Top 5 Material Handling Trends Changing the Industry

Is your company adapting to keep up with new trends and preparing for the future? In order to remain competitive, staying well informed of what’s coming ahead is essential. The following are 10 material handling trends making great changes and improvements in the material handling industry today and in the future.

1. Changing Workforce

The workforce in material handling is getting older, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates entering the workforce who possess the necessary skills. The direction suggests that over the next decade, this industry should join with the government and educational system to help expand demographics to including women, younger workers, disabled workers, and veterans.

2. E-Commerce

E-commerce growth has vastly increased the need for shipments to be trackable in real time from the moment an order is placed for delivery. It’s also becoming more popular to have 2-day and same-day shipping for online orders, making it necessary to have inventory in-stock at multiple locations and same-day processing.

3. Mass Personalization

As customized and personalized order requests become more common, businesses are required to have flexible manufacturing and automation systems. Also, consumers expect personalized goods at mass production prices. Businesses need to increase their capabilities to support more diverse orders with shorter turnaround times than in the past

4. Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation systems have helped businesses keep up with growing demands while remaining cost-efficient. These advances in technology also assist in smooth order picking, real-time tracking, and many other processes. Automated sorting systems are becoming more affordable and available in various versatile configurations to accommodate single piece picking in part-to-picker and picker-to-part configurations. Additionally, high-speed automation is leading to technology that can load and unload trucks at the pallet and carton level. Over the next decade, the material handling industry should expect to become more immersed in automated processes.

5. Sustainability

The industry has begun developing standard and accepted metrics to assess environmental impact. As consumers become better understanding of the environmental consequences of the products they purchase, transportation and material handling companies should continue working toward reducing their energy use and environmental footprint.


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