Logistics Minded

At GEODIS, Warehouse inventory by drones is under way

Recap of the project:


  • Who:

GEODIS, a leading third-party logistics partner, has been experimenting on warehouse inventory by drones for almost two years now. In partnership with drone manufacturer DELTA DRONE, GEODIS has tested automated drones in real time conditions in its sites and it is now ready to industrialize the prototype.


  • How:

The solution comprises a quadcopter drone fit with high-resolution cameras and a ground-based robot equipped with a battery. They can move autonomously and safely within the warehouse, thanks to indoor geolocation technology. Flying drones scan barcodes of the pallets and of their locations, report this data in real time, process it and retrieve it to the ehouse Management System (WMS).


  • Why:

This innovative solution enables to handle inventory in a 100% automated way by flying drones, during the hours when the site is closed. Thus, it increases productivity in a warehouse, as there is no need to close it during inventory days, request additional personnel and stop all the logistics activity. The solution also guarantees greater safety at work for the site’s employees, scanning pallets at 12 meters high is a risky task.

  • To learn more, watch the video:


Details of the industrialization


After almost two years of development, GEODIS and DELTA DRONE have decided to industrialize the prototype. The project results have been extremely positive after more than 1,000 hours of tests done within GEODIS sites in France. For example, in Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône (Paris area) one drone is able to inventory 11,000 pallets within 6 hours with a 100% reliability (if labels are not damaged).

The industrialized solution will be operational at the end of 2018: GEODIS warehouses worldwide will take advantage of the system over the next year, one drone is supposed to operate on 5 sites.

With this new phase, GEODIS is showing its determination and ability to rank among the most innovative companies in its sector.

Using drones is only one example of how GEODIS is moving towards the logistics of tomorrow. Find out more on our innovations in the article by “Usine nouvelle”,a weekly French magazine on business and technology (in French). 


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