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How robotics is reshaping the e-commerce fulfillment market

How robotics is reshaping the e-commerce fulfillment market
How robotics is reshaping the e-commerce fulfillment market

Robotics is helping the e-commerce industry cope with the ever-changing demand of online shoppers. 

Market and Markets reports that the service robotics market is estimated to grow at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 15.4%. “Robots are increasingly being adopted for new applications due to advantages such as increased productivity, streamlined processes, and greater workplace safety.” 

Robotics helping retailers stay in the game 

Technology company Berkshire Grey notes “e-commerce fulfillment is fast becoming *the* key competitive advantage by which retailers are differentiating themselves. And retailers’ supply chains are in the critical path.” 

Material handling specialists Dematic recently completed an installation of autonomous mobile robots (ARMs). The project was done for Radial Europe at its logistics center in Groningen, Netherlands. 

Radial Europe is a business-to-consumer e-commerce fulfillment provider. The company now has 299 ARMs to move pallets and transfer picking stations. Dematic is also installing 45 pick and pack stations.

Robotics commonplace in last-mile delivery 

In June 2022, Asendia UK announced it had successfully installed automated sorting and six new robots for over-labeling at its parcel processing center at Heathrow. At the time, the company said: “The newly automated system will drive a significant parcel throughput increase on behalf of retailers, e-commerce brands, and other clients.” 

Domenico Pereira, chief marketing office a.i. at Asendia said in a blog post, “Retailers have been using basic automation for years, but today, robotic mechanisms are becoming increasingly intricate and sophisticated in what can be achieved, with more logic and mobility built into the robots. Over time, costs for the hardware and software will fall, allowing this smart tech to be deployed industry-wide.” 

Pereira highlights some important points regarding robotics in e-commerce. “Some futurists predict drones and logistics robots will become commonplace for last-mile delivery in the next 20 years, relieving pressure on the fleets of vans and drivers we see dropping off online shopping orders around neighbourhoods today.”

We see robotics changing the face of last-mile delivery. Companies like Walmart are bringing customers groceries to their door. Drone companies are taking on the challenge of delivering to customers fast. It’s becoming a crucial point to stay ahead of the competition. 

Industry players shifting gears for e-commerce 

Pereira says that the turning point will be when robotic technology is capable of picking multiple items and putting them into a single box without human intervention. “A reality is that without more automation, e-commerce companies and their shipping and parcel partners will simply struggle to keep pace with demand, and stay in the race with the likes of Amazon and Alibaba.” 

When it comes to harnessing robotics for e-commerce fulfillment, 1MRobotics says robotics has the potential to transform e-commerce fulfillment. “By automating repetitive tasks, businesses can increase efficiency and reduce costs, which in turn allows them to scale and meet the growing demand for fast, reliable delivery.” 

Now Read: Metaverse e-commerce: The projected future of virtual shopping 

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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