Will warehouses ever be fully automated such that no humans will be involved in working there? Perhaps, but not anytime soon.
Despite increases in automation in the warehousing and logistics industries, human labor still matters. Specialized skill sets might be more in demand in the coming years compared to the need for humans to do the more mundane tasks like picking and packing orders.
Automation is Helpful, But Labor Still Matters
Automation has been a good thing for warehouses. They’ve become more efficient and better able to meet demands. In a way, automation acts as a workforce multiplier, which is especially helpful in times when there’s a tight labor market and there’s not a big pool of labor available.
In the past couple years, the industry has seen robotics and mechanization increase abilities to handle certain projects at warehouses, including the ability to move cases and pallets. So, in addition to picking individual items, a robot could do more work thanks to advancements that help make it possible to move things that are bigger and heavier.
Interestingly, robotics technology can become outdated in just a few years. And some warehouses weren’t designed for robots and humans to work together, so there are some limitations and/or challenges to automation.
Is the automation process hindering job opportunities for humans? Surprisingly no. Automation may reduce the need for some jobs, but it also offers enhanced job opportunities as well. Somebody has to run the machines!
Ultimately, here’s the deal: robots can do the mundane work. Humans? They can do the skilled work.
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