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Warehouse automation: Newsmakers and 2024 outlook

Warehouse automation: Newsmakers and 2024 outlook
Warehouse automation: Newsmakers and 2024 outlook

Automation has its benefits in the logistics world. Many companies are waking up to the realization that warehouse automation is the way of the future. 

GlobeNewswire reports the global warehouse automation is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.91% (any growth above 5% is considered good). In terms of technology, the report says: “By technology, automated storage and retrieval systems segment leads the market, it eliminates manual handling and reduces human errors, resulting in faster and more accurate order fulfilment. It maximizes the use of vertical space, allowing for high-density storage and potentially reducing the footprint required for warehousing operations.” 

One company that seems to be making good strides with automation is logistics giant UPS. The company has continuously been looking at leveraging technology to improve efficiency. 

Speed of delivery 

Pick-up-and-place technology is being used to help staff sort small packages. Unloading technologies now help UPS employees unload easily and give customers better package care.   

Amazon stands out in the warehouse automation, leading from the front. The company’s Picker Robot can handle 1,000 items per hour. 

In October, the company announced it was a robotics system in one of its warehouses in Houston, Texas. This is being done to improve inventory management and speed of deliveries. Amazon has been investing in robotics for some time. 

Similarly, FedEx is also in the game. The company has a robot now loading delivery trucks. This robot allows packages of different sizes to be loaded with care. 

Benefits of warehouse automation 

  • Safety and reliability: Robotics can handle heavy packaging with ease. Robotics systems can also handle toxic chemicals which allows humans to avoid toxic fumes and exposure to chemicals. 
  • Inventory management: Automated systems assist companies to prevent backlogs and allows the company to adapt to demand in the market. 
  • Strong customer satisfaction: Companies can keep customers happy by delivering goods faster. 
  • Resilient to changes: Automation allows the supply chain to be more agile. This includes times when demand is suddenly high or improves accuracy for prolonged periods. 

Warehouse automation outlook for 2024 

Automation is the way of the future. Insider Intelligence reports that in 2024, robots will be used in just under half of large, operated warehouses in the US. This is a clear indication that companies are realizing the benefits of automation. 

Warehouse automation will pick up in 2024 due to the growth in e-commerce. Labor challenges will also see companies invest heavily in automation. This will also help companies keep up to speed with keeping customers satisfied. Companies such as DHL, DHL Supply Chain, and shipping company Maersk are investing in automation to meet high e-commerce volumes.

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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