“Automation is definitely the key to the future of logistics … we are putting a lot of effort in trying to do more automation,” Wang told CNBC.
The executive added that, for the near-future, humans will work in warehouses alongside robots, but eventually such locations could be fully automated.
“We do envision that, in the future, we will see a main automated warehouse because we do predict the technology will get there soon to see a fully automated warehouse,” Wang said.
Alibaba is not alone in trying to bring more automation to warehouses. Amazon uses robots to transport parcels around its fulfillment centers, too. U.K. grocery delivery firm Ocado also uses various automated machines in its warehouses.
Despite rising automation at Cainiao sites, the company continues to post losses. Wang said the priority right now is to continue investing and did not give a timeline for when the firm might be profitable.
“Our focus right now, actually, is to try to build the overall infrastructure for logistic and so this is our key focus right now. Monetization is not our priority right now, we actually are working using the technology to build a better logistic infrastructure and to ensure a better customer experience,” Wang said.
Source : CNBC