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Intralogistics trends in 2022

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Skilled labour shortages, rapidly increasing product demand, supply shortages of key electronic components, the use of non-energy efficient equipment and even the outbreak of war are setting new standards in intralogistics to meet or anticipate business challenges.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has become a serious challenge for the intralogistics industry, making optimisation of warehouse processes a vital element for survival.

We give you 6 trends in warehouse logistics in 2022 and solutions for Ukraine in times of war.

1. Co-op automation

Wearable devices. There are many devices that can be used to improve the efficiency and productivity of warehouse workers. Tablets with WMS software can be fitted with wristbands to keep workers’ hands free.

Pick-by-Voice technology. The technology does not require 100 per cent speech recognition for analysis, so the device can also be used by people with speech problems. In addition, Pick-by-Voice is constantly being developed further so that the software can be updated at any time or replaced by equivalent software from another manufacturer.

The interaction of pick-by-voice technology and portable tablets is gaining importance in 2022. This solution offers advantages for the employee who has to simultaneously pack an order and enter voice commands to control the next order.

2. Environmentally friendly warehouse

There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions at present. So environmental protection is not just a trend, but a human need. The year 2022 is on the cusp of a major transformation in warehouse management. Companies are increasingly concerned with the ecological conversion of warehouse processes, because they are pursuing three goals:

  • reducing environmental impact by creating an environmentally friendly company;
  • becoming a member of the global community of environmentally conscious companies;
  • reducing energy costs.

3 effective solutions for making the warehouse environmentally friendly: biodegradable packaging material, optimal thermal insulation and energy-efficient equipment.

Energy-efficient equipment. Synchronising the logical sections of modern conveyors helps to save energy, as this ensures that only the sections necessary for transport are in operation, while the others are on stand-by. In addition, 24V DC motors installed in each drive roller of the conveyor provide further energy savings. KAPELOU produces energy-saving equipment and only chooses energy-efficient manufacturers as suppliers. Another way to make the warehouse more environmentally friendly is to change the lighting to LED lighting. Conventional light bulbs cost less, but they also have a much shorter operating life. LED bulbs are more energy-efficient in the long run.

Biodegradable packaging. Packaging made from synthetic plastics takes hundreds of years to decompose, whereas biodegradable materials only take a few years. The advantages of switching to biodegradable materials compared to conventional materials are as follows:

  • less waste;
  • reduction of carbon emissions for the environment;
  • practicality and efficiency of this type of packaging.

Optimum thermal insulation of the bearing. Poor thermal insulation impairs temperature regulation in the warehouse. This leads to higher air conditioning costs and is harmful to the environment. Good thermal insulation reduces wear on the warehouse control system and lowers energy costs.

3. Technological developments in warehouse automation

The development of innovative technologies leads to higher functionality of special solutions. Automation systems will continue to improve and expand in 2022:

  • robots for warehouse logistics;
  • lifting robots;
  • integration of automation systems with WMS;
  • shuttles;
  • machine vision.

4. Warehouse outsourcing

Expansion with 3PL operators to increase delivery speed. The global logistics market is forecast to be worth $408 billion by 2025 (according to a study by online company Shopify).

In contrast to European companies, Ukrainian companies tend to be sceptical about outsourcing sub-areas to specialised companies. In Ukraine, owners therefore create additional departments within the company. However, the management of unnecessary processes causes considerable costs that should be invested more sensibly in scaling the business, developing new products and complex solutions.

Competition in the consumer market is driving the trend towards outsourcing warehousing in sub-sectors. This is particularly evident in 2022. Companies are using it to:

  • focus on their core business;
  • increase their competitiveness;
  • optimise business processes.

The advantages of warehouse outsourcing include:

  • saving time and resources for logistics;
  • transfer of the risk of danger for the security of the goods to the logistics service provider;
  • no more need to hire staff;
  • payment for storage services at the end of the billing period;
  • payment only for services actually received and space occupied;
  • ability to quickly change the scope of warehousing services or storage;
  • optimisation of financial expenses in times of seasonal fluctuations in warehouse stock;
  • increasing the efficiency of warehouse operations through the automation of processes.

5. “The Last Mile”

E-commerce and the demand for fast deliveries are increasing every year. Therefore, companies today are gearing their logistics to ensure daily delivery. This increases the need for modern facilities for the “last mile”. There are several ways to integrate these into the supply chain.

The right warehouse location. Warehouses near highways and bridges can deliver goods to more locations.

The condition of the building. Warehouses that are more than 50 or 100 years old can no longer meet the requirements of modern businesses; their capacities are very limited. The warehouses should be modernised to ensure efficient throughput.

High ceilings. High ceilings allow vertical racking systems, which are important for the “last mile”.

Cross-docking. Cross-docking is a process that bypasses the storage of products in the warehouse and allows them to be received and shipped through the distribution centre.

The practice of cross-docking enables the successful transport of perishable goods (food and beverages). It also eliminates the need to store them. This problem is central to the industry, which is why “last mile” companies are optimising their capacity between loading points to solve it.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, with the start of the war on the part of Russia, the original supply routes have changed irreversibly: individual supply routes developed over the years have become obsolete. Maritime logistics cannot take place because of the blockade of the ports, the railways cannot handle all the flows of goods, important trunk roads and air transport are excluded. Therefore, logistics routes have become much longer, resulting in longer delivery times and lower demand. That’s why companies are going full steam ahead with another trend: optimising sorting processes in warehouses.

6. Prefabricated houses

Today, there is an increasing demand for warehouses in Ukraine, as the warehouse infrastructure has been severely damaged. Therefore, quickly erectable buildings that can be built on any type of surface (earth, asphalt, concrete, etc.) became a trend and a contemporary requirement. Such solutions are characterised by their modularity, scalability and ease of assembly. The result is a fully-fledged warehouse with a guarantee of 50 years of operation under all conceivable weather conditions.

Experience in dealing with stress factors has made KAPELOU as flexible as possible, allowing it to develop storage solutions of any complexity and in all conditions. In 2022, despite the war, KAPELOU will continue to keep pace with trends in intralogistics to guarantee highly efficient and modern automation solutions. They will help customers’ companies to be more flexible and prepared for any unforeseen changes.

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