Bulk Material Handling Equipment Market Size Boom: 7.9% CAGR Forecast for the Coming Period
Developments in transport infrastructure, the introduction of automation in transport machinery, and the advent of e-commerce have all proven pivotal to the growing trade volumes globally. Bulk material handling equipment is used at ports, warehouses, and processing facilities to facilitate the movement of goods.
Government initiatives targeting further advancement in trade will bolster the bulk material handling equipment market’s growth in years to come. China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is a case in point here. It aims to provide relatively smoother transit for Chinese traders to trade commodities.
Brazil, India, Malaysia, Argentina, and Mexico are ramping up manufacturing activities and delivering finished goods to other parts of the world at relatively low prices. Such export activities lead to the mass movement of goods across borders, necessitating equipment for material handling and, in turn, driving the growth of the bulk material handling equipment market.
Trade treaties foster healthy geopolitical relationships and, ultimately, trade; thus, they pave way for the development of ports, airports, and other cargo handling sites. Cargo handlers prefer machinery over manual labor to reduce overall handling costs and the damage to goods. This shift will also play a role in propelling the bulk material handling equipment market.
The market has been witnessing advancements in terms of automation, design, pricing, and load-carrying efficiency. Also, stringent labor laws around the globe have compelled warehouse owners to opt for machinery over manual labor. Innovation and automation are the two key drivers for the bulk material handling equipment market.
The introduction of equipment that runs on electricity instead of gasoline or diesel has garnered significant interest in light of environmental concerns. Further, favorable government schemes such as tax exemption and regulations are also fostering the growth of electric bulk material handling equipment. Manufacturers are also focusing on automation to reduce human errors and enhance efficiency. Several start-ups are also focusing on manufacturing automated guided vehicles (AGV).
Global warming and ozone layer deletion have compelled manufacturers to produce more responsibly — low emission is one of the critical considerations for machinery and equipment manufactured today. Globally, governments are framing regulations and taking initiatives that promote the use of environmentally-friendly alternatives.
Bulk material handling equipment manufacturers are no exception to this global movement and working toward offering electric equipment. Thus, the bulk material handling equipment market’s electric segment by fuel type is expected to gain traction in the upcoming years. Zero-emission equipment is attracting environment-conscious consumers.
Bulk material handling equipment such as trucks, tractors, and forklifts have been recording a significant increase in sales for the past few years. The total export of forklifts was valued at USD 10.1 billion in 2010 and grew to USD 17.1 billion by 2017. The emergence of electric variants will further broaden the opportunity in the coming years.
Low emission and cheaper cargo fares make sea trade the most viable alternative for international trade. Ports have been undergoing a paradigm shift during the past few years. Earlier ports were solely used for loading and unloading operations and occupied large independent areas. With time, they have changed from loading-unloading docks to storage locations for various commodities, providing employment to many.
Widespread internet penetration has made it possible for even the remotest consumer to order commodities from other countries. And the volume of transactions has been increasing with the growth of the global population. The demand for faster turnaround times has surged the demand for bulk material handling equipment at ports.
Increasing port traffic has compelled port and ship operators to invest in equipment capable of working on- and off-shore, presenting an opportunity for bulk material handling equipment manufacturers. Other factors, such as the adoption of ship and cargo management software and rebuilding of canals, will further create growth avenues for the market.
Globally, trade volumes are increasing at an exceptional rate with better connectivity and improvement in transport infrastructures, such as roadways and railways. This has resulted in an increase in the output of various consumer goods.
Most consumer goods producers do not have warehouses and rely on third-party logistics companies for inventory storage. Thus, the increasing number of small manufacturing units has surged the demand for such services. Warehouse owners prefer vertical expansion to evade exorbitant expenses on additional land. Here, the complexity of operation involved stacking goods vertically creates demand for bulk handling equipment.
Some players in the bulk material handling equipment market also provide consultancy services for warehouse management. This integration of tangible and intangible services that manufacturers could provide, coupled with the need for warehouse owners to optimize space, is expected to influence the market growth positively during the forecast period.
In Asia-Pacific (APAC), China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand have vast coastlines, and the respective governments are aggressively working toward equipping their ports with modern material handling machinery. The construction sector, despite a momentary slowdown, is expected to witness a spike in its growth rate. The growing urban population and increasing government investments in upgrading and building new infrastructure will spell positive growth for the APAC bulk material handling equipment market.
The retail sector has been transforming with an emphasis on brick and mortar stores that provide experience-based shopping to counter the e-commerce surge, which is complemented by free shipping and deep discounts. This will significantly drive the growth of APAC’s construction sector.
Economies around the world are adopting protectionist policies that may restrict international trade, hindering the bulk material handling equipment market’s growth to some extent. However, regional businesses involved in trading are expected to pivot towards domestic consumption, which has been bolstered by a slew of economic reforms and a relatively improved standard of living.
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