Warehouse automation

Maersk

Note from the editor

Retailers and manufacturers are continuously innovating their supply chain facilities to keep up with the pace of e-commerce. 

Some of the upgrades are physical infrastructure, such as robotics and mechanized conveyor lines bringing goods to person, allowing labor to pick and pack rather than walking the aisles. 

The software behind the systems is equally important to manage the flow of parcels. Warehouse management systems and warehouse execution systems have evolved into essential fixtures to manage inventory and labor.

The stories below examine automation in the warehouse, from front-end hardware to back-end software. 

Shefali Kapadia Lead Editor

RFID and sensor tech get cheaper, faster and more pervasive

Advancements in identification technology help retail supply chains track inventory and shrink. Are visioning robots the next evolution?

• Published Sept. 7, 2021

Meet 4 startups automating warehouse picking

Automated picking technology is improving, and supply chains see picking, packing and sorting as top use cases for robotics.

• Published May 25, 2021

Sam's Club equips its fulfillment operations with robotic pickers

The retailer has adopted the use of GreyOrange autonomous mobile robots in its new Southern California fulfillment center for e-commerce orders.

• Published Dec. 15, 2020

Warehouses turn to gamification to level up productivity

Supply chain leaders take a carrots-over-sticks approach to incentivizing warehouse labor as the industry struggles to recruit and retain workers.

• Published April 27, 2021

Patent Pending: Walmart plans automated order picking, Target floats RFID for freight tracking

• Published Jan. 15, 2021

Inside Chewy's first automated fulfillment center

Priorities around worker safety, cost structure and warehouse efficiency guided how the pet e-tailer built its tech stack in Archbald, Pennsylvania.

• Published Nov. 3, 2020

Robotics can help with pick speed and social distancing, but warehouse design is key

• Published Sept. 15, 2020

Do more robots mean a safer warehouse?

Fulfillment robotics pledge to make workers' jobs easier, but whether those jobs are safer is open for debate — even among those making and selling the technology.

• Published March 3, 2020

The changing face of warehouse change management

New technologies can completely alter a worker's daily job, requiring operations executives to take a strategic approach to managing labor through the change.

• Published March 10, 2020

Automation upgrades warehouse execution systems to essential status

The technology creates a digital twin, providing inventory management traditionally found in a WMS while adding the ability to control automated infrastructure.

• Published Nov. 3, 2020

Patent Pending: Automating goods-to-person picking from warehouse floor to ceiling

• Published Sept. 18, 2020

The pandemic has complicated the WMS procurement process

Vendors and warehouse managers typically use multi-day conferences and whiteboarding to buy and implement warehouse management systems. The pandemic has turned that process upside down.

• Published July 28, 2020

Latest trends and developments in warehouse automation

Retailers and manufacturers are continuously innovating their supply chain facilities to keep up with the pace of e-commerce. Some of the upgrades have been physical infrastructure, such as robotics and mechanized conveyor lines bringing goods to person, allowing labor to pick and pack rather than walking the aisles.

included in this trendline
  • RFID and sensor tech get cheaper, faster and more pervasive
  • Warehouses turn to gamification to level up productivity
  • Meet 4 startups automating warehouse picking
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.