The Next Generation of Logistics: Robotics

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The future of logistics is now!

Robots are no longer found only in sci-fi movies. As robotics industry continues to grow, more and more companies are bringing the machines on the workplace, including in manufacturing and logistics. Robotic logistics is on the rise as it secures giant investment in the industry. In June 2018, Google invested $500 million in automated logistics for JD, a Chinese company equivalent to Amazon and the country’s second largest ecommerce.

A study conducted by Tratica indicated that in 2016, robots have helped warehousing and logistics worldwide reach up to $1.9 billion profits. The market will continue to grow and Tratica expected that it will reach up to $22.4 billion by the end of 2021. Additionally, warehousing and logistics robot shipment will increase from 40,000 in 2016 to 620,000 units annually by 2021.

This finding indicated how robots have played crucial role in making human’s job in logistics industry easier. Robot can be a good investment that will help your company grow. According to DHL, robots should have eyes for accuracy and low-cost perception, hands for manipulation and collaboration, feet for mobility with intelligence, and brains for computational power and resource sharing. DHL also reported that robots work together with factory workers to assemble goods with higher quality and lower costs.

A case study conducted by Andrew Williams can give us insight on how robots change the world of logistics. There are a huge number of logistics jobs that can be done by potential robots. One of the biggest challenges faced by logistics industry is labour availability. With the help of robotic logistics, you should not worry about that anymore. Here are a few number of logistics job that robots can do:

  1. fetching/picking in warehouse that includes heavy lifting,
  2. palletizing,
  3. loading and unloading for less than truckload (LTL)/ truckload (TL),
  4. sorting boxes,
  5. packaging raw materials or goods,
  6. and even make your morning coffee.

According to DHL, there are two factors driving the need for autonomous in logistics:

  • The growth of e-commerce Product distributions are now packaged individually and sent directly to the customer. However, there is a huge variety of packaging requirements, the weight of shipments is increasing, and the speed of distribution has increased too. The faster your company can provide the goods, the more customer you can draw.
  • The lack of availability workforce – Sometimes, there are just not enough workers to fulfill available positions. Therefore, there will be skill gaps and shortages in the workforce that will hinder the company from growing. To tackle such skill shortage, employing robots can be a good solution.

In the case of logistics, robots have helped to advance logistics jobs by eliminating tasks that are dangerous, boring, repetitive, tedious, and thus let workers improve their skills of accuracy, precision, and strength. And soon enough, there will be more things that robot can do in logistics such as distribution centres, sorting centres, and last mile delivery.

Read also: 5 Characteristics of Top-Notch Logistics Provider

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