March 2, 2017

Warehousing and logistics robot shipments climb fast

Study forecasts market will reach 620,000 units annually by 2021, up from 40,000 in 2016.

By DC Velocity Staff

As logistics professionals look for ways to keep up with today's fast-paced, customer-driven economy, they are increasingly looking to warehouse robotics, according to a study released today.

Warehousing and logistics robot shipments are on track to reach 620,000 units annually by 2021, Boulder, Colo.-based market intelligence firm Tractica LLC said.

That target would represent a steep jump from 2016 shipments of 40,000 units, and would push global revenue for the sector from $1.9 billion in 2016 to $22.4 billion by the end of 2021, according to the report, "Warehousing and Logistics Robots."

The new deployments will be led by large gains in two segments—mobile robot platforms and industrial robotic manipulators—followed by steady growth in shuttle automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and gantry robots.

The warehouse sector is jumping into robotic applications with both feet as robotic applications in the manufacturing sector continue to make the case that the technology can deliver faster, safer, and more productive operations, the report found.

"The warehousing and logistics robot market is experiencing strong growth, with many prominent companies showing greater confidence in new robotics technologies that could yield a return on investment (ROI) in less time than it took a few years ago," Research Analyst Manoj Sahi said in a report. "The next 5 years will be a period of significant innovation in the space, bringing significant opportunities for established industry players and startups alike."

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