As E-Commerce Booms, Robots Pick Up Human Slack

Sue, Randall, Colin and Bobby are four of the most reliable workers at the FedEx Express World Hub in Memphis, Tenn., according to their supervisors. Each clocks eight hours a day of steady work, sorting around 1,300 packages an hour from bins onto a conveyor—four hours on the day shift and another four at night.…

Sue, Randall, Colin and Bobby are four of the most reliable workers at the FedEx Express World Hub in Memphis, Tenn., according to their supervisors. Each clocks eight hours a day of steady work, sorting around 1,300 packages an hour from bins onto a conveyor—four hours on the day shift and another four at night. They almost never take breaks, but since they’re still learning on the job, they do regularly call on coworkers in the facility for help. Sue, for instance, has had some trouble with the soft bags in which clothing is typically shipped.

The…

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