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Warehouse Trends for 2024

Warehouse Trends for 2024

Jan. 11, 2024
Maersk predicts autonomous robotic arms will be increasingly used to unload containers, minimizing workplace injuries.

Like every aspect of the supply chain, next year warehousing will face a number of changes. Maersk recently offered these trends

Here is an excerpt from the article.

Automation: The most used automation technologies that will still take center stage in 2024 will include autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to manage automated fulfilment activities and enhance the efficiency of order picking.

Autonomous robotic arms will be increasingly used for example to unload containers, minimizing workplace injuries connected to depalletization and support with repetitive tasks. These smart machines can empower businesses by efficiently moving products throughout the distribution center and packing orders with precision and speed by using advanced localization algorithms, computer or machine vision and digital interfaces with existing systems.

In the rapidly evolving omnichannel landscape, speed will be paramount, and integrating multiple automation technologies in a fast way could present itself as challenging for companies. However, when executed right, warehouse automation will yield substantial long-term rewards and will be essential to address the escalating demands of e-commerce, continuing to boost the deployment and use of robotic and autonomous solutions throughout the next year (and beyond).

Stock merging: 2024 will see more businesses asking warehouses to structure themselves to allow for businesses to keep their products in one stock. While today businesses usually ask warehouses to keep the stock for physical shops separated (at times in different buildings) from the online shopping one, “the trend now seems to be to merge stocks, allowing brands to pull orders and returns from the same stockpile servicing all the different ways in which they manage their omnichannel offering” says Charlotte Petersen, Global Head of Business Product Warehousing at Maersk. This trend, giving brands flexibility, can also be helpful in the management of buffer stock (the extra amount stored just in case orders exceed predicted amounts) which in turn supports the reduction of extra production, impacting the environment.

Visibility: Has it been packed? Has it been shipped? Today, the amount of information a brand needs to provide to its end-consumer is augmented, as people get more experienced in ordering online and they also expect more transparency on their orders. 2024 will see visibility being offered as a “need to have” and not a “nice to have”. This information will be necessary for warehouses to gather and distribute to their partners, also on product returns, reducing the number of calls to customer service which can be of help to both consumers and businesses.

Sustainability: As most businesses are currently focused on creating strategies to lower the environmental impact of their facilities, they will lean more on their integrated logistics service providers to reduce Scope 3 carbon emissions from warehousing operations. This is done by improving building new warehousing infrastructure using sustainable materials and servicing it with sustainable energy sources.

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