Inside Logistics

Internet of Things in warehouse management

Global IoT market in warehouse management is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 30 percent until 2021, according to Technavio report

November 13, 2017

LONDON, UK — According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the global IoT market in warehouse management is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 30 percent to 2021.

This research report, ‘Global IoT Market in Warehouse Management 2017-2021’ provides an in-depth analysis of the market in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. This market research report also includes up to date analysis and forecasts for various market segments and all geographical regions.

The increased adoption of wearable devices and goods-to-person technology and enhanced inventory and asset visibility using IoT are the factors that are expected to drive the growth of the global IoT market in warehouse management during the forecast period. The increasing use of wearable devices in the warehouses is expected to improve the growth of the IoT market in warehouse management because they provide better real-time data and also help in ensuring safety and cutting down costs in the warehouse.


Technavio’s analysts categorize the global IoT market in warehouse management into four major segments by application. They are:

  • Warehouse automation
  • Workforce management
  • Inventory management
  • Electronic data interchange


Warehouse automation

Automated equipment is used to decrease and sometimes replace the need to handle material physically. Most material handling equipment is only semi-automated because an operator is needed for tasks like loading or unloading and operating the equipment.

According to Sushmit Chakraborty, a lead automation research analyst from Technavio, “The automated order fulfillment system helps operators in discrete order picking, packing, and quality check of products in the warehouse. The automation of packaging operations helps in carton identification, carton erection, automated product placement, and status tracking.”

Workforce management

Automation in labour scheduling helps in allocating the work to employees based on their skills and expertise. This helps in easing operations and improving the efficiency of workers. Similarly, time and work data collection help in capturing and reporting highly detailed data about the use of labor in the warehouse.

“The leave management systems for employees improve the visibility into staffing and liability complications and in allocating work to employees, considering the number of leaves applied. The task and activity management systems provide a comprehensive view of labor management requirements to help with the sophisticated decision making,” says Sushmit.

Inventory management

With the introduction of the IoT, the capability to track and interconnect with products increases. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags hold more information about an object and can communicate that information to an inventory system. RFID tags can be built into objects that then sends information about the temperature, weather, damage to the object, and traffic.

GPS technologies are also incorporated into products to know the whereabouts of every item precisely. This decreases the number of lost or stolen products, improves the management of stock shortages and overstocks, and identifies inefficiencies.

The top vendors highlighted by Technavio’s research analysts in this report are:

  • Cisco
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Vantiq
  • Zebra Technologies