World Material Handling Products

As Quoted In Motion System Design

The growth of automated systems, coupled with strong national markets for these products in countries such as China and India, will raise global demand for material handling products.

Global demand to rise 4% annually through 2016

Global demand for material handling products is forecast to climb 4.0 percent annually through 2016 to $123.6 billion. Energy efficient products, such as electric lift trucks, will 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 conducted more often in large, lightly-staffed warehouses.

Markets in India and China to see fastest gains

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

US to remain largest global producer, followed by China

The US, China, Germany, and Japan possess the largest national material handling equipment industries in the world. Despite posting sluggish growth between 2006 and 2011, the US remains the largest global producer of material handling products and is expected to see stronger output increases through 2016 as domestic market conditions improve.

China possesses the second biggest material handling equipment industry and is the largest net exporter of these products. Chinese output has grown well above the global average in recent years, fueled by robust gains in local demand. Although neighboring Asian countries offer lower labor costs than China, the country continues to benefit from foreign investment in local facilities. Germany and Japan possess sizeable trade surpluses in these products, reflecting their large manufacturing sectors

AGVs, automated storage and retrieval systems to see strongest growth

Automated storage and retrieval systems and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) will post the best growth of any product type through 2016. Strong gains in automated equipment demand will reflect a shift in manufacturers’ preference toward products that can enhance productivity and are amenable to integration into larger-scale factory automation and automated warehouse-type environments. Sales of more conventional material handling products -- including industrial trucks and lifts, hoists, cranes, and conveyors, -- will see solid gains as well, benefiting from improved economic conditions in developed countries.

Study Scope

This study analyzes the $101.4 billion global material handling product industry. It presents historical demand data for the years 2001, 2006 and 2011, and forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by product (e.g., industrial trucks and lifts; conveying equipment; hoists, cranes and monorails; automated storage/retrieval systems; AGVs), market (e.g., durable goods manufacturing, nondurable goods manufacturing), world region and for 24 major countries.

This study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 43 industry participants, including Toyota Industries, KION Group and Cargotec.

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