Human–machine warehouse workforce | log302

Human–Machine Warehouse Workforce

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the warehousing and storage workforce has been steadily growing since 1990. It has nearly tripled since 1990. Occupations included in the calculations: truck and tractor operators, material movers, clerks, and managers.

Warehousing and Storage Employees 1990-2019

Average earnings and hours for production and nonsupervisory employees for October 2019 was $18.65 based on a 40-hour workweek with the vast majority working in the private sector. The BLS also updates statistics on work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses and compares them with other industries. Looking beyond the numbers, there is a growing literature that predicts worker displacement and management issues of frontline employees including technology shifts and workplace safety.

Module 1: Week 2 Discussion Background Readings

The Future of Warehouse Work: Technological Change in the U.S. Logistics Industry (2019)

What Impact Will Automation Have on Warehouse Workers? (2019)

Amazon’s Latest Warehouse Machine Demonstrates the Slow Drip of Automation (2019)

AI-Powered Robot Warehouse Pickers Are Now Ready to Go to Work (2020)

Opinion: How Will People Respond When Automation Changes Their Roles? (2020)

How to Manage the Human-Machine Workforce (2020)

Reveal’s Will Evans: Injuries in Amazon Warehouses Are Double the Industry Average (2019) (Video 5:49)

Amazon Robotics Funds App Measuring Warehouse Worker Health Risks (2019)

Fighting Warehouse Worker Fatigue with Wearables (2020)

‘Every Single Person Is Losing Money’: Shipt Is the Latest Gig Platform to Screw Its Workers (2020)

Discussing the changing landscape of warehouses/distribution centers is not complete without studying people working on the floor. Using this week’s background readings as a foundation, add at least one other recent resource as support. For your post focusing on the warehouse labor force:

  • Explain the type of training warehouse/distribution center workers will need in order to be successful in their jobs.
  • Based on research, provide information on the two most important human resource issues facing warehousing.
  • Using the resource beyond this week’s readings, provide a real-world example of a company (other than Amazon) that is finding success with its warehouse personnel as automation is added. (The article should be less than three years old. Challenge yourself to find a newer source since some of the issues faced three years ago have been addressed.)

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