Although automation is occurring in all logistics sectors and much has been made of ‘driverless’ vehicles, the real impact of the implementation of robotics, at least in the short term, will be in the warehouse. According to Eurostat, around 2.5 million workers are employed in warehouse sector in the EU; a further 2 million are employed in the US and many millions throughout the rest of the world. These figures may underestimate labour requirements, as many temporary and part time workers are also employed, especially on a seasonal basis.

As this paper will address, the livelihoods of these workers is at significant risk.