New trends in warehouse management emerge every year, thanks in large part to innovation driven by technological development. But which trends should you be looking out for in 2023?
In part thanks to the rise of e-commerce over recent years, the number of businesses using warehouses and storage facilities has risen steadly over recent years — increasing more than 30% between 2007 and 2021 in the United States, alone.
As a growing number of businesses have begun to use such facilities, the demand for advances and evolution in how they are run has similarly grown.
Many of the trends in warehouse management highlighted below are based around innovative new technologies making formerly complex processes simpler.
Others reflect another current of the modern world — an increasing emphasis among companies, as well as demand among consumers, for ethical and sustanible practices.
Contact us today if you are looking for assistance with warehouse setup in Brazil, Mexico, or the United States, including the installation of features such as racking, signage, collision barriers, or warehouse floor marking.
Or read on to understand more about seven trends in warehouse management to look out for in 2023.
1. Warehouse automation
Until a few years ago, warehouses were human-operated, where most tasks and workloads were performed either by humans alone or humans operating machinery. Things are moving fast, however, and today many warehouses are working with automated processes and AI to make workflows more efficient and to increase the safety of operations.
As such, one of the latest trends in warehouse management is the automation of everyday tasks with guided vehicles or autonomous robots, such as forklift trucks that do not need a driver. Technology is now involved in all operations, from transport to inventory counting.
Effective warehouse management makes use of today’s robotic tools to make processes more efficient, avoid staff errors, and increase the safety of operations.
2. Warehouse management systems
Upgrading warehouse management systems allows for greater control of operations. It is important to stay ahead of the curve in this aspect and make use of modern technologies to cut the human error factor. Warehouse management systems can make use of artificial intelligence, big data and automation, to simplify the complexity of day-to-day operations.
Greater data analysis allows for more effective operation. An efficient system provides reports on the location of items and the number of inventories. It also allows for greater control and trends in warehouse management are increasingly focusing on identifying areas that need significant improvement.
AI and machine learning also create interesting new opportunities for inventory management, from predicting how customer demand and therefore supply fluctuates to identifying wastage and blockage within the supply chain.
3. Inventory tracking
Ultramodern optimized inventory tracking uses advanced technologies such as radio frequency, making it possible to find and track items over long distances.
The use of such a system is particularly useful, as it allows tracking of all items leaving the warehouse up to the moment of delivery. Cloud-based inventory tracking allows central nodes to manage several warehouses in concert with ever-greater efficiency.
The right system allows you to not only track, but also supply, timely data. This then alerts you to potential shortages in times of high demand, and with the technology already being in use, its further development and use is key among the trends in warehouse management for 2023.
4. Wearable technology
Another of the major trends in warehouse management that will continue to develop and revolutionise the way warehouses operate is wearable technology. These devices, which are worn on the body like a common garment, support employees in obtaining information about items in the warehouse.
A clear example of this type of technology is seen in the shape of smart glasses with integrated scanners that allow the wearer to more easily recognize and identify items. This helps avoid human error and also frees up employees’ resources to concentrate on issues that demand human input.
Other wearable technology includes the likes of powered exoskeletons, such as those produced by Italian company AGADE. These reduce the chance of worker injury at the same time as improving the potential workload of each worker.
5. Warehouse security
Large, modern warehouses have incorporated high security measures to guarantee the diverse types of risks that exist. New technologies have reinforced security systems such as alarms, security cameras, inventory tracking, and smart locks. Many systems are connected to each other.
It is important to note, however, that the latest trends in warehouse management also include cyber security, given the increasing reliance on technology and the Internet seen in such facilities.
Inventory and operations management, as well as the total amount of information that is online, could be breached if not sufficiently protected against risks. There is also the risk of ransomware being used to block or restrict warehouse access.
6. Sustainable warehousing
Warehouses are spaces that often produce a lot of waste that unfortunately damages the environment. With ever more focus being applied to environmental issues, another of the emerging trends in warehouse management is the development of more sustainable practices.
The measures that are being taken are most often based on recycling or the purchase of second-hand items. For example, in the case of the purchase of pallet racks, or large plastic containers.
Low energy consumption is another key aim. For example, forklift trucks can use electric power and lighting and heating systems can take advantage of smart power management. These measures not only reduce pollution, but are also cost-effective.
7. The introduction of drones
One of the very latest trends in warehouse management that is set to grow in 2023 is the use drones for inventory management — including in picking, packing, and delivery.
Drones do not work alone, but in conjunction with other tools such as cameras and sensors, and using them comes with the advantage of replacing many repetitive and labor-intensive tasks. They are also used to read and process images remotely.
Including drones in warehouse operations is no longer science fiction; it is now a part of everyday reality and, of course, a major trend that allows for faster and more efficient processes. This will only increase in years to come, as robots and drones take over more and more processes.
Serviap Logistics provides warehouse setup services
At Serviap Logistics, we provide warehouse setup services in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.
We also offer project management services and can consult on how the latest trends in warehouse management could work for you,.
We count some of the world’s largest companies among our satisfied partners, spanning a wide range of industries, including automotive, e-commerce and wholesale, among others.
As a family business that has grown internationally after starting in Mexico, we are committed to excellence and pride ourselves on providing personalized service to every customer.
We are also dedicated to maintaining the highest safety standards wherever we work, including being OSHA certified in the United States.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help you with your warehouse floor marking. If you were interested in this article on warehouse floor marking, check out the rest of our coverage.
If you were interested in this article about trends in warehouse management to look out for in 2023, check out the rest of our coverage.