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Trends in Warehousing to Watch in 2020

Like so many other industries, warehousing and logistics transforms with every new trend and advancement in technology. Where warehousing goes, other industries like supply chain management, retail, and transportation will follow. How effectively a warehouse can receive, store, pick, pack, and ship products directly effects some of the biggest businesses in the world. As e-commerce continues to expand and add to the bottom line of the retail sector, those changes will happen faster. If your business relies on the warehousing industry in any way it’s a good idea to stay in the know about what’s going on. We explain the biggest trends in warehousing to watch in 2020.

Big Data

Businesses today have the ability to collect massive amounts of data and analyze it. Big Data simply means that a company can computationally analyze large data sets to find patterns that might not be obvious to the human eye. The collection power comes from advances in how products get inventoried, such as with RFID scanners and barcodes. The humble barcode allows companies like Amazon to track a single product from the time it enters their warehouse to when it ends up on your doorstep.

Wearable Tech for Employees

Companies continue to increase their investment in wearable technology for their employees. From wearable barcode scanners on finger, wrists, and eventually glasses to movement tracking devices, companies want to know how their people move and if it’s efficient. They track movement over the course of a shift via fit bits to gather as much information as possible. With this information, they can see if employees walk the best path through the warehouse, when they need breaks, and overall performance.

Autonomous Machines

Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are the next evolution in warehouse efficiency and automation. Stackers, pallet jacks, forklifts, and product-carrying robots such as Kiva and Fetch continue to change how work in a warehouse gets done. The industry is still several years away from fully autonomous machines that perform as well as humans though. While human forklift operators make mistakes, they still provide the best option for now. Advances will come, however, that will improve moving inventory from trucks to shelves and around the warehouse. This seismic shift from humans to machines will increase work output exponentially. People may believe that their jobs are in jeopardy, but they still have a necessary role to maintain the machines and keep them moving. They won’t lose their jobs, their jobs will just change.

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