With near full employment in North America the costs of labor in a distribution center is quickly approaching $18 per hour, nearly double from the 2010 rate. At lower wages, it was more difficult to cost-justify the automation expense. Management could throw more labor at the volume issue. Now with much higher labor rates (not including health insurance, workers’ compensation, vacation time, and safety concerns), conveyor automation is axiomatic and needed more than ever before.
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