E-commerce platform Shopify announced that it will acquire Massachusetts-based warehouse automation and fulfillment solutions provider 6 River Systems, Inc. The acquisition comes only a few months after the launch of the Shopify Fulfillment Network, which uses Shopify’s machine learning-powered inventory allocation technology to determine the closest, most efficient fulfillment centers for its merchants. 

The 6 River Systems team joining Shopify is well-versed in warehouse automation, fulfillment software and robotics — and includes industry veterans from Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics). Shopify also plans to add the 6 Rivers Systems cloud-based software and collaborative mobile robots called “Chuck” to the Shopify Fulfillment Network to increase operational efficiencies.

Why we should care

Adding robotics and warehouse automation to its Shopify Fulfillment Network could improve fulfillment operations for Shopify merchants in the network. According to Shopify, the new technology is expected to reduce shipping costs and potentially result in quicker delivery times to customers.

Making this technology accessible to smaller merchants in the Shopify Fulfillment Network will help them compete with retail giants offering one or two-day shipping for free. Amazon announced one-day shipping is coming for its Prime members.

“By joining Shopify, we’re changing the game of fulfillment. Together, we will help thousands of businesses improve their fulfillment operations, with an easy-to-learn solution that can more than double productivity and improve accuracy,” said Jerome Dubois, co-CEO and co-founder of 6 River Systems.

More on the news

  • Shopify will shell out approximately $450 million to acquire 6 River Systems.
  • The 6 River Systems solution operates is over 20 facilities in the U.S., Canada and Europe and fulfills millions of units weekly for companies including DHL, XPO Logistics and Office Depot.
  • The acquisition is seen as a critical step towards accelerating the growth of the Shopify Fulfillment Network.

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