Drives and Controls Magazine

China accounts for 30% of materials-handling growth

09 September, 2008

The global market for materials-handling equipment and systems is expected to grow by 5% per year until 2012, when it will be worth $133.5bn. According to the US market analyst Freedonia, this growth will be driven by demand from the Asia-Pacific region, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, with China alone accounting for 30% of the total growth in demand.

Durable goods manufacturers, in sectors such as automotive production and electronics, accounted for the lionís share of the global materials-handling market in 2007 and this will continue. But faster growth is expected from the non-durable goods sector, due to expansion in sectors such as chemicals, and food and beverages.

Demand for conventional materials-handling products, such as conveyors, hoists, cranes, trucks and lifts, will benefit from rapid industrialisation in developing nations, the study says. However, advanced products such as robots and automated guided vehicles will achieve the best gains, as will software and high-end services such as system design and project management. These products and services can boost productivity and can be integrated into larger-scale factory automation and automated warehouse environments.