Table of Contents
World demand to rise 5% annually through 2018
Global demand for material handling products is projected to increase five percent annually through 2018 to $140 billion. Gains will be strongest 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.
India, China to lead gains
India and China will see the strongest gains, in large part because of rising manufacturing output that 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 will continue to be the world’s largest material handling product market, benefiting from an improved outlook for fixed investment spending. This will encourage US manufacturers to invest in new equipment, particularly labor-saving automated products.
Automated products to see strongest growth
Automated storage and retrieval systems and automated guided vehicles will post the strongest growth of any product type through 2018. This is due to efforts among end users to reduce labor costs, particularly in developed markets such as the US. Strong gains in automated equipment demand also reflect a shift in manufacturers’ preference toward products amenable to integration into larger-scale factory automation and automated warehouse-type environments.
Durable goods producers to claim nearly half of demand
Durable goods manufacturers will account for nearly 50 percent of material handling demand through 2018. Advances will result from increased production in durable goods sectors such as machinery and fabricated metals. Sales of material handling products to nondurable goods manufacturers will also see gains, reflecting strong outlooks for the chemical and the food and beverage markets. Other markets, which include trade and distribution companies, will see growth above the global average, spurred by the rising prevalence of international trade, which requires goods to be handled at more points along the distribution chain than domestic commerce.
This upcoming industry study, World Material Handling Products, presents historical demand data for 2003, 2008 and 2013, as well as forecasts for 2018 and 2023 by product, market, world region, and for 29 countries. This study also considers key market environment factors, examines the industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles global industry participants.
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