The world is a constantly changing place and the warehouse and storage industry isn’t any different.
New technologies can change the game, even if they were not created specifically for the industry.
And with advancements in everything from materials to robotics, storage innovations are happening in the industry quicker each year.
We’ve created this short post on how you can expect to see the logistics and storage business change in the following few years.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a network of smart devices that can all talk to one another.
On a small level, we’re talking about streaming your phone through your TV, or asking your smart speaker to turn on the lights.
On an industrial scale, we’re talking about entire warehouses organising deliveries, shipments, logistics, work rotas, and safety protocols.
Looking ahead the Internet of Things will be self-driving cars booking themselves a service, smart shelves ordering new stock when they are low, and deliveries organising themselves in the most efficient way possible.
Along with Artificial Intelligence, the future is going to see less human input into the system, allowing machines, software and robots to control prices due to supply and demand, order and deliver stock, and self-optimise, learning as they go to become even more efficient.
Speaking of robots…
Robots are becoming more commonplace
With software becoming smarter and manufacturing becoming cheaper, robots in warehouses are now becoming more familiar.
If you’re worried about a Terminator scenario, then you shouldn’t be. Well, for the moment anyway. Robots found in the logistics and storage industry are more “helpers” rather than “doers”.
While it’s true robots offer more uptime and increased productivity than humans, they work alongside us, usually picking and transporting goods in warehouses and storage facilities.
It’s these repetitive and mundane tasks that robots are better at, but that frees up time for human workers to do the more complicated stuff, like haggle over an invoice or fix the coffee machine.
Last mile delivery
The very last stage of the supply chain is ironically the most time-consuming and inefficient.
Getting the final product to the customer from the warehouse or distribution centre is usually wracked with problems, from traffic jams to customer headaches.
Moving ahead we are likely to see new ways to get the customer their order, using new technologies such as drones.
Drones can cut out the traffic, cut down on fuel costs, and as the technology improves year-on-year, deliver heavier and bulkier packages.
Smart lockers are also another way to provide flexibility for customers to receive parcels and reduce the last-mile challenges. Growing in popularity and pioneered by Amazon (of course), smart lockers can be customised for various scenarios, both indoors and out.
We’re already seeing smart lockers with temperature control for the storage of perishable goods.
Everything is moving to the Cloud and that includes the warehouse industry!
Running a warehouse takes a lot of paperwork, which, of course, was done on paper in the good old days. That then changed as computers became more ubiquitous, and now it’s all moving onto SaaS – Software as a Service.
Cloud-based SaaS solutions for logistics companies are cheaper to set up, run and grow if necessary.
If everything is in the Cloud, companies can collaborate and share data instantly and securely.
Cloud integration offers universal accessibility, allowing data collection from management systems to be analysed, improving overall logistic processes.
Put simply, having everything in the Cloud makes a company runs smoother, faster and cheaper.
They’ve been promised for a long time, but it looks like we’re finally going to see autonomous vehicles on the roads.
And while there may be some issues to iron out at the start, self-driving cars will be safer by many factors after removing the human element.
Designed to work all day and night, they will increase productivity, efficiency, and delivery times.
Automated vehicles will virtually eliminate traffic jams, improve fuel efficiency, and use AI to plot the most efficient routes.
Prepare for the future with our help
Logistic and storage innovations in the industry have a knock-on effect on everything else.
Automation brings with it an increase in efficiency and productivity right along the supply chain.
Making that supply chain more transparent and open is also crucial to an evolving business.
All these changes are coming, so the only thing you should ask yourself is, are you ready for them?
Getting your warehouse in order is the first priority. Having a place for everything and everything in its place is the first step in a safe, efficient and productive business.
We can help you with every aspect of warehouse storage and logistics.
From the right type of shelving for your product to the health and safety of your workers, we’ve got the storage innovations for any issues that may arise.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you prepare for the future of the logistics and storage industry, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Pallet Racking Solutions designs, supplies and installs quality pallet racking and warehouse storage solutions, New Zealand wide. Follow our blog for the latest innovations, new tech, safety and compliance, case studies and in-depth explanations of our solutions.