Warehouse Automation Startups Gaining Traction
Thank you STORD !
High consumer expectations for fast deliveries are prompting retailers to turn toward automation to help speed up distribution. Almost 28% of warehouses globally are expected to be using commercial robots by 2025, up from just 3% in 2018. Since 2015, $1.2 billion in U.S. venture-capital has been invested in logistics-focused robotics and automation, and the broader market for warehousing and logistics market is expected to top $80 billion in 2023.
Tight Labor Market Encourages Automated Forklifts
Automated forklifts are becoming a reality in warehouses, as qualified and reliable workers become harder to come by. These forklifts can reduce product damage and prevent physical injury to warehouse workers, as well as improve productivity and accuracy. Many of the forklifts can also integrate with a WMS or ERP.
25% of SMBs’ Logistics Strategies Are Influenced By Amazon
Supply Chain Dive reports that one in four small to medium-sized businesses say that Amazon and Walmart’s one-day shipping offering will influence their logistics strategy in 2020. 47% of those surveyed said they plan to increase shipping and logistics spend, with many focusing that spend on new technologies.
Self-driving delivery vehicles plus self-flying drones? Now there’s an Amazon patent for that BY ALAN BOYLE on December 24, 2019 at 12:10 pm
For a long time, Amazon has been looking into applications for self-driving vehicles — and testing fleets of self-flying drones for making package deliveries. So it only makes sense that the Seattle-based online retailing giant would meld those vehicles for a warehouse-to-doorstep delivery system virtually untouched by human hands.
In a patent published today, Amazon inventors Hilliard Bruce Siegel and Ethan Evans describe a system that has autonomous ground vehicles transport packages to a customer’s neighborhood — perhaps even the street in front of the customer’s door — and coordinate the doorstep delivery with a drone.
Both types of robo-carriers would be in contact wirelessly with a central computer network that would manage the operation. The ground vehicle could be directed to head over to a fulfillment center, pick up shipments and plot a course for deliveries. Drones could flit back and forth to drop off packages and charge up at the vehicle.
Various diagrams show how the drones could pick up packages from a vehicle in the street, then fly over to drop off deliveries on doorsteps, designated drop zones and upper-floor balconies. Some diagrams show big delivery truck as the base of operations, while other show a smaller delivery robot like the ones that are being tested north of Seattle.
The drones could be owned or operated by an entity that’s distinct from the ground-vehicle service — for example, by the managers of the apartment building that’s being serviced. You could have different companies put in charge of deliveries in different neighborhoods. The important thing is that everything’s coordinated through a central network.
Such a combination system would solve several challenges: For example, the battery-powered drones wouldn’t have to use as much juice as they would if they were flying directly from a fulfillment center to make a delivery. There’d be less noise, and less need to fly over other people’s property.
For ground vehicles, the system not only bridges the “last mile” of a delivery route — it addresses the last 100 feet. Siegel and Evans, who are veterans in the patent business, say that’s becoming increasingly important.
“Over time, an increasing frequency and volume of deliveries of items from e-commerce and mail-order companies has resulted in an increased need for faster and more efficient delivery methods,” they write.
There’s one more twist to the application: It cites a GeekWire story about Google’s patent for using drones to pick up shipments and fly them to a mobile dropbox.
The application was filed back in 2016, and there’s no guarantee that Amazon will develop an all-autonomous delivery system like the one described. But the description does provide an indication of what Amazon has been thinking about as it builds out its own end-to-end delivery system.
For what it’s worth, Amazon has been investing what’s thought to be hundreds of millions of dollars with transportation startups such as Rivian and Aurora. Amazon plans to buy 100,000 all-electric Rivian vans for its delivery fleet. And recentlypublished patent applications indicate that both Rivian and Aurora are putting a lot of effort into making their vehicles autonomous, even under challenging conditions.
The big question is, what took so long for someone to get the patent for this idea? We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment, and will update this item with anything substantial we hear.
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GeekWire aerospace and science editor Alan Boyle is an award-winning science writer and veteran space reporter. Formerly of NBCNews.com, he is the author of “The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference.” Follow him via CosmicLog.com, on Twitter @b0yle, and on Facebook and MeWe.
Space in West Sacramento!!
Hospitality Experts in Sacramento adds a West Sacramento Facility
The Sacramento Metro market is the HOTTEST hospitality market in California.
Chipman Relocations and Logistics/ Sacramento run by industry veteran Ed Melton (916-563-7472, firstname.lastname@example.org) has taken his team to entirely different level.
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Chipman Driver Chesney Humlick Rescues Animals during the Camp Fire in Paradise California
Chico resident and animal lover Chesney Humlick risked her life to save animals during the recent Camp Fire disaster in Northern California.
Chesney is a long time Van Operator for Chipman Relocations/ United Van Lines.
We are very proud of Chesney!!
Investing in Real Estate 101 (The Beginning) — The Frugal Samurai
“Hey TheFrugalSamurai, I’m keen to purchase this property but don’t know if I should do it – what are your thoughts?” This message popped up on my private messages one morning. YIPPEE KI-YAY was my first thought, finally through the mist of obscurity I’ve become someone of repute, of unquestionable character, a subject matter expert, […]
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Who should I call for my next Corporate Move in Sacramento?
It’s a no brainer!