It’s a dream of some, running warehouses without manual labor. Not surprising given that hiring for just about any job is tough.

“The key to those properties and operations are the robotics inside the facilities,” Peter Lewis, founder and chairman of Wharton Industrial, which develops and invests in industrial properties, including warehouses, tells

He speaks of micro fulfillment centers that run 15,000 to 45,000 square feet, with a beta facility in Brooklyn. “The facility is probably 95 percent automated,” he says, with manual labor putting product in bags for delivery. “I think we’ll start seeing a shift over the next couple of years to more automation,” pushing out people other than some software engineers, “and there has to be a businessperson sitting on top of this, obviously.”

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Erik Sherman


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