Shotput offers micro-warehouse capability

Shotput is an advanced-tech third-party logistics company (3PL) backed by YCombinator and Justin Kan developing robotic micro-warehouses to allow companies to rapidly develop Amazon Prime sophistication internally.

The company started to address the main challenge fast-growing e-commerce companies all share: needing to invest deeply in new warehouses, developing relationships with different vendors, ensuring proper inventory levels, staffing facilities, and maintaining quality assurance as they scale.

Shotput realized there’s a serious need for robots and artificial intelligence to service the burgeoning e-commerce space. The firm believes people should be setting the guideposts and overall strategy while robots and software execute the grunt work of meeting those needs.

The company uses refrigerated containers to provide fully automated micro-warehouses throgh robotics. Reefer containers are used since they already can power internal electronics and have the insulation to maintain a stable internal environment.

These robotic micro-warehouses are assembled by Shotput using off-the-shelf components. The containers themselves have RFID-enabled smart shelves that can accurately provide real-time inventory. An end-of-line system allows multiple items to be packed in pre-labeled bags. Since standardized refrigerated shipping containers are being modified, they can be easily shipped via traditional carriers using truck, rail, or waterborne vessel.

To minimize upfront cost, Shotput charges on a monthly subscription basis, which allows companies to pay for performance rather than maintenance.

The company is allowing businesses to experiment with different locations to determine how to minimize shipping time and cost, and maximize consumer reach. Additionally, companies can finally use regional carriers more effectively, which gives them more leverage against national carriers.

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