US grocery automation company Takeoff Technologies, in partnership with automated warehouse solutions firm Knapp, has announced a $150m order to establish 50 micro fulfilment eGrocery sites in the US.

Takeoff’s eGrocery solution is partly based on the robotic shuttle technology provided by Knapp for the material handling automation component.

Built for national and regional grocery retailers across the US, the micro fulfilment centres are designed to serve as immediate pickup points and used to assemble orders using grocery-sorting robots. The will also enable grocers to fulfil online grocery orders and reduce costs.

As part of the deal, both companies will focus on deploying a second generation design, to increase throughput and minimise friction, while establishing the facilities.

“Takeoff and Knapp’s solution will cement us as world leaders in hyper-local automated fulfilment.”

The new design features a new open-shuttle technology to optimise space required for order sorting and add flexibility to the overall design and operation of the micro fulfilment centre.

Takeoff Technologies co-founder and CEO José Vicente Aguerrevere said: “It is extremely exciting to take our partnership between Takeoff and Knapp to the next level, and deliver on our promise of reliability, affordability and scalability.”

The micro fulfilment centres will be capable of processing at least $1bn in annual e-commerce sales.

Takeoff is assembling implementation teams to devise a strategy for fast-track implementation and provide the ability to deploy multiple sites a week. The companies’ existing partners and future clients are expected to benefit from the accelerated deployment capabilities.

Takeoff co-founder and president Max Pedró said: “By the end of 2020, the company will have accumulated at least $2bn in gross merchandise volume for our retail partners. Takeoff and Knapp’s solution will cement us as world leaders in hyper-local automated fulfilment.”