Robotics, e-Commerce Giants, and Infographics

Martijn Graat
Martijn Graat

Ok. I’ve found it a bigger challenge to bring you a weekly round-up of the news than I thought it would be when I started doing these. I know the last one was in Week 13, and now we’re in Week 21 already. I’m going to promise you my best effort and will publish these as often as I can. On to this week’s overview:

Logistics and Robotics

Obviously, the rise of robots is on the minds of people in Supply Chain and Logistics. Robots can mean increased productivity and efficiency. They can perform tasks no human can do and with more strength and precision, and speed. A lot of opportunities for Logistics companies. On the other hand, the rise of robotics has people worried. Will they take over our jobs? Some may even think: Will they take over???

Transparency Market Research (TMR), a market intelligence firm based in the U.S., has released a report forecasting the global industrial robotics market will reach a market value of $44.48 billion by 2020, growing from $29 billion in 2013.

For decades, robots were designed primarily for the automotive line where they became an alternative to costly employees with pricy benefit packages. The savings taken by replacing humans with robots carried the heavy freight of endless hours of robotics programming. These robots are big and dangerous. They are unsafe around human workers, so they have traditionally been locked in cages.

Ultimately, we are likely to see an evolution of roles and responsibilities. For instance, machinery will need to be maintained and this could result in retraining and reskilling staff to do this. Also, in the event of an error occurring during the production line, humans need to be on hand to address this.

e-Commerce Giants Expanding Logistics Operations

The two largest e-commerce companies in the world keep expanding. Next to the expanding sales volumes, they are also working hard at expanding their logistics capabilities. This seems like a logical step, as the end customer’s satisfaction level is highly dependent on the timely delivery of the ordered product.

Those distribution centers will include the ones in Carlisle, Hazelton and Breinigsville. The workers will pick, pack and ship products to fulfill customer orders. Currently Amazon has about 50,000 full-time workers at the centers.

Amazon announced today that its Prime Now service will offer one-hour delivery from local stores in addition to the company’s own warehouses.

Now Alibaba, which is facing slowing growth despite its position at the head of China’s e-commerce market, is ramping up the size of its countrywide logistics network.

The logistics arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is lining up a major warehouse expansion to streamline deliveries across the nation, devoting a large slice of long-term $16 billion investment plans to adding new space.

10 Incredible Logistics Infographics And Videos

This week’s final item is a post by (and this is an assumption on my part) fellow blogger Eytan Buchman. I have been posting a Logistics video with each Logistics in the News post, and regular readers of this blog are fully aware of my love of infographics. So this post was 100% up my alley. Loved it. So please enjoy.

We’ve rounded up our 10 favorite supply chain and logistics infographics and videos that paint a picture of the global supply chain

No video from me this week, as Eytan’s post has more than enough high-quality video content…

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