- Dexory, British robotics startup with Romanian founders, deploys at a 100,000-sqm warehouse facility near Bucharest, Romania
- Dexory’s autonomous robots speed up the pallet monitoring more than 50x
- This is Dexory’s first implementation in Romania and CEE, but the startup plans to increase its presence in the region, in partnership with A. P. Moller – Maersk and iB Cargo
This November, A. P. Moller – Maersk and iB Cargo, the two companies that operate a major BREEAM-certified distribution and logistics center in the CTPark Bucharest West industrial park in Bolintin-Deal, Romania, announce the implementation of Dexory’s robots at the site. This is the first deployment of this robotic technology in Romania and the CEE region.
The Background of the Parties
A.P. Moller – Maersk is a global leader in integrated logistics, simplifying its customers’ supply chains in more than 130 countries, with 110,000 employees worldwide. iB Cargo is a Romanian freight forwarding service, offering customized cargo transport solutions. The two companies have been operating the mentioned warehouse since September 2021 as it grew from 76,000 sqm to 100,000 sqm since then. The unit serves to offer customized logistics solutions covering eight countries of the region.
Dexory was launched in 2015 in the UK by co-founders coming from Romania, Andrei Danescu, Oana Jinga, and Adrian Negoita. The logistics startup offering robotic solutions to optimize warehouse management has already been working with Maersk in the UK and Ireland, and now they extend their cooperation to Romania.
The co-founders moved to the UK from Romania a decade ago, sharing a house and working various tech and managerial jobs at companies like Google, IBM, Formula 1, and Just Eat. Ms Jinga recalls how once, during a summer barbecue, they decided to explore their shared passion for robots and came up with the idea of founding Dexory (formerly known as BotsAndUs).
They proceeded to pursue this dream, building robots in their shed and in the garden and it took them several years before they could commit to Dexory full-time. Today, nearing the end of 2023, the team has grown to over 100 employees.
Initial Success in the UK
Dexory’s fully autonomous mobile robots collect real-time data insights and quickly process pallets at every stage in their journey throughout a warehouse. In the UK, they now work with such big players as Maersk, Huboo, and Menzies Aviation, the air cargo company that services more than 200 airport locations including the Heathrow airport in London.
Maersk Romania’s DC Bucharest manager Eusebiu Dumitrescu informs that the Maersk DC in Bucharest is the third site to have the Dexory robot doing automatic inventory. According to him, Maersk had several solutions to analyze before choosing the best fit for the operations on this site. The company is confident that it made the best ultimate decision as Dexory’ solutions proved to be the most advanced in terms of software, accuracy, and productivity.
‘Dexory is a well-established partner for Maersk, with the same aim for automation and data analysis. Moreover, Maersk is well known for the open approach when it comes to innovation and sustainability. For our site, the Dexory robot is a perfect solution that we were searching for. Our partnership with Dexory it’s already a success story for all parties involved,’ Mr Dumitrescu continues.
‘Our business model is about long-term partnerships. We build them through quality, integrity and bringing added value to our clients’ businesses through innovative solutions at every level,’ iB Cargo’s managing partner Cătălin Putineanu adds.
AI-Powered Robots to Perfect Warehouse Management
Dexory’s innovative solution implemented at the Batalin-Deal site is called NEO. These are 12-meter-tall autonomous robots that capture warehouse data and images in real time. According to the startup’s numbers, they scan over 100,000 pallet locations daily, which allows operations to increase from 150 to 10,000 locations per hour via automation. They integrate into the day-to-day warehouse operations, working alongside the warehouse teams 24/7. Importantly, Dexory’s NEO robots cover hard to navigate aisles, reserve and picking locations – those that are usually time-consuming and prone to human error.
The digital twin technology thus enables instant analysis of stock, occupancy and stock movement and highlights any possible discrepancies with other warehouse systems in an intuitive, easy-to-access digital format.
‘NEO is a reference to the movie The Matrix. The movie’s protagonist Neo could perceive the Matrix simulation in a way that no other human could, which is very much the case of Dexory’s robot,’ Ms Jinga explains.
To make it possible, Dexory employs AI, machine learning, and computer vision to understand what the robot scans, as well as for autonomy to identify and avoid obstacles – both static and dynamic. The AI is also key to analyzing and providing forecasting and simulation capabilities. It makes actionable suggestions regarding possible improvements, new warehouse layouts, new ways of filling the space or storing goods based on seasonality, staffing requirements or the number of customers on a site.
‘The AI bit essentially came in place as soon as we first started to develop the software,’ Ms Jinga admits.
Both the hardware and software part of the solution were designed, developed and built in-house by Dexory’s team of experts.
Further Adoption in CEE
Considering the large extension of Maersk warehouse footprint in Romania and Europe, Mr Dumitrescu assures that it’s a guarantee that more implementations will follow.
Ms Jinga agrees that Dexory also finds the CEE region particularly interesting. The team is excited about the deployment in Romania with such big partners as Maersk and iB Cargo. According to the startup’s research, there is a lot of potential for Dexory to grow in the region, as the logistics sector is booming. The startup shares plans of further growth in Romania and targeting Poland as the next country to introduce its robots.
Kostiantyn is a freelance writer from Crimea but based in Lviv. He loves writing about IT and high tech because those topics are always upbeat and he’s an inherent optimist!