I think animations for carrying objects should be changed based on their weight, size, and shape. Currently the carrying animation is the same for everything but i think it would add realism if there was diversity. Maybe rolling or dragging a log instead of carrying it like a branch.
The new game called Ostriv has implemented something like this where it takes two characters to haul a heavy log.
As for Sapiens, I can imagine a weight variable per object and a strength variable per character. Instead of hard-coded key-framed animations , a physics-based dynamic locomotion system could achieve great results after the initial setup of the system is in place.
The good thing about this approach is that it can be baked into the custom engine and used throughout