The chief executive of logistics giant UPS says the company is using automation technologies to move a greater number of parcels with the same number of people.
In comments to Yahoo Finance, UPS CEO David Abney says: “Last year we hired about the same number of people and we’re doing it this year with an extra 5 per cent of packages and it is because of automation.”
Mobile robotics in material handling and logistics will become a $75 billion market by 2027, according to a new report, which adds that it will be more than double by 2038.
These staggering headline figures mask turbulent transformative change underneath: some technologies will rise and transform the fortunes of industries, fuelling growth rates far outpacing recent trends, whilst others will face with decay and obsolescence.
UPS says it has successfully tested a drone that launches from the top of a UPS package car, autonomously delivers a package to a home and then returns to the vehicle while the delivery driver continues along the route to make a separate delivery.
UPS conducted the test on Monday in Tampa, Florida with Workhorse Group, an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone developer. Workhorse built the drone and the electric UPS package car used in the test.
Mark Wallace, senior vice-president of global engineering and sustainability at UPS, says: “This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel kilometres to make a single delivery.
BMW has been showing off and testing its latest technologies for the future of autonomous and connected vehicles for the logistics industry, although the innovations are intended for application in its own supply chain.
The company says it will increasingly rely on innovation, digitalisation and sustainability for logistics in the future.
Tag Team Manufacturing, a specialist in precision production runs and prototype work for original equipment manufacturers, says deploying Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer for large production jobs at its facility in Parker, Colorado, has led to significant improvements in its productivity.
Tag Team uses Sawyer in an effort to help decrease client costs while shortening the delivery times to market. Sawyer enabled Tag Team to work 24 hours per day, seven days per week to meet the condensed delivery window that otherwise would have required an addition of five machinists in a very tight labor market.