Sam’s Club is poised to have Georgia-Pacific brands delivered round the clock seven days a week across its network of 34 Sam’s Club locations via Gatik’s partnership with Georgia-Pacific and KBX.
Gatik’s multi-year commercial partnership with Georgia-Pacific, one of the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of tissue, pulp and paper-based packaging, and KBX, the transportation arm for Koch Industries and an independent Koch company, will enable Gatik to automate part of the Georgia-Pacific-KBX on-road transportation network in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
[Read more: Sam's Club to offer same-day prescription delivery via DoorDash]
“We are looking forward to testing this transformational technology to deliver Georgia-Pacific brands like Quilted Northern bath tissue and Dixie products to Sam’s Clubs,” said Hayes Shimp, vice president of sales at Georgia-Pacific. “Once proven, we believe autonomous deliveries will enable us to remove cost and complexity from the supply chain so that we can better serve Sam’s Club, and their members.”
The operations involve moving Georgia-Pacific shipments from point to point on predefined short-haul routes using a dedicated autonomous vehicle fleet with 26-ft. boxes, representing the first time that class 6 autonomous box trucks have been deployed to disrupt short-haul logistics networks traditionally involving class 8 trucks. By replacing traditional tractor trailers with autonomous box trucks, Gatik’s operations will establish a more responsive and flexible logistics network, increasing the cadence of delivery runs and the flow of goods, while reducing logistics costs and enabling near real-time inventory fulfillment, according to the company. The operations will commence in July 2022.
“Our partnership with Georgia-Pacific and KBX is poised to transform regional distribution architecture that has traditionally relied on class 8 platforms,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik. “By integrating our class 6 autonomous solution into KBX’s sophisticated infrastructure across Dallas-Fort Worth, Gatik will be able to deliver Georgia-Pacific products to a vast network of Sam’s Club locations with unparalleled reliability, speed and consistency.”
[Read more: Sam's Club offering rewards for electric vehicle drivers]
Gatik opened the doors to its autonomous trucking facility in Texas in 2021 and has established a long-term presence in the state. The company’s operations there are anticipated to create over 500 new jobs by 2025, including operational, technical and business roles.
“KBX is focused on providing services that increase capacity and reduce costs in a safe, efficient way for the customers we serve,” said Paul Snider, president of KBX. “Our partnership with Gatik will enable us to redefine the traditional class 8 short-haul market and deliver Georgia-Pacific goods with even greater speed and efficiency. We’re excited to see these operations form the foundation of KBX’s Autonomous Vehicle Program, as we prepare for wider-scale adoption of autonomous trucks to meet customer demand.”
Gatik’s operations with Georgia-Pacific and KBX in the Dallas Fort-Worth area represent a hyper-efficient and customer-centric model designed to address shifting consumer behavior through higher asset utilization on the supply chain’s middle mile.