Warehouse automation at the heart of logistics technology in 2020
Warehouse automation is set to be a critical area for investment and development across 2020 according to eft’s new report
Logistics companies are operating in an increasingly difficult environment, where rising costs from international trade barriers and a limited amount of talent in the labour pool are creating pressure to reduce overheads and increase efficiencies. This is pushing firms to move towards far greater automation of their warehouses according to eft’s new Supply Chain Hot Trends Report: 2020 & Beyond, which is available for free download now.
The report finds that 63% of logistics professionals surveyed for the research are investing in warehouse automation technology in order to deal with the challenges of shipping goods in 2020.
They are engaging in installing a variety of technological aids, including robotics on the floor (e.g. Automatic Material Handling Equipment (MHE)) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) in the back-end, which can control some MHE deployments, although the report notes that they need to be more robust or custom-built to manage more.
Warehouse management and robotics systems are often also reliant on supporting technological infrastructure, which is pushing investment into a number of aligned areas. Respondents also noted they are making major investments into IoT-related infrastructure and cloud computing this year.
Intertwined with investment in warehouse automation more broadly, IoT can help smarten the picking process, integrating with WMS and digital twinning practices within the warehouse, and realize end-to-end inventory tracking from the warehouse to the doorstep, which is why 33% of firms are investing into the technology.
When it comes to cloud logistics, 46% of Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) are earmarking this emerging sector for investment and 27% of retailers, brands and manufacturers in the survey are allocating money to the field. Cloud computing in the logistics field allows for a dynamic scaling of autonomous logistics application with greater adaptability to demand fluctuations.