Automation is Keeping Up with Demand

Automation is – A series on the challenges and opportunities in food logistics.

July 29, 2021

Challenge #2 – The Cold Chain in the Era of Instant Gratification

As product variety grows, so does the complexity of the cold chain.

Americans consume roughly the same amount of food and beverages as they did five years ago. What has changed is the number of options. Take yogurt, for example. There are now almost twice as many types of yogurts available as there were five years ago, which means there are twice as many options for retailers to stock.

In our world, SKU proliferation has necessitated a fundamental shift in pallet picking. The demand for variety has shifted product movements from full pallets to a higher rate of mixed-SKU pallets.

  • 2015 saw an 18.5% increase in the number of SKUs handled by the average warehouse or order fulfillment operation (Source).