Automation—the future of ergonomics & safety in distribution

Cimcorp in the News: 

In this article from Refrigerated & Frozen Foods, Cimcorp Director, Corporate QHSE Miia Vironen explains the benefits automation provides to distribution centers.

Distribution centers are projected to need 452,000 more workers by 2020—thanks largely to rising consumer demands and e-commerce sales,  according to research conducted by CBRE Group, Los Angeles. However, studies also show that the demand for workers is quickly outpacing the labor supply. Many facilities are left struggling with staffing shortages amid intense competition from limited labor pools. These shortages are especially tough on warehouses where employees are expected to manually pick and prepare orders for dispatch.

Manual warehouse workers must work harder and faster just to keep orders moving out the door.


Firing on all cylinders, they become highly susceptible to physical burnout, or worse, injury. The risks are particularly high in refrigerated or frozen distribution centers, given the weights of the loads being handled. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Washington, D.C., notes weights upwards of 80-100 pounds are not uncommon.

That’s why more and more distribution centers are turning to automation to help combat the labor shortage and minimize risks for injury.