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December 6, 2023

New PMMI Report Indicates Labor Shortages and E-Commerce Growth Are Driving Warehouse Automation


Herndon, VA; December 6, 2023 – Labor and skills shortages are pushing consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to invest in warehouse automation solutions, according to the newly released Packaging and Automation in the Warehouses of the Future report produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Additionally, growing e-commerce activity and rising direct-to-consumer demands mean many CPG firms are seeing their warehousing and fulfillment operations become more complex, increasing the demand for mixed and layered pallets.

With these new trends, CPG companies are turning to warehouse automation solutions such as palletizers and mobile robots, according to the PMMI report. More than one in four (25%) warehouses will have some form of automation installed by 2027, leaping from just 14% in 2017 and 18% at the end of 2021. The PMMI survey shows that less than 20% of CPG firms operate mostly automated warehouses today, and very few report they are fully automated.

As another PMMI report, 2022 The Future of Automation in Packaging and Processing, highlights the most immediate challenge in 2022 was the lack of available labor. For some companies, it was a case of automating the line or stopping production. CPG firms are starting to realize that a piecemeal approach to automation can be effective. Companies are increasingly demanding flexibility from their operations and the ability to alter output from production lines to meet fluctuating levels of demand.

With a critical need to find the latest warehouse automation solutions, PACK EXPO East (March 18–20, 2024; Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia) is the perfect place to explore new technologies, see innovation in action, and expand your network. Over 7,000 industry professionals from more than 40 critical vertical markets such as food and beverage, cosmetic, personal care, industrial and household products, and life sciences will be able to collaborate and connect at the show.

As the most comprehensive packaging and processing show on the East Coast, PACK EXPO East delivers cross-over solutions with the time to dive into detail with more than 400 key suppliers. With dozens of free educational sessions happening on the show floor, you will have the unique opportunity to hear from experts, learn about new applications, and gain ideas that you can put into action.

At PACK EXPO East, attendees will see not only a wide array of warehousing and automation solutions under one roof but also experience quality time with exhibitors. Located within a few hours of much of the East Coast, this show is convenient, affordable, and feasible to bring your entire team.

For more information on all PACK EXPO East has to offer and to register for the show, visit

Gatwiri Muthara

Sr. Manager, Public Relations

PMMI: The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies