PALO ALTO, Calif. and Toronto, Canada – Gatik, a technology company deploying autonomous vehicles for B2B short-haul middle-mile logistics, today announced a multi-year partnership with Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L, “Loblaw”) to deploy a fleet of autonomous delivery vehicles in Toronto, Ontario. Beginning January 2021, Gatik will provide Loblaw with a safe, reliable, contactless delivery solution for transporting multi-temperature goods from its automated picking facility to retail locations across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This deployment marks the first autonomous delivery fleet in Canada.
Today’s announcement follows the successful completion of a 10-month on-road pilot in Toronto, with one autonomous delivery vehicle. To meet Loblaw’s unique retailing needs, Gatik upfits Ford Transit 350 box trucks with refrigeration units, lift gates, and its proprietary autonomous self-driving software for urban, suburban and highway driving. Gatik will be operating its vehicles, five in total, for Loblaw up to 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, on 5 routes operating on public roads with fixed pick-up and drop-off locations. All vehicles will have a safety driver as a co-pilot.
“Loblaw is one of Canada’s leading grocery retailers and we are proud to be selected to play a key role in enhancing the safety and efficiency of its already robust supply chain,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and Co-founder of Gatik. “Retailers know the biggest inefficiencies in their logistics operations often exist in the middle-mile, typically between automated picking facilities and retail locations. This is where Gatik lives and succeeds, and is the reason we’re able to offer immediate value to our customers. We are delighted to partner with Loblaw in addressing this critical piece of their supply chain.” To date, Gatik has completed more than 30,000 revenue-generating autonomous deliveries for multiple customers across North America.
“As more Canadians turn to online grocery shopping, we’ve looked at ways to make our supply chain more efficient. Middle-mile autonomous delivery is a great example,” said Lauren Steinberg, Senior Vice President, Loblaw Digital. “With this initial roll-out in Toronto, we are able to move goods from our automated picking facility multiple times a day to keep pace with PC Express online grocery orders in stores around the city.”
Gatik was founded in 2017 by veterans of the autonomous technology space and has established offices in Palo Alto and Toronto. The company’s mission is to deliver goods safely and efficiently using autonomous vehicles. With its fleet of light to medium duty trucks, Gatik focuses on short-haul, business to business (B2B) logistics for the retail industry, enabling its customers to optimize their hub-and-spoke supply chain operations, enhance inventory pooling across multiple locations, increase efficiencies and meet an unprecedented demand for contactless delivery.
About Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L)
Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada’s food and pharmacy leader and the nation’s largest retailer. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services, and wireless mobile products and services. With more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees, and Associate-owners employ approximately 200,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada’s largest private sector employers.