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Cobots to support new K+N packing service

SCHINDELLEGI, Switzerland: February 07, 2017. Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) has launched a service to leverage the global contract packaging market that it says is growing at more than 12 percent per annum.

Universal RobotsThe company said the new network-wide offering is based on software provided by Nulogy; deployment of the latest collaborative robots or 'cobots'; and cooperation with local packaging providers.

K+N has signed a partnership with Danish company Universal Robots to drive process automization and increase productivity, and also identified "a number of selected packaging providers" at country level.

Gianfranco Sgro, head of Contract Logistics for K+N International said: "With this strategic enhancement of our contract packaging services, we expect to see significant growth across a number of key markets and anticipate deploying hundreds of cobots in our operations in the next few years."

According to Universal Robots, it sold the world's first industrial robot able to operate safely alongside employees eight years ago. Last year the cobot market saw a growth rate of 50 percent and is expected to be worth US$3 billion by 2020.

An analysis of TT Club's cargo insurance claims suggests 65 percent of damages to cargo result from poorly packed, blocked or secured cargo.

"Yet this points to only a fraction of the extent of a significant safety problem surrounding poor packing," said TT Club's Risk Management director Peregrine Storrs-Fox. "TT Club, along with our fellow industry representatives, is concerned that preventable incidents, both on land - road and rail - and at sea, arise from badly packed [containers].

"The safety of workers, particularly those unloading units at destination, is also at considerable risk. Safe industry packing and securing guidance must be disseminated and followed," he added.

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