Increasing Automation in Logistics and Warehousing: Aids to India’s Rising Unemployment

India is on track to become the world’s fifth-largest economy this year. Logistics and warehousing are important parts of the Indian economy, accounting for up to 17% of the country’s GDP. The post-covid transition has boosted the sector’s growth while accelerating digital transformation across the logistics chain, from warehousing to supply chain management. 

 As a result of India’s growing economy and economic reform, expanding middle class, and surge in e-commerce, the warehouse automation industry in the country could be set for rapid growth. 

While automation in logistics and warehousing may benefit business owners, what does it mean for middle-skilled workers? 

Automation and Workforce

We know that there is cheap labor available in India for warehouses. However, warehouse automation is becoming increasingly important to keep up with the world’s delivery pace. As a result, striking a balance between adopting technology and training employees to use it effectively is critical.

Flipkart, one of India’s leading e-commerce platforms announced its biggest automated warehouse set up in West Bengal.  

The facility incorporates technology such as automated storage and retrieval, robotic packing arms, cross belt sorters, and a 9 km long network conveyor belt to reduce cargo transportation turnaround time by 35% to 50%. 

Appointing cheap labor in this situation may not be a smart decision. Imagine 1000 workers manually transporting cargo over a distance of 9km. That would be certainly chaotic. Cases like covid-19, where people are unable to work, have served as a wake-up call for everyone to evaluate automation as a concept. 

 While such technology is costly, it saves a significant amount of time. Lately, the goal of automation is to enhance speed and dependability, not to save money. 

What jobs will remain?

Grey Orange creates ‘Butler’ robots that retrieve and store merchandise, as well as ‘Sorters’ that autonomously scan and sort shipments in the warehouses of e-commerce and logistics behemoths like Flipkart, Myntra and DTDC.

Samay Kohli, the co-founder of Grey Orange, a homegrown warehouse robotics firm, says that the Butler can pick up to 600 items per hour. That is more than a human worker can manage in a country whose supply chain expenses are twice as high as in Western countries.

These jobs are primarily manual and do not necessitate significant skills. That being said, there will still be a demand for entry-level warehouse workers, but in various areas that complement their skill level. 

Certification, degrees, and specialties are the best safeguards against automation. Human-centric professional paths, such as human resources, leadership roles, maintenance, and quality, cannot be recreated by advanced AI. 

What jobs will emerge?

While we can automate site elements like shipping updates, and relieve a live customer support person of the effort, don’t expect to be able to opt-out of direct customer assistance anytime soon. Instead, with remote management and “back-end” capabilities from a home laptop or desktop, the scope of their employment may expand. 

This increased usage of data points can also pose a risk for cyber-attacks, so make sure your network is safe before uploading live invoicing data or accessing sensitive data. Again, combining automation and high technology creates new opportunities for network reliability and IT jobs.

Tackling unemployment

Recent data shares that automation in the logistics and warehousing industry is inevitable. Business owners will find advanced technology to be much more profitable for the company. One solution for workers to remain employable is upskilling.

Upskilling may seem like a mighty task for the workforce as well as the companies. One major problem is where to look for such services. 

Meraqui has come to the rescue of such workers and businesses. We excel in catching them young from rural areas and #upskilling them through Apprenticeship programs like #NEEM & #NAPS while they are #working for you. 

According to data from 2018 till the current year, Meraqui has successfully placed 8k+ professionally trained diligent workers in several clients. Meraqui has 150+ clients spread over 25+ states and 100+ locations. 

Final Thoughts

Automation may be a curse for many middle-skilled workers, but fighting it would be futile. What the younger workers could do is prepare for the world’s impending improvements, hone their skills, and actively participate in upskilling.

At the end of the day, it’s critical to monitor the advancement of AI technology since it will eventually directly impact your job security, and neglecting it could place you behind the robots. 

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