Robotics in Logistics

[Source: SCM Portal – Research]

Robotics in Logistics
A DPDHL perspective on implications and use cases for the logistics industry

Primed by scenarios from science fiction, as well as by hype and wild speculation from the world’s media, we have for many decades anticipated the era of robotics. We are concerned that robots may steal our jobs and spy on us. We imagine that they will arrive not in ones and twos but in vast armies ready to alter forever life as we know it.

The reality is, of course, quite different. Exciting as it is, robotics technology seems to be arriving slowly but surely in cautious and well-considered stages. Right now robots are already among us. Personal robots are busy cleaning inside our homes and helping to maintain our gardens. Commercial robots are busy on the manufacturing side of the supply chain, mostly in the automotive sector. But where are all the robots in the logistics environment? Why are there so few advanced robots working in our warehouses, helping us to meet modern distribution challenges?
This DHL trend report explores these questions in detail. You will find that designing an advanced robot is expensive and a significant technological challenge. You will see that the distribution environment is complicated and difficult to automate. But every day there are breakthroughs in robotics, helping us to overcome these challenges. Funding is pouring into robotics research in unprecedented amounts from unexceed sources. And there are both large enterprise players and innovative startup companies focusing for the first time on extending the role of robotics beyond manufacturing and into the logistics side of the supply chain.
In this report, we examine the current state of robotics and automation in the logistics industry and offer a visionary outlook of how our supply chains will be transformed and improved by this emerging technology trend.