Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL Group), the world’s leading mail and logistics company, is approaching a point in time where robots are going to become essential in the world of logistics. The Group launched a new Trend Report ‘Robotics in Logistics’ revealing how collaborative robots will affect supply chains. Robotics technology may soon be picking, packing and moving goods in the logistics environment.
Matthias Heutger, Senior Vice President Strategy, Marketing and Innovation, DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation, said: “Robots work in many industries but haven’t made an impact on logistics yet because of the complexity of the work – handling a wide array of different things in an infinite number of combinations, close to people and in confined spaces. Current research shows that 80% of logistics facilities today are still manual. Recently, however, technology is just starting to catch up to meet demands for flexible and low-cost robots that could collaboratively work in logistics.”
Robots will soon be standard in warehouses around the world
The report highlights that the development of the next generation of robots that can see, move, react to their environment and work at precision tasks alongside people, is on a fast track powered by the explosion in labour-intensive e-commerce and diminishing and ageing workforces.
As a result, investment from government, venture capitalists and large retailers in several countries is driving a new wave of research that is having significant impact on creating robots with logistics affinity. In addition to the US, China, Russia and Japan, Europe is firmly in the robotics race. With the European Commission’s SPARC program, the EU will invest €700 million into robotics research, and a consortium of 180 European companies has pledged an additional €2.1 billion by the year 2020.
Clemens Beckmann, Executive Vice President Innovation, Post – eCommerce – Parcel, Deutsche Post DHL Group, said: “Just like our children can’t picture a world without computers, it is likely that their children will feel the same way about robots. Developing the next generation of robots that can work around and among people will take a substantial investment to advance the technology but at DPDHL Group we believe that soon supply chains will see humans and robots working side by side to handle goods faster and more economically.”