- January 1, 2017; Vol. 4, Number 1

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Warehouse Disrupted: Automation has made today’s warehouses smarter and more efficient than ever

by Craig Meyer

As companies have restructured their global supply chains in response to e-commerce and changing consumption patterns, distribution and fulfillment centers have become more sophisticated than ever. A box is no longer just a box — and some properties are better positioned, and better built, than others for future users.

Gone are the industrial warehouses of old, with their stockpiled inventory and rural addresses. Today’s high-tech warehouses are designed to move goods quickly and efficiently, often with the help of automation — and their zip codes increasingly are urban.

E-commerce has placed unprecedented pressure on supply chains to become more agile as consumers grow accustomed to ever-faster delivery of goods ordered online. The race for service is on and the clock is ticking as competitive retailers push to deliver products within days or even hours.

In response, warehouse developers and operators have stepped up their game. Throug

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