Warehouse racking is an indispensable aspect of warehouse management and infrastructure. It can either slow down or accelerate operations of the warehouse as per the suitability of the racking systems utilized for the warehouse functions. Fundamentally, racking is a steel structure that involves metal frames, beams, and connectors. A variety of techniques, such as clipping, welding, and bolting, are used to assemble and manufacture warehouse racking systems. These racking systems are available in several sizes to support the material or object placed on it for storage purposes. Racking systems serve the warehouses of manufacturing facilities, retail centers, and distribution centers. The management of materials and goods have become relatively easy in storage facilities of respective companies on account of various types of racking system. The multiple levels of racking provide larger space for storage. In other words, the warehouse racking allows the company to utilize its vertical area instead of floor space.
From the past few years, the retail industry has been witnessing remarkable growth, owing to the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), home delivery service, discounts, broadening product range, and customization of products. This has resulted inan enormous demand for warehouse racking.Additionally, rapid urbanization, emerging middle-class population, and rising disposable income are stimulating the demand for various products, supporting market growth. Traditional brick and mortar players are using e-commerce to sell their products and are striving to enhance the customer experience to increase the footfall of buyers. These factors have also led to the exceptional growth of companies that are involved in the retail sector. For instance, Amazon.com generated revenue to the tune of USD 232,887 million in 2018, whereas Walmart generated a revenue worth USD 514,000 million in the same year. Today, many players are undertaking effective marketing strategies to boost product sales. For instance, India’s retail market is expected to register close to USD 180000 million by 2020, IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation).
Global trade volumes are mounting up at an exceptional rate on account of increased trade connectivity by roadways, railways, and airways, increasing demand for customized products, and favorable trade agreements. For instance, the Trade and Transportation Corridor Initiative is said toinvest around USD 2000 million over the next decade in a bid to make Canada’s transportation efficient and effective. Many manufacturing companies do not own warehouses and often prefer to hire third-party logistics companies to store their inventory as it saves the cost incurred and helps in centering the focus onthe quality of products and services. This has prompted a need for warehouses to optimize their space and fit in more inventory. Most of the warehouse racks manufacturers are also involved in providing consultancy services, aiding warehouse management.
The selective pallet segment holds the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period. The segment was valued at USD 517.39 million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 875.77 million by 2026. Flourishing demand for customized goods is likely to boost the segment’s growth in the years to come. These devices are primarily adopted for retail store inventory, wholesale storage, cold storage applications, among others. Additionally, the expanding wholesale and retail market is expected the drive the demand for rack system to store the products. For instance, a significant expansion of online retail shops such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Walmart is providing an impetus to market demand. Moreover, the average retail revenue of the top 250 players in the world accounts for close to USD 4400 billion.
The FIFO segment, among other inventory retrieval segments, holds the largest share and was valued at USD 1,137 million in 2018. FIFO retrieval is witnessing surging demand in warehouse applications as it primarily deals with perishable goods for faster stock rotation in order to optimize storage space and thereby reduce the storage footprint. In addition, rapid urbanization and population growth have led to an increase in disposable income in economies such as the U.S., Canada, India, China, and Germany. To cater to the increasing demand for fast-moving consumer goods such as milk, groceries, and consumer electronics, warehouses are opting for FIFO racking systems.
The roll-formed steel segment accounted for the highest share and the same trend is projected to continue during the forecast period. Small warehouses use racks made of roll-formed steel, owing to its characteristics of being lighter and less expensive, which makes it easier to relocate and reconfigure.
The retail segment, followed by the automotive segment,holds the largest share. The retail sector has witnessed exceptional growth on account of rising consumerism and several trends which are focusing on the buying power of the consumer. Additionally, retail chains are incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance customer experience with developments such as Tacobot which is Taco Bell’s chatbot, and Amazon’s penetration into the mass market with Echo and Alexa, are making it possible for users to order items by dint of voice command.
Asia-Pacific holds more than 45%market share, ranking as the first region globally. The Asia-Pacific market was valued at USD 742.88 million in 2018 and is expected to reach around USD 1,130.90 million by 2026 at a CAGR of about 5.4%. For instance, the Indian Retail Industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries, owing to the influx of several new players. Retail is one of the largest industries, presently accounting for 10% of the country’s GDP. Warehouse racking is deployed in the retail sectors to store the inventory of different products. In addition,emerging economies such as India and China arethe region’s largest importers of foods and beverages. According to Euromonitor, as a result of this collective effort, China’s consumers eat 115 kilotons of fish and seafood, 523 kilotons of fruit, 183 kilotons of meat, and 767 kilotons of vegetables every day. In order to meet this huge demand, China’s overall food and beverage imports grew by 10% between 2016 and 2017, which was valued at USD 1,06,900 million. This surge in imports of food and beverages has urged the need to store the food, which, in turn, is expected to drive the demand for warehouse racking systems.
Europe’s automotive sector, on the other hand, contributes 4% to the region's GDP. Warehouse racking systems are primarily used in the automotive sector for the storage of various automotive spare parts and automotive. The U.K., Germany, Spain, and France are some of the top exporters of automotive vehicles and are likely to be significant contributors to the European market in the years to come.
A few of the major industry players operating in the market include
Warehouse racking manufacturers are competing and relying upon material quality, innovative designs, and pricing range. Further, the launching of racking components with superior durability and high-end load-bearing capacity is primarily focused on sustaining in the competitive market. Giant players, such as Daifuku Co., Ltd., are also integrating their product portfolio with the provision of design and installation services for warehouse racks. The company designs an array of storage, material handling, and sorting solution systems to facilitate distribution, manufacturing, and airport management system. Moreover, it offers automated technologies for racking systems with which materials can be handled efficiently and securely.
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