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Trends and Technologies that Will Shape Future Distribution Centers

Trends and Technologies that Will Shape Future Distribution Centers

But meeting the needs of ever-increasing online consumers expecting next day or same day delivery isn’t as easy as it seems. Distribution centers of today and the future must adopt various technological innovations to make the delivery of goods more efficient.

In this post, we discuss a few technological innovations and systems that are tipped to power the distribution centers of the future and how they will affect the delivery of goods to consumers. Knowing and adapting to these changes will give your business a huge advantage in the marketplace.

Increased use of Robots

To increase efficiency and reduce costs, forward-thinking companies like Amazon are already testing and implementing the use of robots in distribution centers. In the future, it’s certain that more robots will be used to select and pack materials than humans.

The use of Artificial Intelligence

Even though the use artificial intelligence is in its nascent stages today, this technology will play a massive role in our day to day lives in the near future. In distribution centers, artificial intelligence (AI) will not only be used to find the fastest delivery routes but also to arrange how good will be picked up efficiently.
Smart distribution centers are already using advanced software like route planning and truckload planning to streamline the supply chain capability. AI will change how we approach warehouse inventory control as well as the pace of delivering customer orders.

Innovative designs

Distribution centers of the future will not only incorporate innovative designs to maximize space and operation efficiency, but they will also be located near city centers. The use of warehouse labels, warehouse striping and marking enhances space maximization and productivity among employees.

The rise of 3D Printing

3D printing technology will alter how goods are manufactured and distributed. In the future, distribution centers will act as mini-plants where customer orders will be printed, assembled and dispatched. As such, these centers will play a major role in manufacturing customer orders rather than just acting as a point of storage.

Autonomous vehicles

As self-driving technology evolves, tech giants like Amazon are coming up with innovations that will change how goods will be distributed in the future. In the near future, goods will be delivered by self-driving delivery trucks with precision. The management and coordination of these vehicles will occur inside distribution centers.

Increased use of Block Chain Technology

The use of blockchain technology for supply chain management will be a game changer. For starters, this type of technology makes the concept of smart contracting possible. Meaning most payments will occur electronically soon as given terms are met.

For instance, logistics companies will be able to collect payment automatically as soon as the delivery of goods is confirmed by the recipient. In short, blockchain and smart contracting technology will increase distribution efficiency and eliminate fraud that’s quite common in the logistics industry.

These are some of the few developments tipped to change how retail logistics and distribution centers will work. Already, some of the technologies are being used while others will be introduced in the near future once more scientific testing is done.

The need for warehouse identification and marking will be a requirement for as long as people play a part in the industry. Investing in the right barcode hanging signs or rack labels will be as important in the future as it is now with RFID integrations becoming the norm maybe, and line striping may play an enhanced role as separation of pedestrian and equipment becomes even more important for safety and operational requirements

Fortunately, ASG Services can help with these and develop their products daily to meet changing demands, so please feel free to ask about your requirements, contact us today.

Frequently asked questions
  • Do line widths matter?

    Line widths are not critical, but there are several considerations to make, some are as follows:

    • OSHA consider lines of 2 inches and greater to be acceptable to provide floor markings for aisle and passageways.
    • Narrow line become more difficult to see inside buildings.
    • 4 inch wide lines are standard through the logistics and distribution industry.
    • Narrow lines wear out quicker as there is less paint on the floor.
    • Very wide lines may need an anti slip finish applied where moisture is present.

    Other considerations:

    • The layout measurements must include line widths to ensure a pallet fits within the markings.  Pallets on markings can damage the line.
    • A narrower line needs less paint.
    • A more visible marking on the floor draws more attention and so heightens safety.
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