Mobile Robot Adoption by Warehouses Will Surge to Half-Million Mark, Says ABI Research

The sustained increase in order volume is increasing global automation demand, finds research firm.


Körber works with multiple AMR and ASRS companies.
Sustained supply chain demand is driving warehouse adoption of mobile robots, automated storage and retrieval systems, and combined automation, reports ABI Research.

The supply chain industry has surged its warehouse automation efforts considering the e-commerce boom and labor scarcities. In addition to systems such as headphone-enabled voice-picking and exoskeletons that reduce human effort, mobile robots are proving to be the most prevalent productivity-enhancing solution in the warehousing sector. Worldwide mobile robot shipments to warehouses will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 40% from 2021 to 2030 and exceed 500,000 global shipments in 2030, according to ABI Research.

“Productivity technologies can achieve far greater return on investment if correctly combined with other technologies,” stated Adhish Luitel, an industry analyst for supply chain management and logistics at ABI Research. “For example, by combining location-tracking data with a voice solution, warehouses using a warehouse execution system (WES) platform can optimize workflows by minimizing distance traveled based on where the worker is.”

Automated storage also growing

In addition to mobile robotics, the growth of solutions such as automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) has also been explosive, said ABI. Led by companies such as Swisslog, Bastian Solutions, and Körber, the global ASRS industry is set to be valued at over $18 billion (U.S.) by 2030, with a year-over-year growth of 9% from 2021 to 2030, said the research firm.

ASRS includes a variety of computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations, which is ideal for high volume of loads being moved into and out of storage, said ABI. This trend falls in line with the fact that the logistics sector has been experiencing high volume over the past year, it added.

Parcel shipping reached 95 billion in parcel volume globally in 2020. This volume is expected to double by 2026, with a 14% CAGR between 2020 and 2026.

“As the shift toward robotics occurs with busier warehouses, manual workflows can be automated or workflows that have traditionally been carried out by highly specialized and inflexible machines could soon be carried out by robots that can be moved and retrained as needed,” Luitel said.

These findings are from ABI Research's “Smart Warehousing” market data report. This report is part of the company's Supply Chain Management and Logistics research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Market Data spreadsheets include data, market-share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts of opportunities, said ABI.

PowerStore is a robotic storage and retrieval system designed for deep storage of palletized loads.

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Körber works with multiple AMR and ASRS companies.

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