Automation in Logistics and the Future of Work

Automation in Logistics and the Future of Work

Several recent studies have suggested that nearly half of all jobs are susceptible to automation in the next 20 years. Robots and artificial intelligence are poised to displace jobs in various industries, and the logistics industry is highly vulnerable to job loss. Recently notable tech leaders have made statements in regards to how to deal with automation displacing jobs. Bill Gates has argued for a robot tax to recapture money that displaced workers would have paid as income tax. Elon Musk advocates for a universal basic income...

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Amazon's Growing Robot Workforce is 45,000 Strong

Amazon's Growing Robot Workforce is 45,000 Strong

According to a recent report in the Seattle Times, in 2016 Amazon significantly expanded the deployment of Kiva Robots in their fulfillment centers. Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012 and the robots automate the picking and packing process. According to the report, Amazon has 45,000 robots deployed across 20 fulfillment centers which represents a 50% increase over the previous year and a 200% increase since 2014. Since 2014 the human workforce has increased by roughly 100%.

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Logistics Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Logistics Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Making predictions in technology, even just one year out, are generally an exercise in futility, so this really isn't a forecast for 2017, but more a list of trends that I am interested in and keeping my eye on. Technology is rarely released according to plan and surprises can come from many directions. However, it makes sense to keep tabs on what’s coming and it's also great fun to think about what’s coming next. Here's what I will be looking out for in 2017:

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The 2016 Techgistics Year in Review

The 2016 Techgistics Year in Review

2016 was an incredible year for tech in logistics as companies both large and small are working on some transformational technologies not just for logistics, but for society as a whole. Here’s a few interesting tech advancements in 2016 that were important for the year, but could also point to what’s to come in the near and long-term future.

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Amazon Go and the Jobless Future in Retail

Amazon Go and the Jobless Future in Retail

Amazon is testing a retail store without check-outs; instead, you simply tap your phone when you enter and 'machine learning and computer vision' track what you pick up and let you just walk out. In order to do this, Amazon is launching an app called Amazon Go which customers will use to register when they're in the store and the app will track the products picked up as they move about the store.

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Ways to think about Last Mile Delivery

Ways to think about Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is going to change significantly over the next few decades. A sea-change is upon the Logistics industry and as is often the case when an industry is about to be turned upside-down, there are a number of converging factors, both societal and technological, that are accelerating the pace of change.

 

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Automation Revolution on the High Seas

Automation Revolution on the High Seas

From a Rolls-Royce Press Release:

Speaking at the Symposium Oskar Levander, Rolls-Royce, Vice President of Innovation – Marine, said: “This is happening. It’s not if, it’s when. The technologies needed to make remote and autonomous ships a reality exist. The AAWA project is testing sensor arrays in a range of operating and climatic conditions in Finland and has created a simulated autonomous ship control system which allows the behaviour of the complete communication system to be explored. We will see a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade.”
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Micro Hubs and Shared Mobility: A Share Economy Concept for Same-Day Delivery

Micro Hubs and Shared Mobility: A Share Economy Concept for Same-Day Delivery

If you’re like me, you’re probably shopping more online - making smaller orders more often and at the same time expecting fast and free delivery, even if it’s not urgent. The growth of eCommerce has fueled increasingly challenging delivery options for both retailers and major parcel carriers alike. For consumers, tomorrow is just not fast enough and most are not prepared to pay for the true cost of delivery.

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The Robots are Coming

The Robots are Coming

A recent McKinsey and Co. report entitled Where machines could replace humans and where they can’t (yet) looked across industry sectors to determine which jobs could be replaced by machines based on currently demonstrated technologies. f you view this report through the lens of warehousing, many physical activities performed in a warehouse throughout the workday are predictable, making many warehousing jobs highly susceptible to automation...

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