Much Higher Labor Rates Driving Automated Conveyor Solutions

Much Higher Labor Rates Driving Automated Conveyor Solutions

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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John Murdoch
John Murdoch is CEO of Alfacon Solutions Ltd., based in Canada. Murdoch is a thought-leader in both the manufacturing and materials handling sectors. Leveraging more than a quarter century of experience, Murdoch brings a unique perspective to engineered material handling solutions and the role of automation. Murdoch can be reached at