The future of logistics

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CeMAT Australia at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre concluded on the 14th of July, providing a fascinating glimpse into where the industry is heading, and how innovation is driving the industry forward.

Over the three days, attendees to CeMAT Australia, the nation’s largest materials handling and intralogistics show, heard from experts, including European thought leaders who believe delivery drones will be able to position themselves and determine their own route across the warehouse floor, and that digitalisation is going to play an even bigger role.

Sascha Schmel, Managing Director for Materials Handling and Logistics at VDMA, and Oliver Janin, Secretary General for European Materials Handling Federation (FEM), both flew in for CeMAT Australia and agreed the show was uncovering insights into the future of the industry.

Sascha, in his presentation Industrie 4.0, looked at the future of intralogistics and the way in which new autonomous vehicles interact with innovative devices to create “symphony-like harmony” on the warehouse floor.

While Mr Janin adds Big Data, robotic automation and industry regulation are going to be trends that we continue to see.

He said: “The biggest trend which will have an impact on Australia, is the trend of warehouse automation, which is occurring within the context of the digitalisation process, that you now see with the implementation of Industrie 4.0.”

Mr Janin is from European Materials Handling Federation (FEM), a not-for-profit trade association, which brings together national associations from across the EU representing materials handling manufacturers, generating 50 billion euros per annum. He says by having more data as a result of digitalisation, companies have more insight into improving efficiency and systems.

When asked about Brexit, Mr Janin said the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) felt the UK and Europe were better together, but respected the decision.

“An Australian company exporting its products to the EU, whether they go to France or the UK, currently face the same requirements. However, what could happen if the UK leaves the EU internal market, is that then Australian companies could be facing different requirements,” says Mr Janin.

“Initially, Australia could get a better deal with the UK because of the old ties, but what would be difficult is they could have have different technical requirements and entry, which equals more cost,” he concluded.

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