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Automated Material Handling (AMH) Equipment Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Automated Storage & Retrieval System, Automated Conveyor & Sorting System, Automated Guided Vehicle), By System Load (Unit Load & Bulk Load), By Application (Assembly, Distribution, Transportation), By Industry (Retail & E-commerce, Automotive, Food & Beverages, Pharmaceutical, Semiconductors & Electronics) and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated: April 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100832



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The global automated material handling (AMH) equipment market size was USD 35.80 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 70.53 billion by 2031, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.7 % during the forecast period.

Today, logistics and supply chain management has become an important aspect across various industries, enhancing business performance. Also, it enables suppliers to streamline inventories, manage cash outlay, and improve the functionality of the processes to further expand their business activities. In above mentioned scenario, automated material handling equipment is widening across warehouses and manufacturing facilities to reduce downtime and labor costs, synergize the production, transportation and distribution effectively and, generate an early return on investments. Besides this, integration of advanced technologies including SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping), Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence have brought a new wave of advancement and transforming the material handling industry. For instance, in October 2019, HRG company unveiled two automated guided vehicles range capable to navigate and produce a 2D map to guide them around the facility. Also, these AGVs have ability to carry around 300 kg loads.    

COVID-19 to Impede the Opportunities for New Manufacturing Facilities Construction

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the market ambiguity, leading to shutdowns of production hubs and disruption in the supply chain ecosystem. Also, the blockage of present or future investments financed by various financial institutions for infrastructure development would be hampered if the enormity of the virus would remain the same. For instance, The European Investment Bank, approximately invested around USD 13,300 million in Europe for infrastructure development, environmental projects, SMEs and midcaps financing, and others. However, in the long term, the market would be stabilizing as major industries will shift their focus towards automated material handling solutions to reduce workforce labor at factory floors and gain an early return on investments.


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Evolution of Industry 4.0 and Smart Factories is Fueling Product Demand

The rising trends towards smart factories are anticipated to boost the material handling industry. Today, the entire manufacturing floor – including picking, sorting, and conveying systems require monitoring at every level of process in order to gauge the operational efficiency and reduce wastages. In such scenarios, smart factories integrated with automated systems enable monitoring of every process. Also, various intuitive technologies embedded in material handling systems such as cloud connectivity and data analytics improve asset performance and provides actionable information in real-time. The integration of such automated systems installed in facilities further provides wireless remote control systems that help in providing better diagnostics and reduce commissioning time. Owing to the aforementioned factors, rising industry 4.0 and smart factory construction is creating a potential room for the automated material handling equipment market.


Rising E-commerce Industry is Favoring Market Growth

Today, the e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid pace across the globe resulting in huge demand for process automation. Key vendors such as Amazon, Walmart, and others are increasingly integrating automated solutions to carry out operations in a manner that is efficient, precise, cost-effective, and safe. For instance, in January 2020, Amazon signed up a deal with Baylo, a French robotic software startup. This commercial agreement will add value to design and develop innovative robotic solutions for material handling trucks. This strategic move will enhance Amazon’s warehouse material handling functioning, further easing the e-commerce business. Besides this, the rise in the manufacturing industry is also a major factor supplementing the market growth. Facilities owners are focusing on producing and shipping products to their customers at a faster, cheaper rate and with increased quality. Considering this, integration of automated equipment aids in having more effective production cycles reduces operational costs and material waste.       


High Integration and Switching Costs of Automated Material Handling Equipment to Hinder the Market Growth

The challenging factor for the AMH equipment market is the massive investments required at the initial stage. The associated costs mainly installation, integration of intelligent sensors and software solutions, after sales services and timely maintenance increases the overall ownership costs, making it difficult for companies to invest in AMH equipment. Also, small and medium enterprises find it difficult to switch from conventional material handling to automated products owing to low production output and investment returns, restructuring of existing warehouses, facility designs, and others.


By Type Analysis

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The machines considered in the scope of the study under automated storage & retrieval system type sub-segment includes shuttles, vertical lift modules and others. Further, the systems included under automated conveyors & sortation system covers sweeper sorters and others.

Automated Guided Vehicle Segment to Grow Significantly in the Coming Years Backed by Technological Advancement in the Existing Products

Based on type, the market is further segmented into automated storage & retrieval system, automated conveyor & sorting system, and automated guided vehicle.

The automated guided vehicle segment is expected to rise at the highest growth rate in the coming years owing to evolution of various technologies configured in AGV such as SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping), artificial intelligence and the internet of things. Furthermore, major players are continuously focusing on developing the existing automated guided vehicles in order to offer more efficient products in logistics environments. For instance, Toyota introduced automated repetitive pallet handling vehicles and automated lift trucks equipped with lithium-ion batteries.

Automated storage & retrieval system and automated conveyor & sorting system are expected to grow at a moderate rate in the coming years owing to the increasing warehouses and manufacturing units across developed and developing economies.

By System Load Analysis

Unit Load Holds Highest Share Backed by Rising Concerns for Shortening Lead Times

On the basis of system load analysis, the study is further categorized into unit load and bulk load.

The unit load sub-segment is expected to exhibit the highest growth and is further expected to propel the automated material handling system market in the near future. This is attributable to the growth in the e-commerce industry. Also, it allows handling several goods simultaneously which helps to achieve shorter order lead times, thereby reducing operational cost.

The bulk load sub-segment is expected to grow at a considerable rate owing to demand from the food & beverage industry, pharmaceutical, and others for transportation, and sorting bulk quantities.

By Application Analysis

Distribution Segment Holds Highest Share Backed by Rising E-commerce Industry  

Amongst the application analysis, the market is categorized into the assembly, distribution, transportation, packaging, and others.

The distribution sub-segment holds a major share owing to growth in the e-commerce industry as the timely distribution and transportation helps to achieve delivery targets. This is owing to usage of automated material handling equipment such as AGVs, automated storage and retrieval systems that allows to carry the materials and products efficiently and effectively in minimal time. Also, key online vendors are rigorously focusing on achieving on-time delivery by improvising the material handling systems.

The packaging sub-segment is expected to grow steadily in the forecast period owing to increasing demand from food & beverages, pharmaceutical, and e-commerce industries. Automated packaging is vital as the products are handled across different people and are in-transition for a considerable span of time. Effective packaging ensures that the food is protected from internal and external environments.

The assembly sub-segment is expected to be driven by automobile industry wherein assembling of vehicle components are done.

By Industry Analysis

E-commerce Segment to Show Robust Growth Backed by Rising Online Shopping Trends 

The study is further categorized into e-commerce, automotive, food & beverages, pharmaceutical, aviation, semiconductors & electronics, and others.

The e-commerce sub-segment is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period owing to increasing penetration of online shopping trends, presence of major online suppliers, rising logistics infrastructure, and others. This trend is further compelling owners of distribution centers and facilities to integrate automation systems in warehouses to efficiently manage the supply chain ecosystem.

Food & beverages, aviation, semi-conductors and automotive sub-segment are expected to grow steadily owing to increasing demand for durable & non-durables goods, growing trends of precision packaging, transporting semi-conductors and its components, and others


Asia Pacific Automated Material Handling (AMH) Equipment Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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Geographically, the market is segmented across five major regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. They are further categorized into countries.

Asia Pacific dominates the global automated material handling equipment market owing to parameters such as growing demand for manufacturing process and warehouse units. In addition to this, increase in manufacturing capacities and adoption of material handling methods to enhance production capabilities in many regions mainly South Korea, China, and Taiwan are propelling the growth of the market. For instance, Coca-Cola company opened warehouses in Singapore valued around USD 57 million to have automated storage and retrieval systems. 

North America and Europe are anticipated to witness substantial growth in the forecast period, owing to the increase in sales through e-commerce market, increase in demand for durable and non-durable goods eventually compelling manufacturing companies to adopt extensive assembly lines and material handling equipment.

The Middle East and Africa and Latin America are expected to grow at a steady rate owing to increasing penetration of the e-commerce & retail industry in these regions, high pouring of foreign direct investments from online retailers to set up warehouse facilities to cater to the unattended market.


Leading Players to Expand their Product Portfolio in Logistics Business Solutions

Prominent companies are proactively focusing on serving automated material handling systems for logistics solutions businesses owing to increasing needs for more efficiencies at distribution centers following growth of e‐commerce. Additionally, these key players are stressing on sales activities to supplement the market for the automated material handling equipment market. For instance, according to secondary sources, Europe retailers ordered Vanderlande TMHE’s AGFs into its new distribution center to build a highly automated center.


  • Daifuku Co.,Ltd (Headquarter:- Osaka, Japan)

  • Jungheinrich AG (Headquarter: - Hamburg, Germany)

  • Toyota Industries Corporation (Headquarter: - Aichi, Japan)

  • BEUMER Group (Headquarter: - Beckum, Germany)

  • Cargotec (Headquarter: - Helsinki, Finland)

  • Kion Group (Headquarter: - Frankfurt, Germany)

  • Crown Equipment Corporation (Headquarter: - Ohio, United States)

  • Honeywell Intelligrated (Headquarter: - Ohio, United States)

  • SSI Schaefer AG (Headquarter: - North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)

  • Hytrol Conveyor Company, Inc. (Headquarter: - Jonesboro, United States)


  • July 2023: Jungheinrich unveils cutting-edge mobile robot solution at LogiMAT 2023, setting new industry standards. The adaptable robot seamlessly integrates into warehouses, autonomously solves challenges, and enhances performance, reflecting a shift towards intelligent intralogistics.

  • May 2023: Toyota Material Handling expands its portfolio with innovative electric forklifts: Side-Entry End Rider, Center Rider Stacker, and Industrial Tow Tractor. These additions enhance material handling solutions, emphasizing adaptability and superior on-site performance for customers.

  • June, 2017: Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc., acquired Zhejiang Maximal Forklift Company Limited in order to expand its manufacturing capabilities and strengthen its product portfolio to gain competitive edge in the global market.


An Infographic Representation of Automated Material Handling Equipment Market

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The automated material handling (AMH) equipment market report provides an in-depth analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. It provides various key insights including recent industry developments in this market, such as mergers & acquisitions, macro, and microeconomic factors, SWOT analysis, and company profiles.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Automated Storage & Retrieval System

  • Automated Conveyor & Sorting System

  • Automated Guided Vehicle

By System Load

  • Unit Load

  • Bulk Load

By Application

  • Assembly

  • Distribution

  • Transportation

  • Packaging

  • Others (Sorting)

By Industry

  • E-Commerce

  • Automotive

  • Food & Beverages

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Aviation

  • Semiconductors & Electronics

  • Others (Chemicals)

By Region

  • North America (the U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, and the Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Southeast Asia and the Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and the Rest of the Middle East & Africa)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and the Rest of Latin America)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 35.80 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 56.51 billion by 2027.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.7%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The automated guided vehicle sub-segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Rising E-commerce industry is a major factor driving the growth of the market.

Daifuku Co.,Ltd, Toyota Industries Corporation and Jungheinrich AG are major players of the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2019.

High pouring of investment at initial stage is expected to hamper the market.

E-commerce industry is expected to drive the market.

Evolution of various technologies streamlined in automated material handling equipment is the current market trend.

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