Growing automation capabilities in the manufacturing space coupled with increasing penetration of advanced technologies, such as IoT, RFID and AI, are expected to drive the material handling equipment market growth. Automated material handling systems are gaining popularity with the growing inclination of industries to replace human labor with automated systems. RFID, IoT, and Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technologies are becoming significantly popular as they improve the order fulfillment processes and help in enhancing productivity across the supply chain. As human capital is becoming difficult to retain and recruit, automated material handling solutions are aiding companies in managing the labor challenges while ensuring profitability and productivity.
Rising labor costs in countries including China and India will support the material handling equipment market growth. The booming manufacturing sector in the region coupled with high-cost labor is compelling manufacturers to use sophisticated machinery to ensure high throughput in lesser time. Conventional manual techniques reduce the productivity and lead to time consumption. Traditional techniques for material handling are also prone to errors caused by human fatigue. Moreover, they also pose a restriction to the amount of load that can be transferred or stored. Bulk material handling and storage systems and industrial trucks are facilitating the management of large volumes of data thereby reducing the unnecessary time consumption.
Real-time technical challenges in the operation of these systems with the requirement of high capital investment are anticipated to negatively impact the material handling equipment market. The complexity involved in the integration of hardware and software for manufacturing facilities is restricting companies that have budgetary constraints from adopting these systems. Moreover, cybersecurity threats in these systems are also factors hindering the industry growth.
The robotics segment in the material handling equipment market is expected to witness significant CAGR of over 8 percent to reach over USD 20 billion by 2024 owing to the demand for high-performance robotic systems across various industry verticals. Robots facilitate easy and fast pick and place of material thereby ensuring accuracy and eliminating human involvement. The rising awareness about the advantages of automated systems globally will fuel the demand for robots across industries. Extensive R&D undertaken in the field of robotics and AI in countries including Japan and China is expected to fuel the material handling equipment market over the forecast period. The incorporation of machine learning capabilities in the robots to increase productivity with predictive maintenance further contributes to the industry demand.
The expanding 3PL sector globally is expected to witness a CAGR of over 6 percent in the material handling equipment market. The increasing complexity of supply chains is compelling businesses to turn towards 3PL service providers to ensure smooth and efficient operations. 3PL service providers are focusing on real-time systems for enhanced visibility. Furthermore, the flourishing durable manufacturing sector in countries including India and China is providing impetus to the market. The growing durable manufacturing industry adopting the latest technologies for production in countries including France and Germany will surge the demand for the equipment.
The developments in the manufacturing sector in countries such as Japan, China and India are expected to propel the material handling equipment market growth. These systems are increasingly being adopted in warehouses and production facilities for automating all processes. The growing transportation and logistics industry in the U.S. is providing growth opportunities to the industry value at over USD 25 billion in 2017. The early technology adoption in the region and the ongoing R&D in the U.S. will fuel the material handling equipment market demand. Stringent government regulations related to operator safety in Europe are compelling manufacturers to use high-quality machines that comply with the existing standards.
Key vendors in the material handling equipment market comprise Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc, KUKA AG, Kion Group AG, JBT Corporation, Flexlink, Intelligrated In., Dematic GmbH & Co., KG., Columbus McKinnon and Daifuku Co., Ltd. Companies are trying to launch new solutions and expand the product portfolio. The industry is characterized by strategic acquisitions and collaborations with technology providers to offer enhanced solutions. Players are stressing on manufacturing solutions that cater to specific industry demands and complying with the standards and regulations operating in the industry. Increasing investments in the R&D of new automation solutions will contribute to industry growth.