Warehousing, logistics, and other businesses in the supply chain industry have undergone massive shifts over the past two years in the wake of the pandemic. Modern warehouses have to adapt to meet the needs of the fast-evolving e-commerce landscape.
As such, keeping up with the latest trends and practices in the industry is paramount for continued survival of any warehouse and logistics business. Here are seven popular warehouse trends that will shape and define modern warehouses and logistics practices this 2022.
1. On-Demand Warehousing Model
The pandemic brought about an e-commerce boom, as physical businesses fast-tracked their online operations and displaced employees turned to online selling. Even as the pandemic slows down, the market demand for warehousing and logistics still remains strong among smaller businesses.
On-demand warehousing has become the ideal solution for retailers and brands looking for flexible warehouse solutions to handle their inventory and fulfill demands. It allows access to professional warehousing, logistics, and fulfillment without necessarily renting whole warehouses.
Offering on-demand warehousing or services akin to AirBnB for warehouses through a pay-as-you-go model allows existing warehouses to monetize any unused spaces and ensure continued work for current employees.
2. Continued Rise of Micro-Fulfilment Centers
Over the past year, the demand for same-day shipping has gone up by 36%, particularly in cities and other urban areas. However, large-scale warehouses have trouble with same-day shipping due to the limited spaces inside busy cities.
Warehouses wanting to capitalize on same-day shipping demands have turned to investing in more equipment and opening micro-fulfillment centers within urban areas.
Additional warehouse equipment such as stocking carts, trolleys, and casters are necessary to ensure fast fulfillment operations and inventory turnover.
3. Building Warehouses Up for Space
Expect warehouses to expand up rather than out in 2022. Modern warehouses will likely soon all have higher ceiling spaces. Instead of the usual 20-feet high warehouses, more warehouses may soon be clearing heights of up to 40-feet.
This allows warehouses to accommodate more inventory while maintaining a cost-effective operation, as they would be using real estate space they already pay for, rather than adding onto their current land.
This brings the need for additional equipment and technology, such as hydraulic elevating carts and automated pallet systems that can safely clear greater heights.
4. Robotics and Warehouse Automation
Robotics, digitalization, and automation systems continue to dominate warehouse trends. This comes as no surprise as logistics and fulfillment demands grow stronger.
Automation and robotics are the ideal solution to ensure high productivity while handling more inventory and storage. These are also a huge help for modern warehouse facilities that may be understaffed due to pandemic safety protocols.
Fully automated warehouses are still a long while away, however there are already some modern warehouses that have begun to integrate robotic picking, sorting, and packing in their day-to-day operations.
5. Inventory Visibility and Warehouse Transparency
Better inventory visibility and overall warehousing transparency is also a prevailing trend in the business. It also becomes even easier today, as modern warehouses use digital automated systems and Internet of Things (IoT) technology in their facilities.
Inventory visibility helps warehouses identify gaps in their workflow and potential risks in the supply chain. It also helps ensure efficient use of their storage space.
Moreover, it helps improve customer service as retailers, clients, and customers can readily check their inventory or orders in real-time. Better inventory management and customer service will help attract more customers in the future.
6. Sustainable Warehousing Practices
More warehouses and logistics companies are going green i 2022. Adopting “green” or sustainable warehousing practices offers two advantages — improved energy efficiency and better marketability towards both retailers and shoppers.
Examples of sustainable practices for modern warehouses include:
●Installing solar panels
●Using energy-efficient lighting, like LEDs
●Using green building materials
●Introducing electric vehicles
●Improving warehouse insulation
●Switching to biodegradable packaging materials
●Using energy efficient packaging practices
●Going paperless and using tablets more
7. Improved Health and Safety Practices
Health and safety issues have long been a concern for the warehouse and logistics industries. Dealing with heavy loads, repetitive lifting or pushing, and long work hours has notably led to many movement-related injuries and worker fatigue.
As a response, more warehouses are adopting automated technologies and practices to help mitigate these health and safety issues. It also becomes crucial to invest in better warehouse equipment, such as hydraulic elevating carts, better suited caster wheels, and custom dollies to help prevent worker fatigue.
The Bottom Line
Most of the latest warehouse trends are geared towards ensuring cost-efficiency and continued high productivity while taking on greater inventory capacity. In line with this, upgrading and maintaining warehouse equipment becomes equally important.
LINCO offers premium-quality caster wheels at cost-efficient prices. We also accept orders for custom hand trucks, carts, and dollies to accommodate warehouses’ specific commercial needs and make transporting goods easier, faster, and safer.
For any questions or bulk order inquiries regarding our casters, dollies, and handtrucks, call us at (866) 306-9566.