Developing countries' increase in demand will help push global material handling produce market to $117 billion by 2010. According to a study released by Cleveland-based The Freedonia Group Inc., the market will increase by 4.5% annually.
Industrialization-related fixed investment activity, rising per capita incomes and growth in manufacturing output will all contribute to increases in equipment demand. China and India will show the largest increases with Western Europe and Japan showing renewed demand. The U.S. market will also accelerate.
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. Demand for conventional material handling products -- such as industrial trucks and lifts, conveyors, hoists, cranes and the like -- will improve.
The U.S., Japan and Germany are the world's largest producers of material
handling products. Germany and Japan are the major net exporters, although China and South Korea are expected to become increasingly important global suppliers.