Logistics Robots: Future of Supply Chain


Logistics Robots

Logistics robots mostly arrange and carry goods in warehouses and storage facilities but can also be used in various applications. These robots enhance the efficiency of logistics and decrease machinery, labor, and maintenance costs. The demand for logistics robots is rapidly boosting worldwide as it provides better profitability and efficiency in business compared to conventional machines, such as forklifts. Robots have become a significant part of the supply chain process for small and large companies. Logistics robots outperform manual labor in terms of uptime, resulting in substantial productivity benefits and business profitability. Also, warehouse logistics robots eradicate the risk of error due to manual management. With growing technological advancement, the adoption of robots worldwide is rapidly boosting. The rising aging population globally is leading to a labor shortage worldwide. Logistics robots are alternatives to labor, which is important in reducing the overall cost and increasing productivity.                       


Expansion of the E-commerce industry

With the increasing penetration and a growing preference for online shopping, the E-commerce industry is augmenting, particularly in developing countries. Consumers are more inclined toward online purchases than going to the market because of their busy lifestyles and hectic working schedules. Companies are enhancing the packaging quality, focusing on timely delivery, and deploying logistics robots to fulfill the demand for products and services.                              


Escalating Adoption of Smart Warehousing  

There is a vital need for robots in the warehouse industry to improve efficiency. Managing warehouse operations is a complex task, and several players are adopting smart technologies, majorly artificial intelligence and robots, to optimize warehousing activities. Transportation, packaging, pick and drop, scanning, and many other activities are managed by robots in warehouse centers. In May 2021, Locus Robotics deployed autonomous mobile robots with dashboards and reporting capabilities for Taylored Services, a warehousing company.         


Role of Logistics Robots in Various Industries  

Logistics robots are worth the investment as it is gaining popularity in every industry vertical such as healthcare, automotive, E-commerce, consumer goods, retail, food and beverages, and many others. As per the industry analysis, the E-commerce sector is leading the logistics robot market. But automotive, outsourced logistics, and healthcare are the industries gaining popularity in the logistics robots market. In healthcare, logistics robots protect laborers from dangerous surroundings, eliminate human error, and enhance efficiency by saving time for human labor on repetitive tasks and increasing repeated work.

The outsourced logistics industry has 3PL and 4PL providers, which are vital in transporting and delivering goods and items of various sectors from one location to another. The ever increasing demand for timely delivery management is propelling the demand for logistics robots. Some significant outsourced logistics providers include FedEx Corporation, Deutsche Post DHL Group, and XPO Logistics, Inc.         


Advancements in Logistics Robots

The logistics robots industry is growing exponentially owing to technological advancements and manufacturers’ continuous efforts to enhance their products and services. They are also investing huge money in R&D. Recently, Amazon revealed its first fully autonomous mobile warehouse robot, Proteus. The robot has advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology. It can move large carts throughout its warehouses. Also, Amazon has declared various other robotic systems. Cardinal is another robotic arm that can lift and move packages weighing up to 50 pounds, and the robot is expected to emerge in the warehouses next year.

The advent of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in logistics robots benefits from monitoring pre-defined routes and floor markings. Robots with AGV technology pause until the pre-defined way gets cleared when facing an obstacle. This aspect encourages the adoption and deployment of logistics robots. Another advancement of AGV technology is that goods are labeled with barcodes and RFIDS, which enables AGVs to detect the product and place it in its desired location.      


Business Strategies Accelerating Logistics Robots   

Market players are increasingly adopting various business strategies to propel the logistics robots market growth. Collaborations and acquisitions between the companies are expanding the reach of logistics robots among the industries. For example, LG Electronics partnered with CJ Logistics and used artificial intelligence, big data, and robots for digital transformation. Fanuc Corporation collaborated with Plus One Robotics in November 2020 to deliver industry-leading automation solutions for E-commerce customers. In August 2020, KION Group AG collaborated with Quicktron, a manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), focusing on expanding its mobile automation solutions portfolio.   

Many significant players are finding opportunities in emerging economies such as China and India, with large populations with innovations in various industries. In 2019, XPO Logistics, a logistics service provider in the US, invested about US$ 550 million a year to integrate industry-leading technologies during its operations in North America and Europe. Toshiba Corporation, AGV International, Fetch Robotics Inc., KNAPP AG, Kollmorgen, KUKA AG, and Daifuku Co. Ltd are some prominent players leading the global logistics robots market.


About the Author: Nibha Jain

Nibha Jain is an experienced content writer with skills in writing in several domains. She has good knowledge of writing content related to market research reports and has also worked in the field of digital marketing and business. Presently, she is a content writer @The Insight Partners.

You Can reach out to her LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nibha-jain-3825561b9

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