Japanese retailing giant UNIQLO opened their Ariake offices back in 2015 but the warehouse was plagued with problems and inefficiencies. So the company committed to overhaul the warehouse, which was unveiled last week. The result, in which 90% of the warehouse workforce was replaced by robots, is equally beautiful and terrifying.
In the video above that was produced about the warehouse, crates get lifted from ceiling-high shelves by robotic cranes; boxes zoom down conveyor belts getting sorted left and right. In fact, from the moment that trucks arrive at the warehouse with merchandise, to the time the boxes are shipped out to customers, there seems to be only 1 instance of human interaction: the act of placing the merchandise into the box. Everything else from inventory management and storage to box assembly and distribution is done by robots.
The Ariake Warehouse overhaul is part of a broader agreement between UNIQLO and Daifuku, a provider of customized inventory solutions such as this one. Together, the companies plan on automatic all of UNIQLO’s warehouses and work has already begun in factories in China, Thailand, Australia and the U.S. Welcome to the future.