The Global Automated Material Handling (AMH) Market was valued at USD 55,907.4 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 11,2983 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 12.7%, during the period of 2021 - 2026. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, which has been conducted under the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, has established that workplace injuries have decreased by 25% in 10 years, due to the advent of various technologies in the workplace. This helps in boosting the automated material handling market.
- With the increasing trend of industry 4.0, which invites collaboration between automated systems within facilities, warehouse managers are now interested in having enterprise-wide automation. They have been increasingly deploying goods with RFID tags, which increases the transparency and traceability of products. These technologies aid in the implementation of systems, such as robots and other technology to transform material handling technology.
- Since automation can be used to optimize an existing labor force, and it is capable of increasing productivity from 200% to 600%, systems (like horizontal and vertical carousels and VLMs) support flexible staffing measures, by enabling just one worker to handle the picking assignments of multiple operators.
- According to the 2019 Industry Report of MHI, about 65% of supply chain professionals revealed that hiring and retaining a skilled workforce continue to be among the biggest obstacles faced by their businesses. Since millennials are known for placing high importance on the quality of time-off and the ability to work on top-notch automated projects, automated warehouses are being marked as lucrative sources of employment and advanced learning.
- Developing countries in Asia, such as India, are investing in material handling equipment significantly. According to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Indian market for materials handling equipment (MHE), accounting for about 13% market share of the country's construction equipment industry, has witnessed significant growth in the recent past.
- This growth is primarily attributed to the increasing investment in infrastructure development, growing penetration of advanced technologies, rising demand for increased automation, and safe working practices in the manufacturing space. The market is expected to witness a CAGR of 10% from 2016 through 2020.
Key Market Trends
Airport Developments to Significantly Drive the Market Growth
- With the increasing volume of cross-border air freight dedicated to quick deliveries, the e-commerce sector is expected to boost the demand for automated material handling solutions such as tugs, ASRS, and sortation systems as heavy air freight carriers draw a considerable attention to AMH solutions.
- According to a report published by IATA in March 2019, world air cargo traffic is forecast to increase dynamically, with the annual growth rate of over 4% in the next 20 years. In that, air freight is projected to grow at a rate of 4.3% per annum.
- The North American airport industry is one of the largest airport industries in the world. It provides services to about 1,011.5 million domestic and international passengers every year. It is also home to some of the world's biggest airports and is expected to bolster the adoption of automation, to ensure no disruptions in the business model.
- For instance, Crisplant, a foremost global supplier of automated baggage handling systems, designed, manufactured, and installed fully-automated baggage handling systems, which have been integrated with the security screening equipment deployed by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), in Canada's Halifax International Airport.
- Since December 2019, London Stansted Airport has been investing EUR 59 million in a new baggage delivery system, updating the huge network of conveyor belts and lifts underneath the main terminal, which transports up to 30,000 bags every day. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
- Investments from leading airport intralogistics solution providers, like Siemens Logistics and Airport Solutions, and the installation of new baggage-handling facilities and IT systems (at leading international transport hubs and regional airports within the United Kingdom), with operational, service, and technical support, are driving the growth of the airport segment in the country. For instance, Leonardo Airport partnered with Siemens in December 2018 for maintenance and technical management of all baggage handling systems at the Rome Fiumicino Intercontinental Airport and the Rome Ciampino International Airport.
- With a rise in the load factor of different airlines originating from Germany, the need for automated conveyors and sortation systems is increasing across all airports in the country. In 2018, Dutch airports crossed the 79.6 million mark in the number of passengers transported, as compared to 76.2 million passengers in 2017. According to Statistics Netherlands, Schiphol Airport accounted for the bulk of these passengers.
- According to the Airport Authority of India, passenger traffic was expected to rise to 322 million in 2018-19 with subsequent investments in airport infrastructure. Domestic air transport in China and India is expected to increase four times and six times, respectively. Considering the rapid growth rate of China and India, these countries, along with Japan and Indonesia, are expected to be among the ten largest passenger markets which is expected to impact the market's growth positively over the forecast period.
Asia- Pacific to Witness the Fastest Growth
- China has been a prominent contributor to the growth of the AMH market in the Asia-Pacific region. The increasing demand for AMH products across industries, such as manufacturing, automotive, and e-commerce, among others, is boosting the market's growth positively.
- The 2020 Beijing International Intelligent Warehousing and Material Handling Technology Expo (SMTS 2020) would be held on June 9-11, 2020, at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing. Various new material handling equipment, such as AGV automatic guided truck, handling and conveying system, forklift, trailer, tractor, palletizing robot, and handling robot, among others, are expected to be presented at this event.
- Startups, such as Syrius Robotics, based out of Shenzhen, are building autonomous mobile robots to integrate them into two model warehouses of JD Logistics for further testing and optimization, for last-mile deliveries. AMH systems are expected to experience demand from the manufacturing industries, with increased throughput, warehouses, and distribution centers.
- In December 2019, BYD India, a subsidiary of the BYD Group, announced that it had expanded into the material handling equipment business in the country, making it the only Indian company to offer MHE products with lithium-ion phosphate battery in the country. The company's major focus is on 3PL (third-party logistics), warehousing, and logistics companies.
- According to the Head of BYD India MHE business, "the Indian warehousing and logistics sector is anticipated to attract nearly USD 10 billion investment over the next few years, and the technological advancement and process optimization of the warehousing industry is the key driving force behind the growth of logistics sector." In India, the company has set up a head office in Chennai.
- In October 2019, Thailand and Japan signed an MoU to bolster the development of automation and robotics in Thailand. This was one of the crucial initiatives by Thailand under its Thailand 4.0 blueprint. For the same, Makino is building a smart factory to leverage IoT and automation.
- In February 2020, logistics automation specialist, Swisslog, member of the KUKA Group, received an order from IKEA Supply (Malaysia). Located at Pulai Indah, the Distribution Center run by Inter IKEA would be its most significant regional distribution center in the Asia-Pacific region.
- All these significant investment and partnership across the Asia-Pacific region is driving the growth of AMH market.
The automated material handling market is fragmented and highly competitive in nature. Some of the major players are Daifuku Co., Ltd, BEUMER Group, Siemens AG, JBT Corporation, Honeywell Intelligrated amongst others. Product launches, high expense on research and development, partnerships and acquisitions, etc. are the prime growth strategies adopted by these companies to sustain the intense competition. Some of the recent developments are
- February 2020 - TGW Logistics Group GMBH announced that it started building a highly automated intralogistics system in Berkel and Rodenrijs for Fource. By carrying out this project, the customer will bundle its intralogistics at one location and taking an important step in optimizing the supply chain, where FlashPick is the core of the highly automated solution.
- February 2020 - TJ Morris Ltd, one of the UK`s fastest-growing and highest-rated retailers in Europe, selected WITRON to pursue its expansion strategy. The company signed the contract for the design and implementation of a 79,000 square meter, highly dynamic distribution center in Warrington (North West England). It will store 12,000 different items from the dry goods assortment.
- January 2020 - SI Schaefer and the solution provider of automatic picking and digital applications, BD Rowa, agreed to continue to collaborate. The two companies extended the corresponding contract by five more years. The aim of the cooperation is to provide customers in the healthcare sector an overall solution to prepare them for future processes, such as e-prescriptions or establishing Hub & Spoke models.
- January 2020- BEUMER offers tailor-made systems for the entire material flow chain - from receiving and unloading the delivery vehicle to storing, sampling, and conveying the materials. The system provider has now developed a screw weigh feeder suitable for a variety of materials to provide precise and controlled feeding.
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