2020 was a year like no other. We all faced unprecedented challenges both personally and professionally. I cannot tell you how proud I am of the Evans employees who met these challenges and supported us and our customers during these difficult times.
Yes, COVID-19 brought challenges, but it generated new opportunities for Evans as well. We took on new customers in the PPE, paper and pulp, medical supplies, furniture and e-commerce industries. We streamlined many internal policies around safety, travel and workplace flexibility.
As we approach a full year of living in a pandemic, we continue to stay the course. We are conducting health checks every day, enforcing social distancing and mask policies, and quarantining when necessary. The vaccines are a promising development that will help us return to normal one day.
In 2019, we invested in a machine vision, artificial intelligence automation system to enhance inventory accuracy on our fulfillment line. Like any machine learning technology, it takes time and repetition to get the programming where it needs to be. In 2020, that technology took off. We increased our output by 32.7%. We added a new conveyor system that gives us more speed and room to operate four lines simultaneously. Our fulfillment lines are faster, more efficient and more accurate than ever before.
Another new technology that we deployed in 2020 was the Lytx dash cameras on our fleet. Cameras are outfitted with machine vision and artificial intelligence technology that identifies dangers on the road and provides real-time alerts. These cameras provide a safety net for our drivers in reducing accidents and protecting against road rage, theft or claims.
The pandemic has given warehousing and logistics a renewed importance as an essential business that is critical to economic survival. All in all, I believe Evans Distribution Systems has emerged from 2020 a stronger and more resilient company.
Check out our story about how we adapted to the pandemic and supported those in need. I extend my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to our employees, customers and partners who supported Evans this year.
Looking forward to a bright 2021.
John A. Evans
President & CEO
Evans Distribution Systems