box trucks, Gatik hopes to establish a more responsive and flexible logistics network, increasing the cadence of delivery runs and the flow of goods, while reducing logistics costs and enabling near real-time inventory fulfillment. The operations will commence in July 2022.
“Our partnership with Georgia-Pacific and KBX is poised to transform regional distribution architecture that has traditionally relied on class 8 platforms,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder, Gatik. “By integrating our class 6 autonomous solution into KBX’s sophisticated infrastructure across Dallas-Fort Worth, Gatik will be able to deliver Georgia-Pacific products to a vast network of Sam’s Club locations with unparalleled reliability, speed and consistency.”
“We are looking forward to testing this transformational technology to deliver Georgia-Pacific brands to Sam’s Clubs,” said Hayes Shimp, VP of sales for Georgia-Pacific. “Once proven, we believe autonomous deliveries will enable us to remove cost and complexity from the supply chain so that we can better serve Sam’s Club, and their members.”
“KBX is focused on providing services that increase capacity and reduce costs in a safe, efficient way for the customers we serve,” said Paul Snider, president of KBX. “Our partnership with Gatik will enable us to redefine the traditional class 8 short-haul market and deliver Georgia-Pacific goods with even greater speed and efficiency. We’re excited to see these operations form the foundation of KBX’s Autonomous Vehicle Program, as we prepare for wider-scale adoption of autonomous trucks to meet customer demand.”
Gatik opened an autonomous trucking facility in Texas in 2021. The company’s operations there are anticipated to create over 500 new jobs by 2025, including operational, technical and business roles.
Sam's Club, a division of Walmart Inc. operates nearly 600 stores across the U.S., including Puerto Rico.