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Logistics firms will be able to save money on labor and become more competitive due to automation, reducing the effects of high freight prices.
FREMONT, CA: The logistics sector has faced a series of unprecedented challenges. COVID-19 increased shipping demand while limiting supply chain assets, and the consequences of these disruptions are still affecting many businesses. In light of these challenges, the industry will adopt robotics in 2021 to recover.
Automation in the supply chain is not a recent trend, but it is gaining traction now. What used to be a strategic advantage is now a requirement. This year, robotics will drive the logistics industry, and here's how.
Mitigating the Effects of Increasing Costs
One of the key draws of robotics in logistics before the pandemic was cost-effectiveness. As the industry's costs rise, this advantage becomes even more appealing. Since some freight prices have increased by more than 200 percent year over year, shipping companies must cut costs anywhere they can. Robotics is the perfect solution since it increases productivity without needing ongoing payments. Logistics firms will be able to save money on labor and become more competitive due to automation, reducing the effects of high freight prices.
Supporting New Safety Protocols
While vaccines have begun to be distributed, workplaces will need to continue to follow COVID-19 prevention protocols for some time. While automation is not required to meet these new health requirements, it does help. Most importantly, robots can fill workstations between employees, separating them. It can be challenging to implement social distancing in a big warehouse. By putting robots in between jobs, much of the danger is eliminated. Similarly, material-moving activities can be handled by Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), which prevent staff from wandering around the facility and becoming too close to others.
Automating Last-Mile Deliveries
Automation in the logistics sector has always been limited to warehouses, with just a few exceptions. That is beginning to change as robotics improves and needs become more pressing. Drones and other robots will be used by more businesses to automate last-mile deliveries in 2021. One company has already delivered COVID-19 vaccines using an autonomous aircraft. These vaccinations are time-sensitive, and the growth of e-commerce is causing an increase in last-mile deliveries, which is wasting drivers' time. Autonomous deliveries provide a solution.