Industry Growth For Semi-Automated Trucks

After a sharp fall in 2009, the market for automated handling equipment such as scissor lift trucks, lift tables and manual stacker trucks was not expected to be revitalised so easily. It was expected that the slow-moving industry would take a few years to restore itself and get back on track, or at least remain static, as the recession ebbed and consumers and businesses got back to their best. But despite the continuation of the recession, industry experts believe that the sector will experience unceasing growth over the next few years.

Since the 2009 dip in fork lift truck sales, the market has performed very encouragingly, with trucks like narrow aisle traverse trucks excelling as businesses attempt to optimise the working space they have and streamline their processes. Small to medium-sized businesses were the biggest buyers, but experts believe that larger companies can no longer put off the inevitable, and must now start to invest in their future materials handling systems, rather than simply battening down the hatches and protecting against the recession.

Some experts believe that the vast majority of industry growth will come from sales of products like electric and semi-electric fork lift and stacker truck, high lift pallet trucks and hand pallet trucks which provide a quick ROI. With a small amount of investment in any one of these designs of truck, the productivity of the workforce is significantly enhanced. Where productivity is up, so is profit, and in some cases, operational costs may fall as a result of less man hours needed to carry out certain jobs.

The majority of warehouses, factories and distribution centres currently use a mixture of semi-automated and manual machines, with many shying away from total automation because the inflexibility of fully automated solutions can be constricting. Semi-electric stacker trucks and pallet trucks are a popular piece of equipment within such workplaces because there is still a measure of control; the manual aspect allows employees to operate the trucks and carry out all tasks without too much physical exertion on their part. Aerial work platforms are also a staple in many of these working situations, as their electric capabilities allow them to be easily stored when not in use, and offer a stable and secure solution for working at height. With such reliance on this apparatus, the sector will continue to grow steadily, and as more larger companies start to invest rather than conserve, the automated handling equipment market will thrive.

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