Business opportunities: How big is the logistics robot market?A 20% annual increase is not a full-blown outbreak
During the “Double Eleven” period in 2018, the volume of express parcels reached 1 billion. It is predicted that in 2018, my country’s express delivery business volume will be about 47 billion pieces. The State Post Bureau predicts that by 2020, the national express delivery business volume will reach 70 billion pieces.
This number is astronomical! In fact, express logistics is becoming the main driving force for the rapid growth of logistics Robots. Relevant data show that the average annual growth rate of logistics robots in the past five years has exceeded 20%. In 2018, the market size of AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) reached 19,000 units. At the same time, Jingdong, Amazon, Alibaba, Shentong, SF Express and other e-commerce and traditional logistics companies with huge demand for express delivery are increasing their investment in sorting robots, AGVs, unmanned warehouses and other equipment.
Today, smart logistics is gradually becoming a hot spot in the logistics industry market in recent years. As an essential and important technical equipment to promote the development of smart logistics, logistics robots are ushering in new development with the help of the development of smart logistics.
1. The market will explode on a small scale in multiple scenarios this year
“Robot replacement is the most urgent need of most enterprises, especially production enterprises. Logistics takes up a lot of labor, and how to reduce labor input through logistics automation is an urgent demand of most enterprises.” robot autonomous mobile application products The supplier – She Yuanbo, founder and CEO of AICRobo Robotics, said in an interview with reporters.
According to market research and consulting agency Tractica, by 2021, the global market size of warehousing and logistics robots will reach 22.4 billion US dollars, and the industry prospects are developing well. In this context, some logistics robot companies have begun to be favored by a large amount of capital, and Zhixingzhi, Geek+, Kuicang Robot, etc. have successively completed multiple rounds of financing. According to incomplete statistics, as of the first half of 2018, there have been more than 10 investment and financing events in the field of logistics robots across the country, involving an amount of more than 500 million yuan.
Li Li, general manager of the opening-up business department of JD.com’s X business unit, told reporters that more and more e-commerce and logistics leading companies have begun to explore and try to upgrade logistics automation, innovative companies continue to emerge, and logistics robots will continue to be in 2019. maintain a state of rapid growth.
The reason is that Li Li believes that last year, a number of national ministries and commissions have successively issued support and guidance policies for smart logistics to guide them from a macro level. At the same time, from the perspective of Industrial market demand, the logistics industry as a whole is a labor-intensive industry with a low level of automation. Under the background of rising labor costs, the need for logistics enterprises to reduce costs and increase efficiency is increasingly urgent. In addition, in the context of the overall coldness of the capital market in 2018, the single investment of logistics robot companies still reached a new high, which shows that the capital market pays special attention to logistics robots.
In the interview, the reporter found that “large market demand and large scale” are almost the unanimous comments of all the interviewees on the logistics robot market, but the reality is that this market has not fully erupted.
“In 2019, logistics robots will start to explode on a small scale in multiple scenarios, and the real explosion may have to wait until 2020.” This is She Yuanbo’s analysis and judgment on the market. He believes that AGV and KIVA warehousing and logistics robots have solved many problems in logistics scenarios, and they are solving more problems. However, there are still a large number of scene problems that can only be solved by autonomous mobile robots, and companies that have the ability to use autonomous mobile robots to solve customer logistics scene problems are very scarce.
Although there are many start-up companies developing autonomous mobile robots, it is another matter whether they can solve the problem. To solve the customer’s logistics scenario problem, a complete set of solutions must be designed for the customer, and the implementation cycle of most solutions is very long. In addition, because the industry is not mature enough, the division of labor is difficult, and the enterprise itself is not mature enough, so the result of most cooperation is 1+1<2, or even less than 1.
In Li Li’s view, compared with the development of the overall Industrial Robot, the emerging logistics robots still need the test of time in terms of program data polishing, performance reliability and economic verification. The possibility of explosive growth is unlikely, and it will still maintain a relatively high-speed growth state. She emphasized that this state and trend is also benign and beneficial to the industry.
Liu Zhuang, a senior analyst at CCID Consulting’s Intelligent manufacturing industry Research Center, said in an interview with reporters that from the stage of the industry, logistics robots have high technical barriers in core technologies such as high-precision components and intelligent algorithms. As a result, the domestic market is mainly dominated by international brands, and there is a relative lack of local brands. The product application scenarios are still limited, mainly based on e-commerce logistics. At the same time, the logistics Robot Industry has not yet formed a unified national standard and system. Therefore, the development of my country’s logistics robots is still in the stage of industrial cultivation.
2. “Technology + Policy” Empowers Smart Logistics
There are automatic sorting areas, delivery robot parking areas, charging areas, loading areas and other areas, which can accommodate 20 delivery robots at the same time to complete a series of links such as cargo sorting, robot parking, and charging. When the package is transported from the logistics storage center to the distribution station, the goods are distributed on the logistics sorting line according to the distribution location. After the distribution is completed, the loader in the station loads the package into the distribution robot according to the address, and then the distribution robot delivers it to the consumers. … This is the scene in the first JD.com distribution robot intelligent distribution station that was officially put into use recently.
According to Li Li, in terms of technology products, JD.com has formed a “4+N” technology product form. “4” refers to the four major product groups of unmanned warehouses, unmanned vehicles, drones, and smart retail, to meet the technical requirements and layout of the whole process of “warehouse-main line-branch line-last mile-store”. “N” is the innovation direction project, which currently includes X Future Restaurant, Jingdong Farm, and Smart Sales Cabinet, etc., and is committed to the exploration and polishing of more technological innovation directions and business models. “The scene and form of opening will be further expanded in the future.” Li Li said.
Nowadays, with the rapid development of artificial intelligence, machine vision, real-time computing, flexible automation and other technologies, the types of intelligent logistics robots in warehousing, sorting, handling, distribution, palletizing and other links are increasing day by day. Products such as cars, smart express cabinets, drones, and AGV robots are constantly being updated and iterated, and the connection with consumers has become increasingly close. In addition to traditional robot companies, e-commerce companies and logistics companies, home appliance companies represented by Suning, Midea, Haier, Gree, etc. are also accelerating the deployment of unmanned warehouses, unmanned vehicles, AGV robots and other fields to build “scenarios” internet + Smart Supply Chain” system.
From a policy perspective, 2015 to 2017 is an intensive period for the introduction of my country’s smart logistics industry policies. “Several Opinions of the State Council on Promoting the Development of the Express Industry”, “Opinions on the Implementation of “Internet +” Efficient Logistics” and “The 13th Five-Year Plan for the Development of the Express Industry” Policy documents such as “Plan” and “The State Post Bureau’s Opinions on Accelerating the Supply-side Structural Reform of the Postal Industry” were released successively.
In Liu Zhuang’s view, these policies point out from different perspectives that logistics enterprises should accelerate the promotion and application of cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things and other information technologies, increase the application of data and information integration, and promote the integrated development of logistics business platforms. Encourage logistics enterprises to actively adopt advanced technical equipment such as robots, drones, and unmanned vehicles to realize automatic distribution and rapid transshipment of express mail, and comprehensively improve the operational efficiency of warehousing, transportation, distribution and other links.
3. Intense competition has spawned the development of industry segments
Today, the use of robots to reduce labor costs has become a trend, especially in e-commerce, logistics and other companies that require a lot of labor. With the rapid development of the logistics market, the application of logistics robots has accelerated.
“In 2019, driven by the rapid development of my country’s e-commerce industry, the freight volume and express delivery volume of the logistics industry are still expected to maintain steady growth, bringing huge market demand for logistics robots. At the same time, the use of robots to reduce labor costs has become the future of various industries. It is one of the mainstream trends in development.” Liu Zhuang said that under the influence of the accelerated deployment of e-commerce, electrical appliances, logistics and other enterprises that need to handle a large amount of goods, more industries will choose to configure in warehousing, distribution, sorting and other links in the future. Logistics robot.
“In 2019, we are optimistic about logistics robots as a whole – calm expansion, focus on deep cultivation, and continuous investment.” Li Li told reporters that the rapid growth of logistics robots in recent years will surely bring more entrants and fiercer competition , in 2019, this competitive trend will become more obvious, and it will give birth to the development of sub-sectors.
Talking about the form in which logistics robots will explode in 2019, She Yuanbo said that some companies have done a good job of accumulation, the product has a high degree of perfection, and the upstream and downstream of the industry are fully connected, which can directly provide customers with complete solutions. Based on this situation, there will be some scenarios that are easier to implement one by one, and the client also needs to have an adaptation process before large-scale application, so “it will explode in the form of multi-scene and small-scale applications”.
“In 2018, AGV and KIVA, as logistics robots, have a long development time and high product maturity, but due to the limited application scenarios, there are progress and bottlenecks. As emerging AMRs (autonomous mobile robots), the development time is short and the products are mature. It will take some time for it to break out.” She Yuanbo said that this year, more people will see the application potential of AMR, and all parties will pay more attention to it, but for the time being will form a large market size.
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