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Kenco Logistics Partners With Phantom Auto To Deploy Remotely Operated Forklifts

Program aims to help Kenco customers access diverse, untapped labor market

Kenco Logistics, one of North America’s leading third-party logistics (3PL) providers, is proud to be deploying Phantom Auto’s remotely operated forklift solution. Kenco will be the first North American 3PL to roll-out Phantom Auto’s remotely operated forklifts as a service to its customers. Kenco will first deploy the technology in a pilot program within the Kenco Innovation Labs, enabling Kenco’s supply chain solutions experts to identify how its customers can increase labor accessibility, help maximize workforce impact, deliver improved workplace safety, and generate greater cost savings.

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A leader in remote operation of all types of vehicles, 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. The enhanced visibility offered by the solution can reduce the rate of workplace safety incidents, improving overall warehouse safety while decreasing workers’ compensation premiums.

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

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“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.”

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60% of warehouse operators name labor recruitment and productivity as a top challenge, indicating a severe labor shortage throughout the industry. For companies struggling to meet their labor needs, Phantom Auto’s solution removes geographic restrictions to hiring. Phantom’s customers can hire people anywhere — including rural areas with limited employment opportunities — not just people that live within commuting distance of warehouses. For further cost savings, companies can utilize the software to share labor, allowing remote MHE operators to work in multiple warehouses within a single day. Phantom Auto also empowers organizations 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.

“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. Elliot Katz, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, added, “Remote operation increases the productivity, flexibility, safety, and health of every companies’ most important resource: people. This human-centric technology will provide Kenco’s customers greater access to forklift operators, while simultaneously increasing the efficiency and productivity of said operators.”

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