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Evaluating Investments in Emerging Automation Solutions for Logistics

Marco Bonini, Augusto Urru, Matthias Gerhardt, Simon Griesbach, Patrizia Procopio, Jannis Wiegers and Wolfgang Echelmeyer

A chapter in Innovations and Strategies for Logistics and Supply Chains: Technologies, Business Models and Risk Management, 2015, pp 359-388 from Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute of Business Logistics and General Management

Abstract: According to a recent survey the great majority of players in logistics are planning to adopt one or more robotic solutions until 2019. Technical solutions for automation of processes in logistics are often available as a market- ready product, but the lack of standardization and skepticism towards long term investments are often the reasons why these solutions are not implemented on a large scale. This paper is set to bridge the gap between the world of technologies and the one of applications in order to help investors, robot producers and system integrators to decide on which branch of logistics to set their focus. The threemain branches Courier Express Parcel (CEP), contract logistics and production logistics are briefly defined and distinguished through their characteristic factors and parameters. Then a method based on the analysis of three parameters (operative costs, required performance and flexibility) in the three branches is set to identify the most convenient branch of logistics for investing in new technologies, namely the one in which the risk of investment is lower, the return is higher and faster. The conclusion of the method shows that higher labor costs, strict regulations and higher standardization make the production logistics the most suitable branch for investments in emerging automation solutions.

Keywords: Automation; Investment; Production logistics; Emerging Technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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