Robotics & Warehouse Automation January 2021

Robotic Micro-fulfillment Centres (MFC) – Infographic

Rueben Scriven
Rueben Scriven

Rueben is one of the warehouse automation industry’s leading analysts and is a regular speaker at leading industry events. He has moderated several panel discussions on the topic of commercial vehicle electrification and has also appeared on CNBC, providing insight on the global electric bus market.

Interact Analysis has recently published its Automated Micro-fulfillment Centres market report. The below infographic demonstrates some of the key findings.

Micro-fulfillment is a fulfillment strategy whereby online orders are picked and packed in a hyper local facility often within a brick-and-mortar retail store. With the significant growth in e-commerce, a large number of grocers have began trialling automated micro-fulfillment centres such as Walmart, Tesco and Albertsons. This report provides an in-depth analysis of the automated micro-fulfillment centre market with insight and commentary on the types of technologies used, micro-fulfillment formats and the regions which are adopting micro-fulfillment centres at the fastest rate.

Full details of the report can be viewed here, and the infographic is also available to download in PDF here.Robotic Micro-fulfillment Centres (MFC) - Infographic


The micro-fulfillment centre market is forecast to be worth $5.3b in 2025, 20% of which will come from recurring revenue streams such as service and maintenance contracts and fulfillment fees.
2020 saw 29 micro-fulfillment Centre’s installed, up from 16 in 2019 and we are forecasting just over 2,100 micro-fulfillment centres will have been installed globally by 2025.
Dematic, Takeoff Technologies and Exotec installed the most micro-fulfillment centres in 2020 and were responsible for 22 of the 29 projects in 2020.
The key drivers for adoption of micro-fulfilllmet centres were the demand for faster and more flexible delivery options, more controlled and manageable roll out of fulfillment automation (so no need for large capitol investment) and finally the potential of Instacart becoming a competitive threat.
The key barriers to adoption of micro-fulfillment centres were that it required higher capitol cost than in-store manual picking, the economic viability is still being tested and it is less efficient than an automated centralized fulfillment operation.
Shuttle systems are forecast to be the most common form of micro-fulfillment centre technology throughout the forecast period, followed by ultra-high density storage systems.