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XPO Logistics says these robots will reduce an employee's walking time in the warehouse and eliminate heavy lifting. Photo: XPO Logistics.

Trucking and supply chain service company XPO Logistics is adding as many as 5,000 robots in its warehouses, where XPO fulfills online orders for its retail clients and other shippers.

Why it matters: Although XPO already used robots alongside its warehouse employees, this is the biggest commitment it has made to automation. But CEO Bradley Jacobs tells Axios more robots will "help with employee recruitment and retention" and aid — not replace — its human workforce.

The details:

  • XPO has a strategic partnership with GreyOrange, a robotics manufacturer.
  • This is part of the company's planned $450 million investment in technology this year, but specific financial terms of this announcement were not disclosed.
  • Each robot can bring racks of products that weigh up to 3,500 pounds to workers in the warehouse to fulfill the orders. XPO says this process will now take 20 to 40 minutes — compared to a couple hours with just human labor — while reducing manual errors.

The bottom line: Companies that operate warehouses and fulfillment centers need to be faster and more efficient to keep up with e-commerce demand. That means more automation. But the question is what happens to the lower-skilled workers whose jobs will inevitably replaced in a more automated economy.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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