Robotics and Warehousing
New technology in 3PL operations, warehousing and delivery is moving into robotics. Moving to advanced vision systems and robotic arm technology will reduce the number of employees moving loads. This will provide a ‘lights out warehouse’ and the ability to operate 365 days a year.
Where high efficiency is required this type of robotic tech will mostly be in place in large 3rd party warehousing. They can be programed for repacking and co packing so the product is then ready for distribution and trucking, and moved with transloading and cross docking. Robots could really quicken the picking process for alcohol distribution, for wine, beer, spirits and beverages.
Robots move products to workers reducing the need for workers to find and pick orders. Investments in the robotics represents expense reduction and improved efficiency. The cost of a ‘sawyer’ robot is approximately $25000, a one time investment, and replaces a starting employee whose annual salary is equivalent after year one.
The company would see a savings of $1 million or more over 40 years. Companies in Vancouver, British Columbia, Western Canada are finding the benefit in robotics.
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