Market Overview

The logistics automation market was valued at USD 55.15 billion in 2019, and is expected to be USD 107.84 billion in 2025, registering a CAGR of 12.1% during the forecast period of (2020 - 2025).?The emergence of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the advent of a network of connected systems are helping industries perform multitude tasks, such as material batching, picking, ordering, packaging, warehouse security, and inspection. This factor is helping improve the operational efficiency by huge margins, which in turn, is driving the market.

  • The growth in e-commerce industry worldwide and growing need for efficient warehousing and inventory management is driving the market. According to a report by Salesforce, more than 500 million consumers across the world shopped using e-commerce in the first quarter of 2018. Of the overall orders through e-commerce, mobile shopping accounted for 43% of orders and made 23% of the revenue from e-commerce
  • The awareness of industries to increase the efficiency of the warehouse and reduce the capital spent on labor is resulting in the increased adoption of warehouse automation in a global supply chain scenario. According to the US Census Bureau, an average warehouse worker wastes nearly seven weeks per year in unnecessary motion, which accounts more than USD 4.3 billion in labor alone in the domestic market.
  • The use of IoT and technologies allows warehouses for real-time data transfer, flexible communication, and big data analytics. These with the cloud-based solution enables automated, sophisticated, agent-based control.
  • However, the high initial costs and lack of skilled personnel to handle the technology may hinder the growth of the market.

Scope of the Report

Logistics automation is the application of computer software and/or automated machinery to improve the efficiency of logistics operations. Typically this refers to operations within a warehouse or distribution center, with broader tasks undertaken by supply chain management systems and enterprise resource planning systems.

Key Market Trends

Warehouse Management to Occupy Major Share

  • Warehouse operations contribute to a majority of resource consumption. As companies are demanding new solutions to improve the efficiency of warehouses, to reduce cost and increasing awareness among the businesses around the world, the deployment of warehouse robots is set to increase.
  • For instance, Alibaba, world’s largest retailer, has upgraded to robotic labor in one of its warehouse which has resulted in drastically reducing the labor workforce by 70% creating an opportunity for a highly skilled workforce.
  • Mobile robots are witnessing high growth in small and medium warehouses with smaller pallet sizes, while industrial applications in large warehouses dedicated to foods and beverages demand articulated and palletizing robots.
  • According to a survey from the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, 94% of food packaging operations are using robotics already, and half of them reported the plan to increase their level of automation over the next three to five years.
  • For instance, in August 2018, Aberdeen-based inspection technology and service provider for the oil and gas industry, Innospection, Shell Brazil and SENAI CIMATEC technology institute in Salvador, Brazil, have signed a partnership agreement to develop a robot-based technology for in-service inspection of cargo oil tanks of FPSOs.

North America Accounted for the Largest Share

  • North America occupied the largest share of the logistics automation market in 2018, due to the presence of several established e-commerce companies in the region and high investments for the development of logistics.
  • The strong economy, with notable port traffic, increased e-commerce activity, and key manufacturing indices resulting in manufacturing growth, are poised to drive the demand for warehouses in the United States.
  • A US-based third-party logistics company, DHL, plans to increase its warehouse capacity to 10 million square feet by 2020. The trend was followed by other companies, such as XPO Logistics and CEVA Logistics.
  • According to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the North American automation market had set new records very recently. For the first nine months of 2017, 27,294 orders of robots valued at approximately USD 1.473 billion were sold in North America.
  • According to RIA estimates, approximately 250,000 robots are now in use in the United States, accounting for the third highest in the world, behind Japan and China. Also, in the United States, manufacturing accounts for USD 2.17 trillion in annual economic activity, and more than 98% of U.S. manufacturers qualify as small businesses which leaves a huge scope for logistics automation.
  • DHL plans to invest 300 million USD in North America to deploying new technology and transportation control towers in 350 of the 430 to improve productivity and reduce costs. These investments are expected to drive the market in the region.

Competitive Landscape

The logistics automation market is highly fragmented due to the presence of a large number of players. The degree of competition is high, considering the number of companies that are competing and companies adopting across various regions. Moving forward, acquisitions and collaboration of large companies with startups are expected, which are focused toward innovation. Merging technology domains boundaries is expected to see the evolution of the partnership between different tech enablers in the automation industry. Some major players in the market are Honeywell Intelligrated, Toshiba Infrastructure System and Solutions Corporation, Knapp AG among others. Some key recent developments in the market are:

  • May 2019 - Haven, a logistic workflow automation company developed a track-and-trace solution that involves explicit collaboration between all the parties within the supply chain, which is essential to maintain real-time visibility.
  • August 2018 - Honeywell Intelligrated and Carnegie Mellon University collaboratively developed advanced supply chain robotics and AI solutions for connected distribution centers. The Collaboration focuses on next-generation machine learning and robotic controls to help distribution centers address rising e-commerce demands and resource challenges.

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