Phononic, NanoFulfillment Partner to Enhance Temperature-Sensitive Grocery Delivery

Combination of technologies ensures fresh delivery in urban settings
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Supermarket Fresh Aisle
The steady demand for same-day temperature-controlled delivery has sparked a need and an opportunity for more efficient fresh fulfillment and delivery options.

Solid-state cooling technology provider Phononic has partnered with NanoFulfillment Inc., a pioneer of logistics automation, to create a new approach to efficient delivery of temperature-sensitive grocery orders to help hyperlocal urban e-commerce customers. The combination of Phononic’s sustainable active cooling technology with NanoFulfillment’s automation technology aims to provide a re-deployable, scalable and cost-effective solution for retailers and their customers.  

High-performing automation has usually required massive non-urban fulfillment centers situated far from the end user. However, the steady demand for same-day temperature-controlled delivery has sparked a need and an opportunity for more efficient fresh fulfillment and delivery options that expand retailers’ sphere of influence and coverage while reducing large, expensive brick-and-mortar investments.

[Read more: “Warehouses of the Future”]

NanoFC technology from NanoFulfillment is a scalable, modular and portable storage and fulfillment system that brings inventory closer to grocery customers and enables online orders to be fulfilled in under one hour. According to the company, the unique size and footprint of the system — 9.8 feet in height and up to 1,375 square feet — allow it to be easily installed in available urban retail spaces, and its complimentary finance or leasing options offer a favorable alternative to high-capex micro-fulfillment centers, ultimately enabling companies to achieve the many benefits of automation at a lower cost.

Meanwhile, Phononics cooling technology enables grocery retailers the ability to deploy automated solutions in an existing footprint, lowering operating labor and maintenance costs while adding flexibility through tri-temperature storage consolidation and delivery. According to the company, its complementary Actively-Cooled Tote platform and connected services provide seamless operations within fulfillment automation systems like NanoFC, as well as a dynamic response for inventory and order management.

“NanoFulfillment has deep expertise in the logistics and fulfillment automation space, with decades of combined leadership experience. We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with this well-established organization and marry our innovative technologies to address some of the most pressing needs of grocers today,” noted Larry Yang, CPO of Durham, N.C.-based Phononic. “NanoFulfillment’s ability to create a network of hyperlocal neighborhood fulfillment centers, combined with our versatile cooling technology, solves multiple use cases, including flexible storage, demand-based energy savings and sustainability. We’re excited about the opportunity to enable faster, more sustainable, fresher deliveries to the end consumers.”

“NanoFulfillment’s alliance with Phononic and the combination of our technologies creates a previously unheard-of paradigm shift for the online grocery market,” said Francisco Serrano, CEO of Sarasota, Fla.-based NanoFulfillment.

Added NanoFulfillment CCO Ross Halket, “We’re excited about the opportunity to bring scalable, affordable, automated fulfillment and delivery options to urban settings, and about the possibility of expanding our innovative solutions to other key industries down the road, such as pharmaceuticals.” 

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