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International Journal
of Production Research
Warehousing 5.0 for the Future of the Logistics Industry
Deadline: 30th September 2024

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Guest editors

  • Banu Yetkin Ekren, Cranfield University, School of Management, UK

  • Uday Venkatadri, Dalhousie University, Department of Industrial Engineering, Canada

  • Fabio Sgarbossa, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Norway. Email:

  • Eric Grosse, Saarland University, Germany

  • Jelmer Pier van der Gaast, Fudan University, School of Management, China   

Key dates

Deadline for Manuscript Submission: 30th September 2024

Papers can be submitted any time prior to the deadline, and will be evaluated and published online on a rolling basis. The special issue in print will appear once the review process of all submissions is completed.

Submit here:

Background and objectives

Industry 5.0 represents a new paradigm introduced by the European Commission, advocating for more sustainable, human-centric, and resilient industrial activity (European Commission, 2020). Departing from the sole focus on productivity and efficiency observed in Industry 4.0, Industry 5.0 aims to advance environmental sustainability, human well-being, and adaptability to disruptions, emphasizing resiliency.

This shift in industrial principles has prompted a reconsideration of warehouses, especially in response to the expanding e-commerce landscape and the integrated system dynamics within contemporary omnichannel settings (Boysen et al., 2019). The exponential surge in e-commerce sales, particularly in the e-grocery sector, estimated to grow at a 12% annual rate over the next five years (GroceryDive, 2023), has reshaped customer expectations. There is an escalating demand for expedited deliveries and heightened convenience (PwC, 2022; 2023). Addressing these expectations requires logistics providers to operate at unprecedented scales of efficiency and speed, with warehouses playing a pivotal role in this transformative landscape. As product distribution frequently entails order picking, the technological and functional landscape for logistical distribution is evolving at a rapid pace (Boysen et al., 2019).

However, the pursuit of enhanced productivity and speed must not compromise sustainability and human welfare—principles intrinsic to Industry 5.0. As warehouses rapidly integrate new technologies and processes amid the proliferation of e-commerce, the critical need to ensure these innovations align with human-centric values becomes apparent (Grosse, 2023; Panagou et al., 2023). Without purposeful integration of sustainability and worker well-being, warehouses risk perpetuating harms to both people and the planet (Grosse et al., 2023; Thylen et al., 2023).

The transition to Warehousing 5.0 holds the potential for substantial benefits across stakeholders (Smith, 2021; MecaluxBlog, 2023). Sustainable operations not only enhance efficiency and reduce costs but also diminish environmental impact. Worker-centric designs contribute to safety, satisfaction, and retention (Neumann et al., 2021), while resilient systems provide the essential supply chain visibility and stability required for thriving in the e-commerce landscape (Ghobakhloo et al., 2022; Ivanov, 2023).

Innovations such as automated warehousing, collaborative robots (cobots), wearables, augmented reality, natural language processing, generative artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, etc., hold promise for creating human-centric warehouses aligned with the principles of Industry 5.0 (Grosse, 2023; Panagou et al., 2023). However, unlocking this potential necessitates an expansive, cross-disciplinary research effort to implement Industry 5.0 frameworks in warehouse design, technology adoption, and operations. This special issue aims to inspire scholars across diverse fields to contribute diverse perspectives to address this critical challenge.


  • Cost/benefit analyses of implementing Industry 5.0 in warehousing,

  • Organizational change management processes for adopting human-centric values,

  • Impact analysis on warehouse productivity, quality, flexibility, environmental sustainability through Industry 5.0,

  • New models for integrating cobots and other smart technologies into warehouse workflows towards Industry 5.0,

  • Application domains and the planning and execution of natural language processing (NLP) as an interface in Warehousing 5.0,

  • Intelligent warehouse management systems leveraging AI and internet-of-things,

  • Sustainable warehouse design optimization,

  • Warehousing design for increased resiliency in supply chains,

  • Human-machine interaction enhancements for cognitive ergonomics,

  • AI, Machine Learning (ML), and advance algorithm implementations (e.g., generative AI, behavioural operations management, etc.) in the context of Warehousing 5.0,

  • Integrating real-time monitoring systems in Warehousing 5.0 for increased sustainability and a human-centric environment, while addressing ethical concerns, and

  • Leveraging training and educational tools in the context of Warehousing 5.0.


This special issue provides a platform for research bridging Industry 5.0 and Warehousing 5.0 in the AI/ML/IoT era. Contributions can advance knowledge on transitioning warehouses to be more responsive, sustainable, human-centric, resilient, and intelligent in the age of omnichannel distribution.


Boysen, N., De Koster, R., & Weidinger, F. (2019). Warehousing in the e-commerce era: A survey. European Journal of Operational Research, 277(2), 396-411. 

European Commission, 2020. Industry 5.0:

Ghobakhloo, M., Iranmanesh, M., Mubarak, M. F., Mubarik, M., Rejeb, A., & Nilashi, M. (2022). Identifying industry 5.0 contributions to sustainable development: A strategy roadmap for delivering sustainability values. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 33, 716-737.

GroceryDive, 2023. Online grocery sales will increase at 12% annual rate over 5 years, report says:

Grosse, E. H. (2023). Application of supportive and substitutive technologies in manual warehouse order picking: a content analysis. International Journal of Production Research, 1-20. 

Grosse, E. H., Sgarbossa, F., Berlin, C., & Neumann, W. P. (2023). Human-centric production and logistics system design and management: transitioning from Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0. International Journal of Production Research, 61(22), 7749-7759. 

Ivanov, D. (2023). The Industry 5.0 framework: Viability-based integration of the resilience, sustainability, and human-centricity perspectives. International Journal of Production Research, 61(5), 1683-1695.

Kelly, J., 2021. A Hard-Hitting Investigative Report Into Amazon Shows That Workers’ Needs Were Neglected In Favor Of Getting Goods Delivered Quickly:

MecaluxBlog, 2023. Industry 5.0: more human-centric, sustainable, and resilient:

Neumann, W. P., Winkelhaus, S., Grosse, E. H., & Glock, C. H. (2021). Industry 4.0 and the human factor–A systems framework and analysis methodology for successful development. International Journal of Production Economics, 233, 107992. 

Panagou, S., Neumann, W. P., Fruggiero, F. (2023). A scoping review of human robot interaction research towards Industry 5.0 human-centric workplaces, International Journal of Production Research,

PwC Survey, 2022. June 2022 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, retrieved on July, 20th, 2023:

PwC Survey, 2023. June 2023 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, retrieved on July, 20th, 2023:

Saleh, K., 2023. The Importance of Same Day Delivery – Statistics and Trends:

Smith, G., 2021. Picking Solutions for Industry 5.0: ASCM Insights

Thylen, N., Waenstroem, C., Hanson, R. (2023). Challenges in introducing automated guided vehicles in a production facility - interactions between human, technology, and organisation, International Journal of Production Research, 61 (22), 7809-7829,

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