• Retail Dive

E-commerce warehouse productivity could improve up to 20% with greater automation: Prologis

By Matt Leonard

Published Feb. 11, 2021

Dive Brief:

  • The use of automation in warehousing could help increase facility productivity — measured by revenue per square foot — by 10% to 20% in e-commerce real estate over the next three years, according to an estimate by Prologis. The model considers a "base" scenario that maintains a slight acceleration in automation and a "stretch" case that has adoption doubling.

  • The level of productivity improvement varies across different types of automation, the researchers found. Automated storage and retrieval systems provide the most productivity increases while mobile or semi-mobile automation can lead to more modest improvements.

  • "It was really about improving order accuracy, speeding up order processing time, and using your human talents to its maximum potential," Prologis Global Head of Research Melinda McLaughlin said of automation improving productivity.

Dive Insight:

Prologis' research suggests that supply chains could increase capacity by improving productivity at existing facilities without moving into a larger location.

That ability becomes critical with the industrial real estate market expected to remain tight. Over the