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The global automated guided vehicle (AGV) market size was USD 1.83 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with automated guided vehicles witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a stellar growth of 8.9% in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.00 billion in 2021 to USD 3.72 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 9.3% in the 2021-2028 period. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
AGVs are material handling automated machines programmed to move pallets, carts, trays, etc., between different manufacturing and warehousing facilities. AGVs are installed by these facilities to enhance efficiency, which results in increased output, thereby increasing the company's profit margin. The industries now tend to focus more on efficiency and not just increasing productivity. This can be seen as many manufacturing facilities consider implementing various methodologies such as JIT (Just in Time), KANBAN, etc.
COVID-19 to Slow Down the Opportunities for New Adoption of AGVs in the Short Term Course
The impact on the market has been relatively limited. In the short term, influence primarily lies in supply chain obstruction and difficulty in improving production owing to the lack of traffic restrictions and personnel mobility. The enormity of these disruptions increases as the time to recovery lengthens. AGVs adoption was already on a rise before the spread of coronavirus, which in short has seen a relative downfall in the demand. But, aided by the growth in the ecommerce industry over the course of the pandemic, has enhanced the automated material handling processes. And, with the efficiency, reliability, accuracy, and speed of the AGV, the market is expected to retain its growth in the coming years. Furthermore, in the long term, the manufacturing industry is also expected to get back on track, thus, resulting in stabilizing the demand for AGVs.
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Focus on Increasing Production Efficiency to Boost the Growth of the Market
AGVs are used to increase efficiency and decrease damage to goods and materials. It further aids in reducing operational costs by limiting the number of employees required for completing the job. Moreover, they are better replacement options for lift trucks that operate manually. This enables the company to use the workforce to provide more value addition to the product and adopt methodologies to increase efficiency such as JIT, KANBAN, etc. AGVs have enabled companies to completely automate the process, which involves the movement of goods. Some of the functions that AGVs provide include repetitive transportation, multi-shift or 24x7 operations, and low & medium-throughput, among various other benefits. Therefore, better optimization can be achieved for the whole manufacturing process resulting in increased efficiency.
Increasing Automation in Material Handling Process to Favor Growth
The increasing automation in the material handling process has enabled the industries to have connected factories equipped with big data, machine learning, etc., resulting in the adoption of automated material handling processes. This aids them in having flexible manufacturing processes, improved quality control, and enhanced labor management. Besides, the increasing business of the e-commerce industry across the globe results in the growing adoption of the automated material handling process.
Companies such as Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, etc., are focusing on the automation of the material handling process to reduce the operation cost and increase the inventory size. According to our secondary research, only 25% of the facilities have an automated material handling system. Hence, automated material handling has a wide scope and is expected to grow and boost the growth of the global market.
High Initial Investment Required for Setup to Hinder Market Growth
The companies that are automating the manufacturing processes or supply chain by deploying AGVs generally require a high amount of capital. This involves purchasing cost, installation cost, and cost involved in making the working space friendlier for deploying AGVs. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the companies have faced trouble adjusting to changing needs of the hour. The companies are currently going through a severe cash crunch, which has led to the high possibility of laying off their employees and workforce. This is expected to affect the companies in the forthcoming years based on the severity of the economic downturn.
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Automated Forklift Trucks Segment Projected to Grow at a Higher Rate
Based on type, the automated guided vehicle market is segmented into tow vehicles, automated forklift trucks, underride/ tunneling vehicles, assembly line vehicles, and others (unit load carriers, etc.). The automated forklift trucks segment is expected to experience significant growth during the forecast period. This is due to the increasing adoption of such trucks that provide better control, stability, and improved storage capacity.
Automated unit load carriers and others segment are expected to exhibit a CAGR of 10.3% during the forecast period. Additionally, underride/ tunneling vehicles. Furthermore, tow vehicles also referred to as tuggers are computer-controlled vehicles that pull the non-powered wheeled crates, trolleys, etc. The tuggers are adjustable as per the length or capacity requirement, hence these are expected to exhibit a steady growth rate.
Assembly line vehicles are expected to exhibit moderate growth owing to their specific use case in the industries during the forecast period. Moreover, these trucks are comparatively bigger in size, which requires extra space while movement limits its applications.
Laser Automated Guided Vehicle Segment to Hold Largest Market Share
Based on the navigation technology, the market is segmented into laser-guided, magnetic guided, vision guided, and others (wire-guided, etc.).
Laser guidance sub-segment is witnessing growth in the material handling industry worldwide as it acts as an electronic eye to skip the obstacles within the path. The combination of flexibility and accuracy makes laser systems popular as they pose challenges in the environment with obstacles and perform the operations. The magnetic AGV is anticipated to witness significant growth in several sectors owing to the flexible structure of these systems. On the other hand, vision-guided vehicles (VGVs) are expected to exhibit steady growth owing to their increasing adoption in the warehouse and distribution centers.
The others segment consists of wire-guided and other types of automated guided vehicles that are likely to witness moderate growth.
Automated Transportation & Distribution Process to Boost the Market
Based on application, the market is categorized into transportation and distribution, storage and assembly, and packaging.
The transportation and distribution segment is projected to exhibit a robust growth rate owing to its adoption in different types of industries during the forecast period. AGVs have a wide variety of applications for the movement of goods & products from one place to another at an enterprise or facility. Various industries use the transportation and distribution process to move goods & raw materials such as paper, plastic, metal, rubber, steel, etc.
Storage and assembly and packaging applications are required for functions such as the movement of empty bottles, containers, pallets, and transporting goods from the end of the production line to storage and many more.
Increasing Material Handling Process from E-commerce Industry to Accelerate AGV Market Revenue
Based on industry, the market is categorized into automotive, food & beverage, e-commerce, and others.
The e-commerce segment is estimated to exhibit robust growth owing to the increasing business of major e-commerce players such as Amazon, Alibaba, etc. AGVs have a prominent presence in the industries where there is the bulk movement of materials such as the automotive industry, food & beverage, etc.
In the automotive industry, AGVs are used for transporting tools, vehicles, engines, chassis, etc. They are primarily adopted for pickup, transport, and drop services. Besides, in the food & beverage, AGVs aid in integrating material handling equipment systems, ERP systems, high- rack storage systems, and warehouse management. Furthermore, goods in these industries are labeled with barcodes and RFIDs, making it easier for the AGVs to recognize the product and move them to the required destination.
North America Automated Guided Vehicle Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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The automated guided vehicle market is segmented across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
North America is expected to dominate the market. The increasing number of import and export activities is driving the demand for AGVs in the region. Warehouse owners are increasingly adopting automation technologies to optimize operations and gain maximum efficiency. Companies operating in the region are developing new products with advanced technologies to cater to the increasing customer demands. For instance, in September 2018, Seegrid Corporation introduced a self-driving vision-guided vehicle for material handling operations for transportation, e-commerce, and distribution companies. The equipment can load and unload pallets automatically.
United States to Witness Highest CAGR with a Strong Presence of Key Market Players
The United States is among the most advanced countries on the globe. Therefore, the companies backed by their extensive R&D provide both customized and standard AGV’s. This also includes almost every type of guidance system, including laser, wire & magnetic guided. These wide ranges of products in the market come with the most cost-effective & efficient AGV system solution.
Asia-Pacific is estimated to hold the highest growth rate due to the rapidly developing e-commerce industry in several countries, including China, India, and Japan, driving the automated guided vehicle (AGV) industry. Several countries in Asia-Pacific are taking various initiatives to support the regional manufacturing industry's development, providing lucrative opportunities for market expansion.
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The increasing adoption of Industry 4.0 and industrial automation technologies will propel the AGVs market position in Europe & Latin American countries. For instance, in August 2020, Kion Group AG, collaborated with Quicktron, a Chinese technology startup, in order to expand the automated forklift truck
The growing focus of manufacturers on the adoption of automation processes is driving the market growth in the Middle East and African countries.
Prominent Players Setting up Manufacturing Plants in Developing Economies to Intensify Competition
Leading players such as TOYOTA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc., Daifuku Co., Ltd., & Oceaneering International Inc, hold approximately 40-45% of the overall market share. These manufacturers are focusing on setting up their plants in emerging economies in order to maintain their market share. These economies are proving to be cost-effective and yield high output for the companies as they have an abundance of resources coupled with government initiatives to boost the manufacturing sector. Moreover, these key players are investing in R&D to integrate the latest technologies to improve performance.
For instance, in October 2019, HRG (HIT Robot Group) launched its new AGVs, which integrate simultaneous localization and mapping, or SLAM, to move on the floors of industries or facilities.
An Infographic Representation of Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) Market
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The automated guided vehicle (AGV) market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects, such as competitive landscape, leading companies, product/service types, and leading product applications. Besides, the report offers insights into the current market trends and highlights key industry developments resulting from primary and secondary research studies. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses the analysis of several key factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
Type, Navigation Technology, Application, Industry, Region
By Navigation Technology
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 1.83 billion in 2020.
In 2028, the market is expected to be valued at USD 3.72 billion.
A growth of 9.3% CAGR is observed in the forecast period (2021-2028).
North America market size was at USD 0.56 billion in 2020.
The others segment is expected to be the leading segment during the forecast period.
The increasing automation in material handling processes across the industries is surging the current market scenario.
TOYOTA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc., Daifuku Co., Ltd., & Oceaneering International Inc are the top players in the market.
The transportation & distribution segment is expected to hold the highest share.
THE laser AGV segment is expected to grow significantly at the highest CAGR owing to higher efficiency.
The major players in the market hold approximately 40% -45% of the market.
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