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Research firm predicts warehouse automation boom

12 June 2020

Frost & Sullivan’s Opportunities of Autonomous Delivery Robots in Warehouse Management report says the global warehouse automation market is expected to nearly double its size, expanding from $14 billion in 2019 to $27.2 billion by 2025.

The automated guided vehicles (AGV) segment is forecast to hit $4.6 billion while the autonomous mobile robot (AMR) segment is expected to reach $6.8 billion. 

Doraiswamy Bharath Sunderraj, TechVision research analyst at Frost & Sullivan said: “AS/RS have the highest adoption rate because of their promising features such as increased inventory storage density, reduced labour costs, and increased inventory-picking accuracy.”

He added: “Advancement in navigation technology is one of the prominent drivers of autonomous delivery robots. Autonomous robotic solutions using LiDAR with AI and machine learning are the currently available advanced navigational solutions.”

The firm cautioned that high implementation and maintenance costs, the requirement of skilled personnel for maintenance, and lack of adaptability are likely to hinder the growth of the autonomous delivery robots market. 

Frost & Sullivan makes recommendations to robotics vendors:

  • Start-ups offering autonomous robotic solutions should mainly focus on technology development and improving brand value to compete with large OEMs.
  • For technology developers, cost model planning will be crucial to gain a competitive edge among other key companies.
  • Software developers should partner with technology and hardware developers to provide the required software support to their clients.
  • Market players should invest in the development of the autonomy of robotic solutions, which can include enhanced navigation and obstacle detection solutions by using multiple types of sensors. They must be prepared to offer solutions in the future that can perform several tasks at the same time.

The degree to which the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the industry will vary considerably by region and by vertical sector. In developed countries such as the US and China, the recovery time is going to be much faster due to their strong position with respect to technology development and adoption of warehouse automation solutions, says the firm.

For further information on this analysis, click here.