Future of Warehousing: What Holds for the Warehouse Industry

4/14/2023

Future of Warehousing: What Holds for the Warehouse Industry

Warehousing is an essential part of the supply chain trends that are evolving at a remarkable pace. 

For the uninitiated, warehouses are a critical asset for many businesses that need a long-term storage facility for their goods. They help to make sure that their brick-and-mortar stores don’t accumulate more stock that they can display or sell. 

Thanks to the eCommerce giants such as Amazon, we’ve witnessed an impressive change in the warehousing industry in the past few years. 

Integration of modern technologies, automation, and robotics among a few other things is slowly becoming the new norm in the industry.

But what does the future of warehousing look like in the coming years? 

In this post, we have talked about the top predictions that are expected to become more mainstream going forward in the future of warehousing.

With that said, let’s get into it!

Future of Warehousing — Top Predictions to Watch Out For in Coming Years

Let’s talk about the future of warehousing and see which are the top predictions that look promising in the coming years.

On-Demand Warehousing

On-Demand warehousing is an emerging trend in the supply chain industry. 

For the uninitiated, on-demand warehousing helps to accommodate temporary demand for increased capacity.

On-demand-warehousing

This model has proven to be extremely helpful for businesses. It helps to increase their stock inventory during high-demand periods. 

For instance, businesses can scale up their warehouse space during the high-demand season. Later, they can scale down once the high-demand season is over. that too without having to sign long-term leases.  

This is a great opportunity for warehouse owners to rent unutilised space in their warehouses & make extra cash.

All in all, on-demand warehousing is a win-win situation for both parties. It makes it possible to fully-utilise warehousing infrastructure. 

Warehouse Automation

Warehouse Automation is another prediction making its way into the warehousing industry. 

We will soon see warehouse facilities scaling up & down without human participation. 

Thanks to the growth of AI and cloud-based services, the information silos that exist today will vanish in the warehouse of the future. 

Advanced warehouse management applications will take over and make the decision all by themselves. 

warehouse-automation

Apart from this, warehouse automation will even streamline mundane processes that take unnecessary time and effort. 

This includes maintaining incoming & outgoing stock, keeping track of payments & orders, and ensuring proper dispatch & delivery. 

Overall, the future of warehousing in terms of stock management looks bright and will become more efficient.

Real-Time Inventory Visibility

The supply chain systems and warehouse of the future will become transparent. 

Blockchain technology has made it possible to achieve full transparency in warehouse operations. This new technology is quite advanced and can make real-time data exchange.

real-time-inventory-visibility

It will allow warehouses to exchange data in real time and with full transparency. But without IoT, achieving real-time data exchange with Blockchain is not possible.

IoT is an ecosystem of interconnected sensory devices on digital networks. The most common IoT devices include location, humidity, and temperature sensing devices. These devices can collect & transmit data in real-time and without human intervention. 

Together, Blockchain & IoT can create seamless collaboration and bring real-time inventory visibility. This can result in highly effective, secure, and fully-transparent warehouse operations. 

Warehouse Mobility Solutions

The transition from desktop workstations to smartphones has enhanced warehouse productivity & efficiency. 

warehouse-mobility-solutions

Such warehouse mobility solutions have enabled warehouse staff to access and update data on the move. 

Today, warehouse staff can deliver operational efficiency at the pace of consumers’ demand. And in the future of warehousing,  warehouse mobility solutions will become indispensable. 

In a nutshell, warehouse mobility is a secure investment area. Thus, every business should consider adopting it to fulfil their warehouse operational needs.

Advancements in Inventory Tracking

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the fate of the eCommerce industry forever. It forced warehouse managers to implement real-time inventory tracking & management.

inventory-tracking

Today, complete control & real-time visibility over inventory is the need of the hour. But thanks to technological advancements, inventory tracking systems have progressed. As a result, it is now changing the future of the warehousing industry.

What used to be labour-intensive and manual tasks (i.e. inventory tracking) can now be accomplished in a split second, thanks to warehouse automation. 

Going forward, the warehouse of the future will become capable of tracking inventory completely automatically. Not only that but it'll also provide up-to-date information to warehouse managers & business owners.

Drones & Autonomous Guided Vehicles

Drone technology is predicted to disrupt the warehouse industry soon. Drones are safe and economical for locating cargo, performing stock-taking, conducting inventory, and cycle counting. 

drones

A drone equipped with cameras, barcode scanners, sensors, and RFID technology can reach the innermost spaces in a warehouse faster compared to a warehouse staff member doing it manually.

Autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), on the other hand, are an ideal substitute for forklifts. And just like Drones, AGVs are equally capable of moving goods inside the warehouse, resulting in a faster picking process and enhancing inventory management operations.

AGVs

According to a Mordor Intelligence report, the worldwide market for autonomous guided vehicles was worth a little over 2.4 billion in 2020. And the same number is forecasted to surpass $14 billion by 2026.

In a nutshell, Drones and AGVs will be adopted widely & take warehouse management to the next level.

Robotics

Warehouse automation has already paved its way in the warehouse industry worldwide. But robotics is forecasted to disrupt warehouse automation technology.

Soon, you can expect robots to become more human-like in terms of sense, skills, memory, and affinity for learning without being programmed for specific tasks.

Robotics-in-warehouse

A recent survey conducted by MHI also revealed that 67% of participants believe that automation and robotics have the potential to change the course of the warehouse industry. Or at the very least, create a competitive advantage for businesses in future.

The key takeaway is that automation and robotics are both indispensable components of the future of warehousing. Without them, the industry is unlikely to survive in the coming years. 

Predictive Analytics

Warehouses have always played a pivotal role in improving customer experience & satisfaction, predicting product demand effectively, and making the best use of available resources.

Because of this, the demand for accurate forecasting and decision-making is gaining huge traction across the warehouse industry. Today, warehouses all over the world are now desperate to interpret product demand, not only to anticipate stocks but also to optimise warehouse capacity. 

Predictive-Analytics

This is where predictive analytics comes into the picture. It makes the best use of statistical tactics like data mining, big data, and predictive modelling to analyse past trends and make effective predictions about the future of warehousing.

Predictive analytics combined with the power of AI can be incredibly useful in recommending appropriate inventory levels, replenishing stock, and even improving operational efficiency.

The point is that if you want to get ahead in the warehouse industry, investing in predictive analytics is definitely worth it.

Concluding Thoughts

Warehouses are an integral part of the supply chain and there is no chance that warehouses will become obsolete anytime soon. The reality is that the future of warehousing looks very promising with the latest advancements in technology.

That said, if you’re looking for a customised logistics solution for your business, feel free to get in touch with us anytime.

 

Image Sources:  BAYLEYS, Supply Chain Secrets, LinkedIn, DBS Bank, Small Business Bonfire, MIT, iStockPhotos,  ThomasNet, iStockPhotos

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