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The 2021 Material Handling Labor Update: Solutions

Last week on the Carter Intralogistics Blog we posted an article titled, “The 2021 Material Handling Labor Update: Current Challenges and Future Predictions.” It detailed labor struggles facing the material handling industry and how our experts see this labor crisis developing in the future. This week’s article is all about the solution — automation. Continue reading to hear about the recommended solutions to help your warehouse or distribution center cope with the drop in available labor.


One of the key takeaways was that the Labor Crisis is unfortunately not going to go away anytime soon. As such, most of the solutions that have to be considered are long term solutions that include restructuring how your entire operation functions. These long term solutions all include one thing: automation. It’s a simple fact that the labor market is trending towards automated solutions on a global scale, but especially so in the material handling world.


There is an abundant stream of new technologies and innovations in warehouse automation solutions. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Robotic Palletizing and Depalletizing, Robotic Mixed-case Palletizing, Robot Induction Units, Automated Sortation and Transfer Systems, Intelligent Warehouse Conveyance Systems — the list goes on and on.


Each of these solutions has a unique place in the supply chain. Deciding which solution is right for your operation will depend on your unique needs and revolve around the specific actions in your operation that you’re looking to automate. Keeping that in mind, there are three primary things you should always consider when looking into automation solutions:

  1. It should always reduce the dependance on labor while improving throughput.
  2. It should be flexible and agile enough that it can adapt for future growth.
  3. It should be simple enough it does not drastically increase the burden of training.


Carter Can Help.

As mentioned above, there are a lot of ways you can deal with labor shortages in warehouses through automation. Carter specializes in Conveyance Technologies, Order Fulfillment and Robotics solutions. We recognize you may not know where to start, and that’s why we’re here. If you’re interested in learning about these solutions, click here to contact us.

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