Inside Logistics

Tech firm expects 500,000 mobile robots to be shipped in 2030

Annual growth rate of almost 40 percent expected from 2021 to 2030


Autostore robots from Swisslog learn which SKUs are the fastest movers and keep them near the top of the matrix. (Photo: Swisslog)

September 24, 2021
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The supply chain industry has surged its warehouse automation efforts considering the e-commerce boom and labour scarcities. In addition to solutions 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.

According to ABI Research, a global tech market advisory firm, worldwide mobile robot shipments in warehouses will have a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 40 percent from 2021 to 2030 and exceed 500,000 global shipments in 2030.

“Productivity technologies can achieve far greater return on investment if correctly combined with other technologies. 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,” said Adhish Luitel, industry analyst, supply chain management and logistics at ABI Research.

Automated storage

In addition to mobile robotics, the growth of solutions such as automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) has also been explosive. Led by innovators such as Swisslog, Bastian Solutions, and Körber, the global AS/RS industry is set to be valued at over US$18 billion by 2030, with a year-over-year growth of nine percent from 2021 to 2030. AS/RS consists of a variety of computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations, ideal for high volume of loads being moved into and out of storage.

This trend falls in line with the fact that the logistics sector has been experiencing high volume over the past year. Parcel shipping reached 95 billion in parcel volume globally in 2020, this volume is expected to double by 2026, with a 14% percent 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 concluded.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Smart Warehousing market data report.