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Current trends reveal secrets of the future warehouse

17 May 2018

The warehouse of the future will be shaped by trends in society, technology and consumer behaviour, says new Swisslog report.

Close analysis of today’s major technology and society trends has unveiled a vision on how the warehouse of 2030 will operate, according to a new report from automation experts Swisslog and parent company KUKA.

In “Future Perspectives: Planning for the Warehouse of the Future”, experts look at how the major social and technology trends of today will shape the warehouse of the future and present a vision for how the industry can provide the speed and agility to support the expected demands of the market in 2030.

“Globally, the population is becoming more urban,” says Swisslog’s Head of Sales in the UK, Shane Faulkner. “It is predicted that by 2030, the world will have 41 mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. Warehouses are therefore highly likely to move closer to the customers they serve.”

The report also delves into the significant technology developments emerging today that will, in all probability, shape the warehouse of the future. Those include predictive analytics and machine learning, autonomous vehicles and drones, robotics, and 3D printing. “Technology will play a significant role in delivering the speed and efficiency required and automating the movement of products from large regional warehouses to the urban distribution centers, while enabling faster picking, loading and delivery of these products,” Shane explains.

Insights from Future Perspectives also demonstrate how an aging population, coupled with higher consumer expectations for e-commerce, is resulting in a change in consumption and spending behaviour on a global scale; impacting production, logistics, warehousing and retailing. Experts say the urban distribution centre of 2030 must be configured to support same-day delivery or customer pickup through some combination of autonomous vehicles, robotic picking and loading, drones and mobile pickup points.

As a leader in robotic, data driven and flexible automated solutions, Swisslog is dedicated to helping companies prepare their warehouses for the future, while improving the efficiency, productivity and cost effectiveness of their intralogistics operations. Shane Faulkner concludes: “Having worked with businesses in more than 50 countries in a wide range of industries, we have an extensive understanding of the logistics challenges faced by companies across the globe." Putting this industry knowledge to good use, Swisslog shares insight and advice through the regular release of free whitepapers. 

To learn more about how the warehouse of 2030 will operate, or to browse the catalogue of whitepapers on a variety of subjects, visit www.swisslog.com/whitepapers.