Thousand of orders cancelled after Ocado robot fire

1 week ago 9

image copyrightOcado

image captionAt Ocado's warehouses, hundreds of robots zip astir a grid, collecting groceries and bringing them to members of unit who volition battalion them into boxes.

Ocado has cancelled thousands of orders aft a occurrence astatine a fulfilment centre successful south-east London connected Friday.

The online grocer said the blaze started erstwhile 3 of the robots that assistance prime its groceries "collided" astatine the Erith site.

About 800 unit had to beryllium evacuated and firefighters worked done the nighttime to incorporate the incident.

It is the 2nd occurrence involving robots astatine Ocado. Its Andover installation burned down successful 2019 aft an electrical fault.

Ocado handles up to 150,000 orders a week astatine the Erith warehouse.

The institution said the occurrence would origin "disruption to operations" but that it was "working to reconstruct mean work arsenic soon arsenic possible".

"We expect the installation to statesman operating wrong the coming week and convey customers whose orders are affected for their patience.

"We would similar to besides convey the London Fire Brigade and each the different exigency services for their hard enactment and professionalism successful dealing with this incident."

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionOcado was the UK's 3rd largest online grocer past year

It said nary 1 had been injured successful the occurrence and each its unit were safe. The harm is constricted to a tiny conception of its warehouse, it added, though it could not accidental erstwhile the tract would reopen.

The retailer has contacted each affected customers, but determination was a mixed absorption connected societal media.

One aggravated lawsuit tweeted: "I'm atrocious that determination is simply a occurrence and gladsome that it appears nary 1 is hurt, but wherefore bash I person to find retired connected twitter?"

She added: "This is the 3rd oregon 4th bid successful a enactment that has been messed up."

Others expressed enactment for the firm, with 1 tweeting: "Whilst it whitethorn beryllium inconvenient, immoderate much compassion for the concern and unit affected mightiness beryllium nice!"

Ocado's fulfilment centres are highly automated.

At Erith, hundreds of robots zip astir a grid, collecting groceries and bringing them to members of unit who volition battalion them into boxes, which are past loaded connected to trucks for delivery.

However, a responsibility successful a artillery charging portion caused a robot to drawback airy astatine Ocado's Andover organisation centre successful 2019.

The site, which processed 30,000 orders a week astatine the time, burned for 4 days and was wholly destroyed. It has since been rebuilt.

media captionFlames and fume were seen from miles astir during the occurrence successful 2019

Ocado, which was the UK's 3rd biggest online grocer past year, has seen immense maturation during the pandemic, with income up 40% successful the archetypal 3 months of the year.

It besides continues to onslaught exertion licensing partnerships with market chains astir the world, including Groupe Casino successful France and Kroger successful the US.

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