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What Is Logistics Automation?

Logistics automation comprises automated transportation and storage systems in distribution centers and warehouses. The goal of this is to maximize throughput, assure procedure safety, and optimize the logistics operations that take place outside and inside the facility.

With this tendency in full swing, more and more institutions are selecting to automate their logistics automation. In this article, we evaluate why automated networks are becoming popular, the technologies that will set the speed in the following years, and the most widespread solutions for automating major logistics operations.

logistics automation

The Rise of Automation in Logistics

The joining of e-commerce and modifications in consumer habits have exemplified major logistics company challenges, such as same-day e-commerce and delivery returns supervision. Opposed to this backdrop, the only means to stay competitive is through productive logistics systems that limit errors, streamline processes, and cut costs.

Thus, logistics automation, that is, the alternation of handling equipment and manual operations with automated facilities and procedures, has become essential for any logistics center to reach its total capacity. Every day, an increasing number of industries draw on new technologies such as big data, AI, and the Industrial Internet of Things to automate several warehouse procedures. This tendency is indicated, for instance, in the thriving use of AGVs (automatic guided vehicles). This appliance retains nonstop workflows while redeploying operators to great-value tasks.

Automated outcomes are verified to be decent tools for optimizing the efficiency of freight and logistics companies, which illustrates why so many industries are installing retrieval systems and automated storage, and automated transportation solutions. These guarantee reliability and speed when moving large quantities of goods while offering extra benefits, such as reduced energy expenses and the smooth supply of available product lines.

Logistics automation advantages

Enforcing automated storage and transportation enables for:

  • Ultimate throughput in goods storage, receipt, and dispatch processes. The continual operation ensures consecutive workflows 24/7.
  • Lower logistics costs: Automation restricts numerous warehouse expenditure overruns, such as those occurring from order picking omissions or effects and wear and tear on the flooring resulted in by manual handling appliances.
  • Error eradication: Automated outcomes guarantee the elimination of errors in transporting, locating, and slotting goods in the warehouse.
  • Enhanced safety for the goods and staff: Automated procedures do away with harm to the commodities stemming from manual intervention. They also deter accidents involving unit loads, machinery, and operators.
  • Rigid stock control: The WMSs (warehouse management systems) related to the AS/RS make it feasible to regulate all logistics industry operations inside and outside the faculty.
  • Area maximization: The AS/RS stock the goods in a portable way, formulating use of the warehouse height to increase storage space.
  • Automating warehouse procedures is extensively cost-effective when pertained to repetitive tasks: As such, the technology is generally enforced in logistics maneuvers

such as the extraction and insertion of commodities in AS/RS, order dispatch and preparation, and stock activities between the several areas in the facility.

Automation of Goods Flows

One of the most widespread solutions for shifting towards logistics and freight forwarding in the warehouse is establishing wholly automated storage systems that can uninterruptedly transfer large quantities of stock.

For example, pallet and roller conveyors streamline goods flows from output or a buffer to several storage zones. These transportation networks make it feasible to build circuits that adapt to any facility.

Semi-automated outcomes like the Pallet Shuttle can be deployed. This portable storage system comprises a shuttle powered by an electric engine positioned in the storage channel to cut down extensively on product unloading and loading periods.

Another outcome for automating commodities flows is to restore traditional handling appliances such as pallet stackers, mini load systems (AS/RS for boxes), or forklifts with stacker cranes (AS/RS for pallets), which encompass machines that increase productivity when eliminating and depositing goods on the shelves. These automated transportation networks move up and down the alley along guide rails.

Automation of Order Picking

The expensive operation of any warehouse is pulling. It requires the most time for operators and generates the most omissions. To facilitate it, warehouses can exchange person-to-goods using the goods-to-person technique, an automated outcome for logistics and transport that delivers the commodities directly to the pick stations.

To assure beneficial automation of order picking, it is significant to implement a WMS (warehouse management system) that coordinates the whole operation: from the slotting of the numerous SKUs to the instructions to the automated appliance on where to discover the merchandise, among its other assignments. Also, a WMS makes it feasible to employ semi-automated picking methods like voice and pick-to-light picking. The software counsels operators in picking assignments, showing them what amount of stock to pick for each order.

Corporations with much higher need quantities will find pick and place robots an excellent solution. These devices, related to the WMS, swap human intervention at the pick depots, undervaluing times and the risk of mistake.

 Logistic and transport


Automation of Order Dispatch

Another primary prospect for logistics automation is order dispatch. To do so, it is important to prepare several storage areas and loading piers with automated transportation networks. Relying on the type of load handled, these outcomes can comprise conveyors or sorters, which categorize the goods by the carrier. Furthermore, it is important to be supplied with a program. This syncs the WMS in the depot with the transportation mechanisms’ software and automatically enables the sorter to dispatch each container according to the exit decree sequence.

Meanwhile, traditional loading piers can be marketed for automatic truck unloading and loading systems formulated for firms with a high amount of shipments. These networks, constructed by conveyors and lifting outlets, among other components, speed up the loading of palletized freight onto trucks.