The Impact of Material Handling Equipment on Warehouse Efficiency

Logistics Tech Outlook | Friday, January 13, 2023

Technology, a safe and smart workplace, and competitive wages can help with labor shortages.

FREMONT, CA: The global market for warehouses is expanding. According to Beroe Inc, the global demand for warehouses surged dramatically in 2021, and the warehousing market is projected to reach $285 billion in 2022 and $326.3 billion by 2024.

Logistics and operations must become more efficient to remain competitive in the warehouse sector. Automation and the use of advanced technologies on the warehouse floor are unquestionably one of the major trends that have begun to shape the warehouse of the future.

The use of technology facilitates the efficient and secure packaging and transportation of commodities, and the need for technology-driven material handling equipment is rising.

According to Interact Analysis, although the warehouse business primarily depends on human labor, material-handling robots will penetrate the market and diminish employee demand.

In addition, by deploying material handling robots such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) or autonomous mobile robots, warehouse managers can reduce expenses, improve safety, and free up employees to concentrate on other important activities.

Consider the following ways that material handling equipment might affect warehouse productivity.

Warehouse cost reduction

Automation can improve the efficiency of warehouse operations, resulting in cheaper costs. This may include robots, intelligent machines, automated guided vehicles, and lightweight material handling equipment.

A warehouse facility should recognize the many types of material handling equipment and design a strategy for identifying and employing the one that would improve their operations. In terms of cost reduction, a system that coordinates inputs and outputs is the most effective.

According to Inbound Logistics, labor expenses account for around 65 percent of warehouse operating expenditures. The appropriate material handling equipment will minimize labor expenses and improve safety, hence decreasing the costs associated with workplace injuries.

In the following ways, the proper warehouse material handling equipment can decrease costs:

Labor costs: Some material handling tasks, such as picking, are labor-intensive and expensive due to labor expenses. Warehousing managers can deploy automated robots for such duties.

Floor space costs: Machines, such as forklifts, can optimize your floor space by utilizing the facility's height to store products vertically. Reach truck AGVs, and narrow aisle AGVs eliminate the footprint necessary to store and access products.

Picking expenses: Automation facilitates batch picking and permits facilities to process group orders containing identical items. This significantly improves people who can only fulfill one order simultaneously.

Workplace absenteeism and injuries: Material handling equipment increases worker safety and decreases injuries. In addition, machines may constantly work for long hours without pauses or off days.

Helps in simplifying warehousing processes

When a warehouse is organized for optimal material flow, it is advantageous. The material should ideally be accessible with few risks and errors in the shortest time possible. But how can one accomplish this while handling so much material?

Automation and material handling equipment allow warehouses to be streamlined in multiple ways:

Simplify the process: It may take considerable time to reach the shelf, identify the required item, and retrieve it. However, robots can perform these activities with speed and precision.

Proper labeling: The labeling of goods within a facility must be done correctly. Barcode labels can be used to identify products. Moreover, AMRs fitted with barcode scanners can locate, identify, and monitor the movement of objects.

Record the movement of materials: When items are appropriately labeled, it is simpler to follow them. This will also eliminate unwanted motions.

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