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Humans assisted by technology – the future of warehouse logistics?

The growth of ecommerce and consumers’ expectations of rapid delivery has meant that many warehouses are facing challenges when it comes to efficiently and quickly processing orders.

According to a new report from ABI Research, ‘Devices and Solutions for Workforce Productivity in Warehouse Logistics’, the solution is advanced technology to help human workers pick and pack orders.

The report points out that many warehouses owners cannot afford the robots large companies such as Amazon use, but they can use augmented reality (AR) and Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) that work alongside human workers.

A senior analyst at ABI Research, Nick Finill says:

“Fulfilling higher order volumes is difficult when warehouses are struggling to hire and maintain staff, and automation is cost-prohibitive for many distributors. Warehouses are therefore increasingly using digital tools that can empower the human worker, deliver efficiency gains, and also reduce the time it takes to onboard new or temporary staff.”

There will continue to be a demand for the warehouse trolley manufacturer to supply trolleys to move goods around the warehouses, but workers pushing the trolleys may be directed by voice activated or augmented reality systems to picking locations. The technology will also plan the shortest picking routes.

Technology is not new to warehouses, but it is becoming more efficient by providing clear, hands-free ways of communicating with operators and giving them precise instructions about where items are located. Systems that improve the productivity of workers are an affordable alternative to fully automated warehouses.

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