Singapore’s small land mass didn’t stop it from being one of the biggest logistics centres in the world, primarily due to its productive use of industrial land.
Property experts such as JLL believe that warehousing facilities in the Lion City would have more smart technologies. Companies would invest more in the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and additive manufacturing among other initiatives, as part of the Smart Logistics plan.
The shift into the Industry 4.0 technologies can manifest in different forms. It can be a robot putting labels from a thermal printer on freight boxes, or an automated inventory system that tracks each shipment with minimal human supervision.
Doreen Goh, JLL Singapore associate director for research and consultancy, said that other investments may include fibre optic infrastructure, higher floor-loading and electrical loading capacity. It makes sense for companies to maximise the use of industrial-zoned land to be better in meeting the growing demand for products. Singapore’s manufacturing activity has been expanding for the last 21 months, based on the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) in May.
The index recorded a score of 52.7 in the previous month. A score above 50 indicates growth, while a figure below points to a contraction. While the reading represented 0.2 points lower from April, the manufacturing industry’s growth “remains intact and is likely not facing a sharp moderation,” according to OCBC economist Barnabas Gan.
The monthly PMI index base its findings on insights of purchasing managers from around 150 manufacturing companies. The industry accounts for one-fifth of Singapore’s economy.
Smart warehouses in Singapore will likely be common in the near future since the city-state has been known as an early adopter of technology. Even so, companies should strike a balance between using traditional and modern equipment particularly when it involves the security of warehouse premises.