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GSCW chat recap: Jeff Christensen on the future of automated warehouses

" Initiatives are being prioritized across the market. It’s an accelerated inflection point for automation.”

This fireside chat recap is from Day 2 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 2 focuses on retail.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The future of automated warehouses.

DETAILS: The surge in e-commerce demand, the impact of COVID-19 and a shortage of qualified warehouse labor has forced retailers and their third-party logistics provider partners to implement warehouse automation strategies or to pull forward plans that may have been scheduled two to three years out. But looking out as far as 2025, there will still be a mix of automation and manual involvement, with humans still performing the creative thinking and workflow optimization.

SPEAKER: Jeff Christensen, vice president, product, Seegrid Corp.

BIO: Christensen brings over 25 years of experience and a portfolio of notable achievements. His career spans user experience, systems design, information delivery solutions, military systems, business intelligence and data analytics software. His expertise is in growing technology startups in different customer markets from founding through growth and exit, with previous companies acquired by Boeing and Nielsen.


“It’s now a constant peak across the board. And it’s been like that for nine months now.”

“There was clearly a movement toward automation. The demand was there. COVID accelerated it.”

“The technology is there” to fully automate a warehouse. But “economic viability is the most important question” in determining whether most or all of a facility should be automated.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.