Ecommerce stores warehouse

The transformation of the warehouse is in sight

Manufacturers, contract logistics operators, distributors, retailers, e-commerce companies all have warehouses. This means that a huge workforce is required to effectively manage and operate these warehouses. Hiring and retaining this workforce is difficult, especially since these are low-paid and also seasonal jobs, especially in advanced countries.

In recent years, the number of people applying for warehouse jobs in the United States has declined. From 6 to 10 job applications in 2013, the number rose to 2 to 5 per job in 2018, according to a 2018 survey by the ARC Advisory Group. The warehouse workforce situation has worsened further after the pandemic, if one analyzes US Department of Labor figures, and there are now multiple warehouse jobs per candidate.

Almost every warehouse in the United States needs extra workers during the holiday season, when consumer spending is at its peak. For example, e-commerce giant Amazon announced this week that it is hiring 150,000 seasonal jobs in the United States, many as warehouse and logistics workers.

Manufacturers, contract logistics operators, distributors, retailers, e-commerce companies all have warehouses. This means that a huge workforce is required to effectively manage and operate these warehouses. Hiring and retaining this workforce is difficult, especially since these are low-paid and also seasonal jobs, especially in advanced countries.

Likewise, last month, U.S. multinational retailer Walmart announced plans to hire 20,000 new associates in more than 250 distribution centers (DCs), distribution centers (FCs) and transportation offices Walmart and Sam’s. Club. Companies like Target and Kohl’s have also announced hiring about 100,000 people each for this holiday season.

In addition to the labor shortage, warehouses face the issue of efficiency as it takes more than a month for a new employee to work at the average speed of other employees at a site. of particular warehouse.

On top of that, once hired and trained, there is a new challenge in retaining them. This is because wages are increasing in several industries in the United States that provide permanent employment. Workers are also quitting because warehouse jobs can be tough, as they sometimes end up traveling more than 8-9 miles per shift or spending almost 9-10 hours a day packing orders in one place.

And during the holiday season, when the flow of orders is high, the warehouses operate around the clock, forcing some of the workers to work an overnight shift. Since very few want to work nights, these workers change jobs at the first opportunity, and some of them wish they would never return to warehouse-type work again.

One of the ways to deal with the labor shortage is to increase the wages of warehouse jobs, but this is a temporary solution with no guarantee that the problem will end. Companies therefore need to find a long-term solution, which means that a huge transformation is certainly on the horizon, especially as it is now confirmed that more warehousing facilities would be needed given the post-pandemic boom in electronic commerce.

Companies that have warehouses will increasingly use automation and robotics, including Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) that use artificial intelligence for location, navigation and tracking. perception to choose the right item to pack.

For example, the German multinational e-commerce company Zalando implemented automation through AMRs provided by the 100% subsidiary of the BMW group, idealworks. These AMRs support Zalando logistics employees in Mönchengladbach with autonomous transport that requires limited supervision. At Zalando, they are used to move packaged orders between two sorters in the shipping area. On a 50-meter-long course, AMRs can travel up to 8 km / h. AMRs receive their transport requests from idealworks’ fleet management software, which is connected to Zalando’s central computer system, ZalOs.

Making way for mobile robots in a warehouse, instead of humans, may also require a change in warehouse design, as robots would not be able to fetch an item above a certain point. height. But it may be worth it, as businesses will end up saving on energy costs as these robots can operate efficiently even without air conditioning, which humans cannot do without, especially in the summer.

So overall, starting with the big companies, we’re going to see a huge transformation in warehouse design and operation, with little or no people working with robots. The stage is certainly set, and we could see the transformation happening at a rapid rate over the next few years.

Fibre2Fashion Information Office (RKS)


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