A vision of parcel sorting robots

A YouTube video has been released of parcel sorting robots in the Shentong (STO) Express parcel sorting centre in Hangzhou, China. It gives the public a glimpse of how automation is set to transform the post and parcel sorting industry.

The video was shared by TechCrunch, South China Morning Post and the People’s Daily shows parcel sorting robots developed by Hikvision that go around the warehouse floor with parcels on their backs. They then flip their lids and send the parcels that they carry into the chutes beneath them.

The reports in question suggest that parcel sorting robots can halve production costs and can also eradicate human error by boosting the speed as well as accuracy of the sorting process. Where ‘to err is human, but to really screw up takes a computer’ robots are seen as far more reliable when fully operational than their hominid opposite numbers.

The South China Morning Post interviewed an STO Express spokesperson who said, “We use these robots in two of our centres in Hangzhou right now.

“We want to start using these across the country, especially in our bigger centres.”

Like it or not, this is the direction of the parcel sorting and delivery process with humans likely to be significantly reduced in numbers from warehouse to the final mile in the coming years. For those at the top, a reduction in costs yet for those working on the front line, a serious threat to their employment opportunities in the medium term.

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