A symphony of people and technology: An inside look at a Coupang fulfillment center
Coupang Insider is a series of videos to share the innovations of Coupang, Korea’s leading e-commerce player. In our first episode, we dive into the technology equipped in our fulfillment centers, which powers our Rocket Delivery 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
At Coupang, we believe that with smart innovation, good business and sustainable practices can go hand in hand. Our fulfillment centers (FCs) are equipped with a wide range of cutting-edge technologies to power incredible delivery experiences for our customers while making work even easier and safer for our employees.
For example, some of our FCs are very spacious, spanning multiple football fields in total area and full of inventory of all shapes and sizes. Finding the right item that the customer has ordered could feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but with a key difference at Coupang—our employees have a handy personal digital assistant (PDA) to tell them exactly where to go. Using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and real-time data, these PDAs assign work and optimize routes to minimize the walking distance and workload for each picker.
We also have automated guided vehicles (AGVs), or robots, which carry heavy shelves full of hundreds of items. These robots bring customers’ orders to employee workstations in two minutes on average, with each robot delivery saving employees three hours of labor. Such technology helps drastically reduce work intensity and streamline employees’ work processes.
The auto bagger is another example of automation technology that vastly simplifies the fulfillment process for employees. A process that used to take several steps, including opening the bag, putting in the item, closing the bag, and attaching the invoice now takes five seconds—less than a tenth the time originally required.
“Coupang has significantly invested in technology that empowers employees to work smarter, not harder. These innovations provide employees with some of the best workplace standards in the industry while enabling us to continue wowing customers with a one-of-a-kind shopping experience,” said a Coupang employee. “We will continue finding new ways to innovate and make life easier for customers and employees alike.”