With increased demands for warehousing space, optimizing processes through automated solutions is more important than ever for the industry. The following ten warehouse industry statistics show the impact automated systems currently have on the warehousing industry.
1. The global warehousing market is projected to reach $41 billion in 2027.
There’s no question that the warehousing market is booming, with projections stating that it will reach $41 billion in global market value in 2027. These projections represent a compound annual growth rate of nearly 15%, which is hardly surprising considering the growth of e-commerce and multichannel distribution in recent years.
2. There are over 20,000 private warehousing and storage facilities in the U.S.
As of the first quarter of 2022, there are over 20,000 private warehousing and storage facilities in the United States, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number represents significant growth over the past decade—only 15,525 of such facilities were in operation in 2012.
3. Warehouses are among the least energy intensive buildings per square foot.
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, warehouses are among the least energy intensive buildings in the U.S. As of 2018, the average energy expenditures per square foot came out to less than $0.75.
That said, warehouses and storage facilities were the sixth highest in terms of total energy consumption, right after lodging and shopping malls. While the cost per square foot is relatively low, modern storage facilities have a lot of square footage, increasing total energy costs in the sector and constituting a significant portion of warehouses’ overhead costs.
4. The average warehouse has over 15,000 square feet of space.
As of 2012, the average size of a warehouse in the United States was over 15,000 square feet, and that number has only increased since. Greater demand for warehouse space is apparent in other studies, including one survey in 2018 in which 76% of respondents planned on some type of expansion. About 23% planned to expand to additional buildings, increasing the total square footage of their storage facilities.
5. Over 1.7 million people are employed in the warehousing industry.
As of September of 2022, about 1.782 million people were employed in the warehousing industry. Roughly 1.5 million were in nonsupervisory or production roles. The personnel costs in the industry are significant, with the average employee earning $22.29 per hour (and working a little over 40 hours per week). Nonsupervisory employees averaged a little less than the total average at $21.32 as of August 2022. Naturally, utilizing this labor force efficiently is vital to maintaining cost effective operations.
6. Attracting hourly workforce candidates is a major challenge.
While labor costs are significant for warehousing facilities, there’s also the cost of attracting needed workers. 55% of respondents in a 2018 report indicated that attracting and retaining a qualified hourly workforce was the greatest issue they faced, making it a major challenge for the industry.
7. Automated storage and retrieval systems vastly improve efficiency.
With such high square footage and labor requirements, how do warehousing facilities keep their operational costs down? One way is by eliminating waste, which is the goal of automated storage and retrieval systems such as vertical lift modules, shuttles, and sortation systems. These systems have been shown to increase accuracy levels to 99.99% while also saving up to 85% of wasted floor space. Labor productivity can also be increased to 85% with automated technologies.
8. Over 10% of warehouses are using automated technologies.
As of 2016, research showed that over 10% of warehousing facilities were making use of automated technology, and that number has been climbing since. These technologies include sophisticated systems such as automatic sorters, robotic picking modules, palletizers, and more.
9. More warehouses want to invest in conveyor/sortation technology.
As of 2021, more warehouses expressed interest in investing in conveyor and sortation technology than the year previous. According to a recent survey, 69% of respondents in one survey indicated they wanted to invest in these systems, representing a significant increase over the 33% in 2020.
10. Optimization software is key to success in the warehousing industry.
Data from Deloitte Consulting indicated that about 75% of organizations with superior supply chain capabilities use optimization software as part of their operations. In addition, 67% use visualization software and 65% use RFID tags, indicating the role that advanced software and automation systems have in building world class warehousing processes.
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