HERNDON, VA. – Consumer packaged goods companies are turning more frequently to automated solutions as they navigate through labor shortages and react to other market factors, per a new report from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

According to the report, “The Future of Automation in Packaging and Processing,” 60% of companies say labor shortages are “extremely impactful” on their packaging and processing operations. As a result, CPGs are pushed toward automation and finding it increasingly important to develop a skilled workforce.

E-commerce also has pushed the automation trend forward. The report details how companies are shifting toward more responsive modes of distribution, such as direct-to-customer. This trend disrupts traditional warehousing formats.

Automated solutions such as guided vehicles, industrial robots, collaborative robots and mobile robots can optimize production, storage and distribution, the report explains.

Many CPGs view supply chain problems impacting their operations, too, in terms of the availability and cost of raw materials, as well as parts for packaging machinery. More than 90% of CPGs identified supply chain issues as “extremely impactful” or “somewhat impactful.” Most CPGs expect such issues to be resolved within the next three years, but 25% of companies think they will persist longer.

PMMI released the report to coincide with its PACK EXPO International event taking place in Chicago, where suppliers are showcasing solutions and innovations for CPGs.

The organization ahead of the show conducted a survey of attendees to find out what they planned to look for at this year’s PACK EXPO. Per PMMI, automation and robotics are trending topics for professionals in the industry.

The full report can be accessed online through PMMI’s website.