Demand for materials handling equipment to grow 4% annually through 2016

Industry market research suggests U.S. will see gains bolstered by improved manufacturing conditions.

By ·

Global demand for materials handling products is forecast to climb 4 percent annually through 2016 to $123.6 billion, according to World Material Handling Products, a new study by The Freedonia Group. According to the report, opportunities will be best for sales of advanced equipment such as automated conveyors and automated guided vehicles. Automated products reduce the required labor input in operating machinery, helping to curtail labor costs. Energy efficient products, such as electric lift trucks, will also see solid gains as end users seek to reduce costs. The rising importance of e-commerce will also fuel demand for automated equipment, as business is increasingly conducted in large, lightly staffed warehouses.

Among national markets, India and China will see the fastest gains, in large part because of rising manufacturing output which will spur demand for equipment to facilitate distribution and production. West European markets include many of the most intensive users of materials handling equipment in the world, because manufacturers in the region have long been among the leaders in adopting automated equipment as a response to high domestic labor costs.

The U.S. market, which accounted for 22 percent of global sales in 2011, is expected to remain the leading consumer through 2016. After a period of sluggish gains between 2006 and 2011, demand in the U.S. will perform better through 2016, bolstered by improved manufacturing conditions, especially in the motor vehicle industry.

Japan and Germany both possess sizeable markets for materials handling products, although both have performed poorly compared to the global average in recent years.  However, these markets are forecast to post stronger gains, enabling these countries to maintain their position among the global leaders in material handling demand.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Economy · Freedonia Group · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Mobile Solutions: Improving Supply Chain Efficiencies
To meet customer's ever-increasing service expectations and improve their business efficiency, companies are looking to their supply chain operations – especially material handling and warehouse operations managers.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
In warehouses and DCs, planning solutions tend to take a back seat to execution system functions. Vendors are working to boost the trust factor using tools that break down forecasts and blend with analytics.
Automated Storage on the Move
Receiving 101: Setting the Table for Success
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Johnson & Johnson: A vision for automation
J&J Vision Care brings together a variety of automated technologies, including an innovative...
Using AGVs at LEDVANCE
The lighting manufacturer reaped savings by reducing maintenance costs and product damage, and using...

System Report: Sustainable Distribution at REI
Specialty outdoor retailer REI’s new distribution center brings together the next generation of...
System Report: Whirlpool puts mobile robots to work
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to...