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Logistics & Fulfilment

Amazon looks to automation to drive growth

Amazon is accelerating its implementation of automation in its supply chain, according to a report from Reuters that states the business is installing machines that could eliminate more than 1300 positions across 55 fulfilment centres in the US.

The machines would automatically scan goods approaching on a conveyor belt and package them in a custom-fitted box – reducing the need for both standardised boxes, as well as the staff which fill this role at present.

According to Reuters, the plan shows the business is looking to reduce labour costs and boost profits.

“We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across our network,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters.

“We expect the savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”

The report also notes that Amazon is not alone in utilising this technology, with both Walmart and JD.com having done so in the last few years.

The change seems to be a step towards the fully-automated Amazon warehouse, which director of Amazon Robotics Fulfilment Scott Anderson recently said was at least 10 years away.

“In the current form, the technology is very limited,” Anderson said, according to Reuters.

“The technology is very far from the fully automated workstation that we would need.”

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