In 2023, Maersk opened three warehousing facilities in Chile that are located in strategic economic locations in Santiago and are helping to improve service in the Chilean market. The 24,900 m2 Buenaventura site in Quilicura, in the northern sector of the city, is 23 km from the airport and has quick access to the main highways. The La Vara (10,500 m2) and San Ignacio (6,520 m2) sites are located in San Bernardo, close to the main retail distribution centers, bringing the total storage capacity in the country to more than 126,000 m2, providing proximity and agility to the logistics process.
The Santiago Chamber of Commerce estimated e-commerce sales of more than US$11.5 billion by 2024, representing a 5% increase over the previous year. As customer demand increases, companies are looking for ways to build supply chains that can match the pace of their business in an automated, predictable, customized and fast way.
Maersk, as a logistics integrator, outlines the top six trends in warehousing this 2024.
Automation: The most widely used technologies in this area that will continue to take center stage in 2024 will include autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to manage automated fulfillment activities and improve order picking efficiency. Autonomous robotic arms will increasingly be used, for example, to unload containers, minimizing occupational injuries related to depalletizing and supporting repetitive tasks. These intelligent machines can empower companies by efficiently moving products throughout the distribution center and packing orders with accuracy and speed through the use of advanced localization algorithms, computer or machine vision, and digital interfaces with existing systems. Automation is expected to generate substantial long-term rewards and will be essential to address the growing demands of e-commerce.
Stock mergers: This year, more companies will ask warehousing centers to structure themselves to allow companies to keep their products in a single stock. While today companies often ask warehouses to keep physical store stock separate (sometimes in different buildings) from online shopping stock, "the trend now seems to be to merge stocks, allowing brands to pull orders and returns from the same stock service, catering to all the different ways they manage their omnichannel offering," says Charlotte Petersen, global head of Commercial Product Warehousing at Maersk.
Visibility: By 2024, this quality will be offered as a "must have" and not just a "nice to have." This information will be necessary for warehousing centers to collect and distribute to their partners, also on product returns, reducing the number of calls to customer service, which can be helpful for both consumers and businesses.
Sustainability: During 2024, integrated logistics service providers will be seen making greater use of emissions visibility tools to help reduce GHG emissions within supply chains. These tools are already used by third-party logistics providers (4PLs) to generally increase logistics visibility, but will also be aimed at having a better view of emissions. This would be a great asset for companies that have set ambitious decarbonization targets that can be achieved through continuous improvement. Customers are actively adopting circular economy principles to minimize waste. Improving circularity with the help of reusable pallets and disposable and/or reusable packaging can dramatically help reduce the carbon footprint within a warehouse.
Data optimization: "In the dynamic world of warehousing, digitalization plays a crucial role as an enabler of automation and speed for future growth," confirms Nitesh Mandal, global head of Growth, Strategy and Solution Design for Fulfillment at Maersk. By 2024, more companies will adapt to digital processes and modern warehousing operating systems. Upcoming developments will include optimization platforms that enable simulations of existing and potential environments to improve business operations.
Refurbishment and customization: Warehousing vents that are considered "old" by today´s standards will be modernized to meet the needs of modern e-commerce logistics operations. This year will also bring a deeper level of industry-specific customization based on the needs of specific markets such as, for example, pharmaceutical or automotive. This customization trend will continue to evolve in the coming years.
News and image obtained: "Mundo Marítimo"