Robotics and distribution services today

Multiple factors will lead to the distribution services sector adopting robotic technologies. They include:

  • An ageing workforce, unable to sustain current practices – 25 per cent of transport, postal, and warehousing workers are aged 55 years, or over.
  • Long distances between major centres put human drivers at risk (speed versus duration of journey). Tired drivers put other people, and infrastructure, at risk.
  • A younger workforce, who are less likely to want to do direct manual labour, but view working with robots as more exciting.
  • More online purchasing increases the number of discrete orders, adding complexity to current warehouse, fulfilment, and transport infrastructure.
  • Smaller regional centres are often serviced less than major centres. Robotics could make more frequent servicing of these towns viable.