Material Handling Equipment Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 1,400 material handling equipment manufacturers in the US produce a wide range of custom products including elevators, escalators and moving walkways; conveyors and industrial and commercial carousels; grain and mine elevators and conveyors; pneumatic tube conveyors; and overhead cranes, hoists, winches and monorail systems. They also produce standard products, including dollies and hand trucks; forklifts and pallet movers; industrial cradles, cherry-pickers, and bomb lifts; wheelbarrows, shopping carts and cart corrals, valet carts and dumbwaiters. As a result, the industry’s customer base is very broad.

Foreign Competition

US manufacturers compete in the domestic market with imports, which represent about 25% of the US market for material handling equipment.

System Automation and Flow Analysis

As technology advances, so are the capabilities incorporated into material handling equipment.

Industry size & Structure

A typical material handling equipment manufacturer operates out of a single location, employs 69 workers, and generates over $25 million annually.

    • The material handling equipment manufacturing industry consists of about 1,400 companies, which employ about 96,000 workers and generate about $35 billion annually.
    • The elevator and escalator segment accounts for 11% of firms and 12% of industry revenue. The conveyor and conveying equipment segment accounts for 49% of firms and 32% of revenue. The overhead crane, hoist and monorail system segment represents 18% of firms and 23% of revenue. The segment that produces carts, stackers, lifts and cradles accounts for 22% of firms and 33% of industry revenue.
    • The conveyor and conveying equipment segment is the least concentrated with half of its revenue attributed to its top 50 firms. The other three segments are highly concentrated with half of revenue attributed to the top 4 firms.
    • Large companies include Material Handling Systems, Dematic, Bastian Solutions, DMW&H, Crown, Yale Materials Handling, Hyster, Americana, and divisions of Honeywell, Caterpillar, and Komatsu.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Material Handling Equipment Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    May 30, 2024 - Prices Rising Amid Falling Sales
                                    • Producer prices for material handling equipment manufacturers rose 2.65% in March compared to a year ago after climbing 9.6% in the previous annual comparison, according to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Prices charged by producers of material handling equipment are at a record high despite a decline in new product orders and shipments, and rising inventories. Machinery industry sales declined in the second half of 2023. Employment by the industry was flat in March (up 0.1%) year over year, BLS data shows.
                                    • Rising online sales and competition among ecommerce providers will drive demand for material handling equipment as Amazon adds warehouse space and restructures its massive US distribution network, The Wall Street Journal reported in May. After pausing its expansion in the aftermath of the pandemic, the ecommerce giant is back in growth mode with plans to overhaul its domestic shipping network. The company is looking to build or lease warehouse space to store massive quantities of inventory and smaller fulfillment centers closer to customers to speed up delivery times. Amazon’s plan to add more locations is creating opportunities for providers of conveyor belts, pallet jacks, forklifts, pallet pickers, and more. Year to date, Amazon has leased, bought, or announced plans for more than 16 million square feet of new warehouse space in the US, according to supply-chain consulting firm MWPVL International, cited by WSJ.
                                    • The once-booming warehouse market is starting to shrink as more manufacturers and retailers are returning to a “just-in-time” lean inventory management strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported in February. As online orders surged during the pandemic, retailers and their suppliers rapidly added capacity to prevent out-of-stock orders and avoid supply chain disruptions. However, as commerce has normalized, many firms have been slashing inventories, closing warehouses, or upgrading existing facilities rather than opening new sites this year, while others are subleasing extra space, according to WSJ. In Q4 2023, US warehouse space listed for sublease reached a record high of more than 156 million square feet, more than three times the amount available in Q4 2021, according to real-estate services firm Savills. Many companies are now consolidating warehouses and upgrading to newer buildings that can accommodate more automation and require less labor.
                                    • A study from distribution center technology company Lucas Systems finds that game mechanics can drive team member engagement and keep warehouse workers on the job, Modern Materials Handling (MMH) reports. The study, which surveyed 750 on-floor warehouse workers in the US and UK, found nearly 84% of workers said they were more likely to stay with a company that developed workplace competitions around their day-to-day tasks. Workers enjoy gamifying their work, embrace the benefits gamified teamwork could bring, and are eager to participate if it means earning company recognition or prizes such as company merchandise, Lucas Systems concluded. “The results point to new and innovative ways for managers to attract and keep warehouse workers,” says Lucas Systems Chief People Officer Bud Leeper. Gamification can be a differentiator for employers looking to fill the more than 250,000 warehouse worker job openings in the US right now, according to MMH.
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