Target has revealed how it plans to speed up delivery via its ship-from-store cabalility.
The retailer is testing a new sortation center, which opened in Target’s hometown of Minneapolis, MN, last year. The first-of-its-kind facility is powered by technology from companies the retailer has acquired: Grand Junction and Deliv.
Normally, with the ship-to-store method, a Target store receives an online order, and then the store team member picks the item, packs it in a box, and sorts that package into separate areas for each individual carrier. The sortation center process cuts out that sortation step so the store just focuses on the picking and the packing, said Rebecca Swartz, director, global supply chain & logistics, in a video.
“Then we’re able to have a Target controlled truck going to multiple different stores multiple times per day, and bring them to the sortation center.”
Once a local store team packs up their online purchases for delivery, trailers sweep the packages off to the sortation center nearby. Once packages arrive at the sortation center, Target’s proprietary technologies acquired from Grand Junction and Deliv determine the most efficient way to sort, route and deliver to local neighborhoods. Sorting packages into batches by neighborhood makes deliveries easier. Target is also testing how Shipt Drivers can pick up batches of local orders and quickly deliver them.
“The magic happens when we’re able to sort the packages to an individual route that can be passed on to a driver partner for immediate delivery down to that neighborhood level,” said Swartz. “That enables us to get packages to guests faster and in fewer physical deliveries with all of your packages arriving at the same time.”
Target’s sortation center is already serving most of the Minneapolis-St. Paul stores and will serve all metro stores by the end of April. At that time it will act as a central location to collect and sort local orders for multiple carrier partners to pick up for delivery.
Target detailed its plans to speed up delivery on the heels of The Kroger Co. officially launching its first Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Monroe, OH, combining vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics with its Kroger Delivery service. The CFC, powered by Ocado Group, is the first to open of many, poised to transform and support the grocer’s digital business.