In the modern world’s fast-paced, customer-driven economy, the warehousing and logistics industries are looking for robotics solutions to remain globally competitive. While robotics technology has already made an economic impact on the manufacturing sector, it is currently starting to transform supply chain operations to be faster, safer and more productive. The demand for robots and the supply of matured robotic solutions for the optimization of logistics processes have created a tipping point that, according to a new report from Tractica, Boulder, Colo., could lead to widespread acceptance and presence of robots in warehouses and logistics operations.

Tractica forecasts that worldwide warehousing and logistics robot unit shipments will increase from 40,000 in 2016 to 620,000 units annually by 2021. Tractica also estimates that global market revenue for the sector reached $1.9 billion in 2016, and anticipates that the market will continue to grow rapidly over the next several years, reaching a market value of $22.4 billion by the end of 2021.

“The warehousing and logistics robot market is experiencing strong growth, with many prominent companies showing greater confidence in new robotics technologies that could yield a return on investment in less time than it took a few years ago,” says research analyst Manoj Sahi. “The next 5 years will be a period of significant innovation in the space, bringing significant opportunities for established industry players and startups alike.”

Mobile robot platforms and industrial robot manipulators will drive the largest market growth during the forecast period, followed by shuttle automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and gantry robots.

The report, “Warehousing and Logistics Robots,” examines the global market trends for warehousing and logistics robots and provides 6-year market sizing and forecasts for shipments and revenue during the period from 2016-2021. The report focuses on crucial market drivers and challenges, in addition to assessing the most important technology issues that will influence market development. In total, 75 key and emerging industry players are profiled. Market forecasts are segmented by world region and by robot type.