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Robotics in Warehouses- Enabling smarter and more cost-efficient logistics

Warehouses are the heart of supply chains and are crucial for e-commerce firms, shipping and transportation companies, manufacturers, and retailers.

Logistics companies routinely grapple with bottlenecks such as volatility and volume of parcels, inflexibility, delivery times, and space constraints. When space is limited, every inch in a warehouse must be used efficiently.

To improve space utilization, inventory accuracy, operational and financial efficiencies, more warehouses and logistics companies are opting for automation and robotics-based sortation solutions.

Empowering robots

Using robots in warehouses is not a new concept. However, technological advancements make robots smart and capable of doing much more than just the ‘heavy lifting’. Today’s warehouse robots have embedded computer chips, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and are integrated with warehouse automation systems and even the internet.

Modern robotics systems are powered by artificial intelligence-enabled software and are capable of efficiently sorting parcels leading to higher yield. They also have a smaller footprint compared to older sortation systems.

Warehouse automation systems can boost revenues and enable faster ROI. E-commerce company Zappos, for instance, leveraged robotics and automated warehouse systems years ago. Because of this, it was able to maintain free shipping, a 365-day return policy, and a full-time call centre – to gross over US$ 1billion in revenue in 2009. That’s why Amazon acquired Zappos for US$ 928million.

MarketInsightsReports estimates the global Warehouse Robotics Market was valued at US$ 6.12 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach US$ 25.80billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 27% over the forecast period 2020-2025.

With labourers working in shifts due to the Covid-19 pandemic, robots have taken over and are doing much of the work in warehouses. Factories are producing hand sanitizers, face masks and other essential items. They rely heavily on automation for the production and distribution of these items.

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