Warehouse automation is spreading fast, with more than one-quarter of sites (26%) expected to have some form of automation installed by 2027, up from 14% in 2017 and 18% at the end of 2021, according to a report from Interact Analysis.
The steep rise illustrates the impact of factors such as labor shortages and the acceleration in e-commerce fueled by the Covid-19 pandemic, the firm said.
Momentum for the trend is also on track to buck restraints like a predicted fall of 35% in the number of new warehouses added to global building stock during 2023 compared with the previous year, as triggered by the global economic downturn and a post-Covid market correction.
The sectors with the highest penetration rate of warehouse automation will be the food & beverage and the parcel areas, which act as “low hanging fruit” due to both the predictability of throughput and the size/weight of items handled, Interact Analysis found.
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