For those of us old enough to remember the BBC programme “Tomorrow’s World” the dangers of predicting what will happen in Tomorrow’s Warehouse are clear. There are however specific events and trends which can be identified as catalysts for change.
Stating the obvious, eCommerce has probably been the most significant of these, causing massive change from bulk storage and despatch to single item picking and end customer delivery for the markets affected. In the short to mid-term, Tomorrow’s Warehouse will continue to play catch up with ever increasing demand for goods to be delivered for free and as quickly after they’ve been clicked as physically possible. To facilitate this, the rush to develop robotic item picking and final mile delivery systems has been dramatic and with vastly differing levels of success. A robust set of solutions will surely soon be found and will then rapidly proliferate.
We are also seeing significant development in the field of autonomous robotic vehicles (ARV) for use within conventional warehouses and without doubt these devices will reduce the travelling time spent by both human and robotic pickers. This should lead to increased pick efficiency in Tomorrow’s Warehouse without the need to make wholesale changes to the warehouse infrastructure.
Whilst we could discuss the development of more and more types of technology designed to improve efficiency, what Tomorrow’s Warehouse really needs is adaptability, because who really knows what the next dramatic change will be or when it will happen?
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