Shipping Terms

Commonly Used Terms

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Automated Guiding Vehicle System (AGVS)

An automated guided vehicle (AGV) is a portable robot that uses radio waves, vision cameras, magnets, or lasers to maneuver along specified long lines or wires on the floor. It consists of one or more computer-controlled, wheel-based load carriers running without an onboard operator or driver. They are machines performing simple tasks. 

AGVs have been integrated into many non-distribution and manufacturing industries over the past decade, including retail, military, and even healthcare. In industrial applications, they are mostly used for transporting heavy materials around a large industrial building, such as a factory or warehouse. 

There are different types of AGVs ranging from :

  • Masted vehicles 
  • Unit load 
  • Conveyor
  • Tow or tuggers
  • Carts


There are many advantages of AGV, from reducing labor costs, increasing safety, accuracy, productivity, and modularity. The advantages offered by AGVs have created a buzz and put them at the forefront and center of the minds of warehouse managers and supply chain executives who consider automation. 

But the simple truth is they aren't well suited for all businesses. It has potentially high initial investment, maintenance costs. It is also not suitable for the non-repetitive task and decreases the flexibility of operations. Automation comes in many forms and technologies that are to boost your operation's efficiency and profitability. Some potential alternatives to AGVs that you may want to consider are conveyor systems, automated storage & retrieval systems (AS/RS), overhead trolley conveyor, and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Of these options, AMRs may be the most closely-aligned with AGVs in terms of use and intent.

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