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    Ben Boughtwood

    Robotisation in logistics: gain or detriment

    Robotisation is a term that is gaining popularity and is also becoming more common in the logistics world. That in itself is not entirely strange. The development of robotics has been a topic of conversation for many years. From self-driving cars to helpers in the household or order-picking robots in the larger warehouses of nationally renowned web shops. The developments are aimed at improving processes by means of automation and robots. All this should simply provide a number of advantages:

    • Smaller error margins in processes
    • To work more efficiently
    • Cost reduction

    Billions are spent every year on the development of robotics. According to figures from the IDC, it is expected that by the year 2020, $188 billion will be spent on working and developing robots. The investments are therefore worth it and we may have only seen the tip of the iceberg within robotics. But is robotization always beneficial, especially in the logistics world? Or are there also downsides to the coin? After all, it is also true that traditional logistics resources are improved and help people to work more efficiently and to save costs. Also view our range of plastic boxes because these are available both nestable and stackable and can therefore be integrated into your supply chain, depending on your wishes. Let's also take a look at which sectors will benefit from this development.

    Which sectors are interested?

    There are a number of sectors that are quite active in the world of robots. The Industry, Aerospace and Medicine sectors in particular benefit greatly from the use of robots. Just think of the robots that make assembling cars easier and faster or pick-order robots that are increasingly being used as internal means of transport. There are other motives for space travel. It is easier and safer to send robots to space than humans. We, as humans, are also not very good at dealing with the natural elements of other planets. So-called robotic surgeons are active in medicine so that precision work can be performed better.

    Is there something wrong with old-fashioned labour?

    If we look from the perspective of employees, the issue of 'robotization' can be a bit more nuanced. On the one hand, the tasks of the employees can be simplified or even eliminated. On the other hand, the employees can move to a different position giving them different responsibilities or more jobs will be created in other functions, such as data analysts or supply chain planners. The expectation within the logistics sector is that jobs will change and that jobs will be created in other areas. After all, robots also have to be programmed or operated. Most robots are not yet fully independent. The self-driving car (a kind of robot) is not yet an accomplished driver. Artificial intelligence still needs to take steps to achieve this. You can then ask yourself whether it is smart that all those billions are invested in this development. Because, what's wrong with the old-fashioned workforce? Loyal order pickers, proud couriers, passionate welders or versatile carriers with overcrowded roll containers? A mistake can always occur and is human. And it is precisely the human aspect that is a huge advantage for many companies. Employees are indispensable and robots are handy helpers. Will there ever be a shift? We don't know that at the moment. But we'll definitely keep an eye on it.

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