How cross-border automation will take shape by 2024

By Sasha Fedorenko June 20, 2019 - 2:30 pm

Automation is set to enhance warehouse operations without eliminating human labour by 2024, says new study by 2024 Warehousing Vision Study by Zebra Technologies Corporation.

It is set to be a key focus for marketplace sellers owning a warehouse in the next five years. Sellers will shift their focus to the integration of more holistic solutions – to build data-powered environments that balance labour and automation in the warehouse – ultimately empowering front-line workers.

The 2024 Warehousing Vision Study interviewed 1,403 IT and operational decision makers in the manufacturing, transportation, logistics, retail, post and parcel delivery and wholesale distribution markets in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Bridging the automation gap

According to the report, 77% of respondents agree that ‘augmenting’ workers with technology is the best way to introduce automation in the warehouse. However, only 35% have a clear understanding of where to start automating. This puts a question mark on how can sellers learn from other key markets that are set to automate their warehouse processes?


According to the report, by 2024, 87% of respondents plan to implement a mobile execution system to manage workers on the warehouse floor. Some 73% of the polled businesses say that they plan to invest in smart watches, smart glasses and hip-mounted wearables in the next three years.


The report says that the square footage of the average warehouse is projected to increase by 26%. That’s more than in any other region in the next five years.

By 2024, RFID and location technology usage is anticipated to increase for outbound operations with more than one in five planning to use them for packing (25%), inventory management (20%) and picking (19%).

Latin America

The majority (71%) of Latin American decision-makers identified labour efficiency or productivity as the top operational challenge of the next five years. Some 95% of organisations plan to implement Android-based mobile computers in the warehouse by 2024 to help improve worker productivity and efficiency.

North America

The research says that almost half (49%) of North American interviewed businesses identified outbound packing, staging and loading as a challenge. However, the majority (94%) say that they plan to implement trailer load optimisation and load compliance solutions by 2024.

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