Why warehouse automation isn’t prevalent 2023

Workers in some of the most up-to-date warehouses don futuristic exoskeletons to enable them to handle weights that are far heavier than their own bodies while autonomous drones fly overhead and assess the stock.

These automation technologies have the potential to bring enormous benefits, including improvements in operational efficiency and accuracy, as well as increased levels of safety.

Yet, the employment of exoskeletons and even the more conventional robots are not nearly as popular as one might think. This is part of a larger problem with the lack of technology adoption by logistics businesses.

According to a recent survey conducted by JLL, only six out of ten logistics occupiers in Asia Pacific have implemented some type of automation solutions like as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and telescopic conveyors.
According to Peter Guevarra, Director of Research Consulting for Asia Pacific at JLL, most occupants listed the high initial capital expenditure (CapEx) as the biggest impediment; nevertheless, the extended payback time is also an evident challenge in the process of decision-making.
According to Guevarra, “the usual lease period for logistics facilities in the region is often between three and five years,” which makes it too short to recuperate the initial capital expenditure on many innovative solutions.
Consider third-party logistics providers, sometimes known as 3PLs, that have several tenants on short-term contracts. According to Michael Ignatiadis, Head of Supply Chain and Logistics Solutions, Asia Pacific, JLL, “3PLs have little incentive to invest in technology within a logistics facility when their tenant isn’t willing to co-fund the investment or to commit on a long-term lease.” This is one of the reasons why “3PLs have little incentive to invest in technology within a logistics facility.”

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