Before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, e-commerce was driving the logistics industry growth year over year by 15% on average, including all industries from consumer packaged goods (CPGs) to groceries. By mid-2020, in the grip of a global pandemic where social distancing was the primary recourse, e-commerce demand had increased 28% over the previous year. And in some categories, such as groceries, demand for home delivery was up more than 60%. Additional consumer trends, such as the desire for expedited shipping and a preference for speed over cost savings, has pushed retailers to ship individual products rather than bundle orders, further increasing logistics and shipping volumes.
While e-commerce is only one part of the logistics industry, it has been a primary driver for the adoption of automation technology around the world in recent years. Singulation, volumes, and speed are all driving companies to find ways to increase volumes during a time when simply adding more warm bodies isn’t a sustainable option. Today, a modern e-commerce facility can require up to 3,000 full-time equivalent workers, or 10 times what a traditional warehouse requires. The only answer to keeping up with the speed of inventory changes and new logistical requirements is automating as many processes as possible, from receiving goods through staging, storage, picks, packaging, cartooning, and final shipment.
Edgewater Automation’s expertise in robotic and discreet precision material handling solutions as well as all forms of machine vision including 2D code scanning, 3D dimensioning, and even guiding autonomous ground vehicles (AGVs) makes us an invaluable partner for today’s growing logistics and warehouse organizations.
Today, there truly is no part of the warehouse and logistics operation that is not using automated technology solutions. Trucks arrive on the warehouse or distribution center (DCS), where forklift drivers retrieve wrapped pallets of goods. Machine vision systems on the docks scan the p