Sign in

The European pre-pandemic retail industry has been estimated to register €49 billion in inventory shrinkage-related losses. Around 26%, or €13 billion of those, occurred online. Indeed, inventory shrinkage is, unfortunately, a term that any e-commerce seller will become acquainted with early on in their journey as a combination of fraud, breakage, and warranty return will inevitably prevent all the acquired inventory from being sold. It’s reflective of a problem that calls for innovative solutions to inventory management in a world where warehouse automation is increasingly tailored towards speedy order fulfillment.

Inventory shrinkage, which is also simply known as inventory loss…


After a 6 percent drop in the automation warehouse market in 2020, the industry is now expecting a growth of 38.4 percent in 2021. One of the keys to this continued growth is the market maturity of mobile robots. Aside from the widely documented productivity boost enabled by the technology, robots also help to reduce workplace health and safety hazards. Importantly, given the intensified labor market volatility this year, robot-based solutions also help to provide employers operational stability.

The benefits are being translated at scale as investment activity mounts. Softbank’s recent $2.8 billion investment in Norwegian warehouse automation specialist AutoStore…


With governments amping up regulations aimed at phasing out internal combustion vehicles in favor of sustainable alternatives, the debate over electric and hydrogen vehicles has intensified, with large automakers weighing in and stating their allegiances with bold statements.

Although Tesla CEO — and PR puppetmaster — Elon Musk called the idea of hydrogen cars “mind-bogglingly stupid,” firms such as BMW and Toyota are showing their faith in hydrogen by developing fuel cell vehicles for the first half of the 2020s. …


The digitization of global supply chains means that the steady flow of goods and services is increasingly reliant on an equally smooth transfer of data and information across the web. In spite of a record $7.8 billion invested in cybersecurity globally last year, we are already on course to match that figure by the early second half of 2021. Q1 of the current year alone saw $3.7 billion invested in cybersecurity.

Still, experts warn of the logistics industry’s slow cybersecurity uptake. The logistics sector, with its global, fragmented supply chains, is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, leading to calls for…


With the relentless conveyor belt of global innovation making warehouse automation feel like old news in 2021, it might be surprising to some to read that 80% of warehouses are still manually operated with no supporting automation. A DHL report states that of the remaining 20%, only 5% of warehouses can be truly considered automated — the underlying takeaway from this is that the logistics industry is still one that is ripe for automation, despite headlines signaling the demise of human warehouse labor for some time now.

Amidst rising e-commerce sales, fueled by the pandemic, world-leading companies are taking note…


After seemingly endless delays, Brexit finally came into effect in January 2021. The resulting policy shift and customs fees led to an unprecedented 40% drop in exports from the UK to the EU compared with the previous month. However, to stop consumers in the UK from seeing “empty shelves,” the fees currently only apply going into the continent — a symptom of the unfolding logistical nightmare that’s been bubbling under the surface for months.

Early post-Brexit temperature check

In a bid to avert disaster, the UK recently decided to delay controls on imports from the EU by six months, meaning they will arrive unchecked…


Today, the phrase “rail revolution” is employed rather casually when it comes to hi-tech innovations related to AI and magnetic levitation making the headlines. Beneath the excitement of the new, a quiet expansion of the old and familiar is taking place. Spurred on by climate goals and geopolitical infrastructure projects, recent price distortions in shipping have cast a new light on how rail freight is finding renewed relevance.

The ongoing supply chain crunch has led to unprecedented delays and a sharp rise in the cost of shipments. In a January interview with CNBC, Mark Yeager, CEO of Redwood Logistics, cited…


As the high street got boarded up due to worldwide lockdowns, consumers turned to the internet in droves. But, with the incoming inertia of purchases came the proportionate and inverted momentum of returns. As one hits an all-time high, so does the other, leaving online retailers scrambling to find a solution.

What’s causing all these returns?

The US alone now finds itself at a level of 2.3 billion kg of returns ending up in landfills every year. …


With trade restrictions and delivery complications sparked by the pandemic, immense pressure has been placed on international supply chains to meet consumer demand. Manufacturers are faced with spiraling shipping costs and delays, resulting in product shortages and lags in delivery times.

As the vulnerabilities in global supply chains continue to be exposed by the pandemic, we look at how firms can safeguard themselves in the future and take a look at an example of how local supply chain loops could be a part of the answer.

When the pandemic took hold in early 2020, one thing quickly became clear —…


Over 60% of supply chain firms are looking to adopt cutting-edge inventory and network optimization tools in the coming years, much of them in the near term (35% in the next 1–2 years). Will these businesses overcome the impasse between planning and execution, lining up a possible paradigm shift in supply chain management? And do startups have a say in it all?

Whether it’s a birthday gift shipped from an e-tailer that simply cannot arrive late or a container shipment to a new trading partner: a more transparent supply chain is a more successful supply chain. …

Beam

Berlin-based company builder with a bias for logistics and technical challenges. Supported by BEUMER Group

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store