55% of US logistics firms „more willing” to invest in automation

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55% of US logistics firms „more willing” to invest in automation

Research conducted by Honeywell Intelligrated shows that well over half of US logistics companies are now more willing to invest in automation in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The above figures come from the 2020 Honeywell Intelligrated Automation Investment Study, which was conducted between April 21st and May 7th in collaboration with KRC Research. The results come from a survey of 434 U.S.-based professionals working full-time in senior roles for companies that directly manage warehouses, DCs or fulfillment centres.

The study paints a clear picture of the scale of change going through the logistics industry at present. When asked to what extent the Covid-19 pandemic had caused their company to reconsider the way it operates, 32% of the respondents in the logistics sector replied „yes, to a significant extent”, with a further 55% saying „yes, to a moderate extent”. Only 13% said they would be investing in automation to a „limited or no extent”.

When it comes to the usefulness of the automation logistics companies currently have, almost half of the survey’s respondents declared that the automation was a „significant or moderate” help, with a similar percentage sharing the view that their automatic processes where „neither a help nor a hindrance.”

Although automation is often seen as being responsible for job losses, the vast majority of respondents in the Logistics sector said there were „significant or limited” opportunities for job creation in maintenance, warehouses, distribution and fulfillment centres, as well as customer service. Maintenance scored highly in particular, with 88% of those surveyed indicating jobs could be created in this field.

Overall, the survey found that the E-commerce, Food & Beverage, and Third-party Logistics industries are more willing to invest than other industries.

The aforementioned study comes around the same time as the publication of the World Robotics Report 2020, which revealed that a record 2.7 million industrial robots operated in factories around the world in 2019.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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