The automation of logistics systems include different types of hardware and software components. They are:
- Fixed machinery
- Automated cranes (also known as automated storage and retrieval systems) will provide the capability to download and accumulate a container of goods for retrieval.
- Automated conveyors will enable to store containers in one location of the warehouse.
- Sortation, or sorting systems are same as that of conveyors but usually have more capacity and can move containers more instantly.
- There are four to six axis industrial robots, such as palletizing robots, and are utilized for palletizing, commissioning, packaging, depalletizing, and order picking.
- Generally all of these machineries will automatically recognize and track containers depending upon barcodes, or RFID tags
- Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) are of a large scale vending machines and provides easy access to physical objects.
- Motion check weigher is used to discard bulk of items or individual products by verifying them for underweight situations and discarding the item.
- Mobile technology
- Radio data terminals are handheld or truck fixed terminals that are connected by wireless to logistics automation software and supplies instructions to operators who are migrating throughout the warehouse. Most of them consist of in-built barcode scanners to enable identification of containers. Barcodes will enable to capture data automatically without using computer keyboard, which is slow and more error prone.
- Integration software offers overall control of the automation machinery and for example enables cranes to be linked to conveyors for seamless stock activities.
- Operational control software offers low-level decision making, like where to store approaching containers, and at what location to retrieve them when they are required.
- Business Control software offers higher level of functionality, like recognition of incoming deliveries or stock and organizing order fulfillment, allocation of stock to outgoing trailers.