Global demand for materials handling equipment to reach $176 billion by 2020

Global demand for materials handling equipment forecast to rise 5.3% per year, spurred by new demand in China and developing countries.

A new study projecting global demand for material handling equipment suggests China will account for nearly two-thirds of all new demand through 2020.

Mature markets like the United States, Japan and Western Europe are expected to see restrained growth over the same period as compared to developing countries. Global demand for material handling equipment is forecast to rise 5.3% per year through 2020 to $176.0 billion.

These are among the findings presented in World Material Handling Equipment, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) and automated guided vehicle (AGV) equipment are forecast to register faster demand gains than all other product types. According to the study, as industrial enterprises around the world adopt advanced manufacturing techniques, build new factories and warehouses, and upgrade existing facilities, they will purchase new ASRS and AGVs because they offer efficiency and productivity gains and reduce labour costs. Logistics and transportation firms will also increase spending on these products, the study predicts, to satisfy growing demand for their services and boost the efficiency of their operations.

“The rise of AGVs and ASRS is an interesting, multi-faceted phenomenon,” said Gleb Mytko, global industry analyst for The Freedonia Group. “In the mature markets of North America and Western Europe, there is a more cyclical nature to sales of these machines due to replacement product demand. Developing nations, on the other hand, are experiencing a more steady rise in new demand for AGVs and ASRS.”

Great article by Josh Bond, Contributing Editor