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Robots drive growth of logistics automation market

by Pieter Werner

The logistics automation market is anticipated to reach a valuation of $65.14 billion by 2031, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.0% over the period from 2024 to 2031. A new research report says this growth is primarily fueled by the expansion of e-commerce and an increased integration of robotics into logistical operations. Despite the growth, the sector faces hurdles such as high initial investments and a lack of standardization, which could impede market progression.

The sector is also seeing a shift toward digitalization, advancements in sensor technology, and the outsourcing of logistics functions, all contributing to potential growth opportunities for those involved in the market. Nevertheless, challenges like a shortage of skilled operators and issues related to privacy and security pose significant barriers.

An emerging trend within the market is the enhanced focus on improving last-mile delivery operations and the integration of artificial intelligence in managing supply chains and logistics, reflecting a broader push towards technological adoption in

the industry. In terms of regional dominance, Asia-Pacific is poised to hold the largest share of the logistics automation market in 2024. Factors such as increasing urbanization, industrial growth, heightened consumer expectations for quick delivery, and the rising implementation of logistic automation systems are pivotal in driving this trend.

Looking ahead, Asia-Pacific is also projected to experience the fastest growth in the market during the forecast period. This surge is likely influenced by regional companies enhancing their omnichannel capabilities to remain competitive, coupled with widespread adoption of logistics automation technologies across the area.

The market segments include offerings of hardware, software, and services, with hardware expected to dominate the market share in 2024. This is attributed to robust growth in e-commerce, evolving consumer behaviors, increased investments in logistics infrastructures, and the prevalent use of robots in supply chains.

In terms of logistics types, inbound logistics is anticipated to cover a larger segment of the market in comparison to outbound logistics in 2024, supported by comprehensive solutions provided by leading players and an uptick in the adoption of advanced equipment and facilities aimed at optimizing core logistics operations.

When categorized by automation mode, semi-automatic systems are projected to claim a larger market share than fully automatic systems in 2024. The preference for semi-automatic systems stems from their benefits over manual operations, such as enhanced productivity, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to adapt to unexpected events or changing conditions.

Inventory management is identified as the leading application within the global logistics automation market, reflecting the increasing need to optimize inventory levels among enterprises and the growing adoption of automated systems for inventory management.

Notably, key industry players are focusing on developing and enhancing products to foster the adoption of robotic solutions, aiming to enhance productivity and reduce inventory handling times. For instance, Vanderlande Industries B.V. of the Netherlands introduced a new automated piece-picking robot in March 2022 as part of its Smart Item Robotics (SIR) portfolio, aligning with its strategic objectives to increase the deployment of robotics in warehousing.

Finally, the retail and e-commerce sector is forecasted to hold the largest share of the global logistics automation market in 2024. This segment’s prominence is driven by changing customer expectations, retailers’ strategic shifts towards omnichannel presence, and the escalating deployment of logistics automation solutions to boost operational efficiency and profitability.

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