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Collaborative Robots Will Transform Logistics Says DHL Group

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
March 22, 2016

“Robots work in many industries but haven’t made an impact on logistics yet because of the complexity of the work – handling a wide array of different things in an infinite number of combinations, close to people and in confined spaces,” says Matthias Heutger, Senior Vice President Strategy for the Group.

“Current research shows that 80 percent of logistics facilities today are still manual. Recently, however, technology is just starting to catch up to meet demands for flexible and low-cost robots that could collaboratively work in logistics.”


The report highlights that the development of the next generation of robots that can see, move, react to their environment and work at precision tasks alongside people, is on a fast track powered by the explosion in labor-intensive e-commerce and diminishing and ageing workforces.


As a result, investment from government, venture capitalists and large retailers in several countries is driving a new wave of research that is having significant impact on creating robots with logistics affinity. In addition to the US, China, Russia and Japan, Europe is firmly in the robotics race.

“Just like our children can’t picture a world without computers, it is likely that their children will feel the same way about robots,” says Clemens Beckmann, Executive Vice President Innovation, Post - eCommerce - Parcel, Deutsche Post DHL Group. “Developing the next generation of robots that can work around and among people will take a substantial investment to advance the technology but at DPDHL Group we believe that soon supply chains will see humans and robots working side by side to handle goods faster and more economically.”

DPDHL Group has already started testing how robotics could further play a role in logistics. The Group trials collaborative robots in selected warehouse sites to find solutions for transforming supply chains. The speed of technological progress is increasing rapidly with new advancements and breakthroughs occurring almost daily, add spokesmen.

Download the Report from: Collaborative Robots to Transform Logistics Industry

About the Author

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Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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