Shopify Plans to Acquire Warehouse Robot Maker for $450M

Shopify 6 river systems

Shopify has announced this week that it’s acquiring 6 River Systems, Inc., a provider of warehouse automation solutions, for $450 million to speed up its warehouse operations and fulfil orders faster in behalf of hundreds of thousands of sellers using its platform.

Aside from introducing the Shopify Fulfilment Network in June this year, the eCommerce platform also did mention that it’s going to spend $1 billion to set up a network of fulfilment centers in the US. This will allow sellers on its platform to deliver products to their customers faster without getting ripped off by high shipping costs.

Enter 6 River Systems

Shopify says the acquisition of 6 River Systems means a new team with decades of experience in fulfilment software and robotics will help improve its warehouse operations and increase the productivity of its associates.

6 River Systems boasts an all-in-one picking and sorting solution carried out by collaborative mobile robots called Chuck. Shopify says the integration of these robots into its fulfilment network is going to help its associates process the orders.

All Chucks are designed to carry items from the picking, sorting, and packing stations unsupervised, and thus expediting the whole fulfilment process by reducing warehouse associates’ walking time.

“Shopify is taking on fulfilment the same way we’ve approached other commerce challenges, by bringing together the best technology to help everyone compete. With 6 River Systems, we will bring technology and operational efficiencies to companies of all sizes around the world.” – Tobi Lütke, CEO, Shopify

6 River Systems was founded in 2015 and operates in more than 20 facilities in the US, Canada, and Europe. It fulfils millions of orders weekly for companies like Lockheed Martin, DHL, and Office Depot, among many others.

What do you think of this latest development and innovation from Shopify? Is this a good move for Shopify customers with the expansion of their fulfilment offering? Let us know in the comments down below or over in our Facebook Group.

For almost 10 years Dave has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant it was the opportunity to start UnderstandingE with Matt Ogborne showing the world how to utilize Magento as the Third Generation of Multi-Channel software. Dave also recently started a YouTube channel called the Manc Entrepreneur (click YouTube icon link below to watch Dave's videos) where he discusses all things eCommerce and entrepreneurship aimed to help young entrepreneurs get started on their own journey. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include, Technology, Cars and throwing himself off high things into water.


  1. This is indeed a game changer for Shopify. However, it raises two critical questions :
    – Is Shopify ready to compete with Amazon?
    To compete with Amazon, you need capital, technology and operational effectiveness. With this collaboration, i can see technology and effectiveness is being bridged. But, what about Capital?
    – What about associations with existing carriers like UPS which provide similar services.
    UPS has its own services like the Access Point service. It has a network of over 8000 locations in the US and over 22000 locations worldwide. What happens to these? Does Shopify re-negotiate its terms with UPS in providing integrated shipping to eCommerce storeowners in its platform?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.