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World Material Handling Products Demand to Reach $133.5 Billion in 2012

September 8, 2008
The world market for material handling equipment and systems is projected to increase 5% per year through 2012 to $133.5 billion (including price increases). Market gains will be driven by ongoing economic growth, higher manufacturing output, greater fixed investment activity, and rising motor vehicle production.  Material handling demand in developing parts of the Asia/Pacific region,
Eastern Europe, the Africa/Mideast region, and Latin America will outpace sales in the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan. In fact, China alone will account for 30% of total demand growth through 2012. These and other trends are presented in World Material Handling Products, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Many of the largest and most advanced material handling industries are located in industrialized nations, particularly those that have large, well-developed home markets, technical expertise in manufacturing higher-value products and access to factors of production such as capital and labor supplies. However, China has become a major producer, benefiting from a low cost wage pool and export opportunities to developing Asian economies.

Durable goods manufacturers accounted for the largest portion of global material handling equipment demand in 2007. Growth will result from rising production in key markets such as the motor vehicle industry. In addition, increased demand for durable consumer items like electronics will boost gains. However, demand for material handling products will spark more rapid advances in the nondurable goods sector, due to solid growth in the chemicals and food and beverages markets.

Demand for conventional material handling products -- such as industrial trucks and lifts, conveyors, hoists, and cranes -- will benefit from rapid industrialization in developing nations. However, advanced/automated material handling products such as robots and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) will post the best gains, as will software and high-end services like systems design and project management. These types of products and services can enhance the productivity of the material handling function, and are amenable to integration into larger-scale factory automation and automated warehouse-type environments. 
 
World Material Handling Products (published September 2008, 431 pages) is available for $5700 from The Freedonia Group Inc. For more information, call 440-684-9600 or e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com. Information may also be obtained at www.freedoniagroup.com.