Archive for Warehousing

The Greater Boston Warehouse Robotics Cluster

Boston in known as The Hub – but it has really become the hub of warehouse robotics in the United States. MassRobotics and Humatics hosted The 2020 Logistics and Warehousing Executive Briefing. Insights and valuable perspectives were shared by robotics users such as FedEx, the regions robotics innovators, and providers of complementary technologies and services.

Read More →

E-Commerce Fulfillment: The Retailer Survival Kit

Returnless refunds is only one of many ways in which Amazon is taking e-commerce fulfillment and customer service to the next level. To remain competitive, robust fuflillment capabilities are a necessity, and resposiveness and other customer service capabilities are a valuable diferentiator in today’s intensely competitive retail environment.

Read More →

The Innovator’s Dilemma in Today’s AS/RS Market

The innovator’s dilemma is at play in the bin/tote segment of the AS/RS market – today’s proven solutions face the future prospects of fierce competition from a new set of technologies with a promising future.

Read More →

The Micro-Fulfillment Center Automation Race

Micro-fulfillment center automation is poised for rapid growth. Customer proximity, throughput, responsiveness, and space utilization are critical factors for success. Innovative companies are addressing the micro-fulfillment challenge with cutting-edge technology and process innovations. Front and center is a number of automation technologies that can be categorized as a hybrid of shuttle system and robotic technologies.

Read More →

Warehousing and Taxation: The Wayfair Decision

The US Supreme Court Wayfair tax decision is likely to have second-hand effects on warehouse investments. We will see more facilities opened in states with a sales tax, as the tax benefits of remaining out of state have diminished, while fulfillment responsiveness becomes increasingly more important in today’s direct-to-consumer market.

Read More →

Amazon’s Fall River Fulfillment Center Tour

As I conduct research on the global warehouse automation market, I hear statements such as “warehouse automation demand from Amazon and other e-commerce behemoths is draining automation providers of available resources and capacity.” Furthermore, Amazon purchased Kiva to capture essentially all of Kiva’s output capacity for its own use. So when I signed up for a tour of Amazon’s fulfillment center in Fall River, MA, I expected to witness large amounts of advanced automation. This […]

Read More →

Warehouse Responsiveness Reigns Supreme!

Fulfillment repsonsiveness is the warehouse capability most expected to increase in importance over the next five years, according to the results from our best practices survey of logistics executives. A full 77 percent of respondents expect it to become even more important than it is in today’s fast-paced environment. I attribute this increasing importance to consumer expectations for next day delivery, driven the new “Amazon Effect.”

Read More →

Google – Your Next Generation Warehouse Control System Provider?

My search for warehouse automation patents uncovered an unlikely assignee, Google. It turns out that Google was awarded a patent in May 2019 for “Dynamically Maintaining a Map of a Fleet of Robotic Devices in an Environment to Facilitate Robotics Action.” The contents of the patent were geared toward use in the warehouse and features the ability to predict future locations of members of a robotics fleet to optimize collaborative tasks.

Read More →

Digital Innovation in the Modern Warehouse

Digital Innovation in the Modern Warehouse was the topic at this session of the 3PL and Supply Chain Summit. Executives from HighJump, SSI Schaefer, and Pepperl+Fuchs provided valuable insights on sensor types and their applications, the synthesis of this data into meaningful, actionable information, and the use of digital technology to drive productivity improvements.

Read More →

Status Update: Warehouse Automation Market

The 2018 growth of the global warehouse automation market was a full 2 percent greater than my prior year’s forecast had projected. There weren’t any “big bang” acquisitions (like KION’s acquisition of Dematic in 2016), but there were a number of transactions that expanded the acquirer’s solution set or geographic presence.

Read More →