COVID-19 Impact on Warehouse Automation Market – An opportunity or Crisis


Year 2020 and COVID-19 pandemic along with lots of uncertainty has put a bigger spotlight on the use of automation in warehouses worldwide. Whether they’re adapting to new social distancing rules, under pressure to distribute a higher volume of essential goods, struggling to meet same day delivery or trying to add more remote work capabilities. Our post-pandemic version is having a detailed market analysis of more than 650+ players (part of our exclusive Market Map), 10 solutions, 7 industries and 30 countries along with 440 pages, 355 Market Tables, 210 Exhibits and 110 Company Profiles. Analysis is validated through 100+ in-depth interviews across the value chain with components and technology providers, system integrators & manufacturers and end-user industry verticals.

Despite of the temporary reduction in retail and e-commerce caused by lockdown and economic distress in this pandemic, we have seen a strong order intake of warehouse automation in 2020 which may reflect in revenues of these system integrators and manufacturers in 2021 or 2022. At the same time, a revenue dip of 6% is expected in 2020 as compared to our pre-pandemic forecast of 12% growth because projects were put on hold due to supply chain disruption and covid-19 locked down guidelines. It has also increased the order backlog at a record level for warehouse automation players.

As per our post-pandemic market research and analysis, warehouse automation market is expected to touch the mark of $30B by 2026, at a CAGR of almost 14% between 2020 and 2026. The growth of this market can be attributed to the growth in the e-commerce industry, multichannel distribution channels, globalization of supply chain networks, emergence of autonomous mobile robots and rising need for same day delivery. The boom in e-commerce is compounding the major labour challenges faced by the $5T global logistics industry. Not only are shipment volumes growing rapidly, but online retail also typically requires more logistical work per item than brick & mortar retail. Indeed, online purchases require individual picking packing and shipping, as opposed to the bulk transportation models of traditional brick & mortar retail.

Post COVID-19, most important and emerging trends have been eGrocery growth, Micro-Fulfillment Centers, Urban Warehouses and automated cold storages. Huge investment for start-ups like Takeoff technologies ($86M+), Fabric ($136M+), Attabotics ($82M+), Exotec Solutions ($111M+) and Alert Innovation are witnessing this growth along with presence of existing players like Dematic, Swisslog, Knapp, Opex Corporation, Muratec, AutoStore, Honeywell Intelligrated and Toyota Industries. Retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, Woolworth, Amazon, Ocado, Meijer, H-E-B, Albertsons, and Ahold Delhaize have already started adopting and implementing these new technologies during pandemic. Apart this, piece picking players like Berkshire Grey, Righthand Robotics, Kindred AI, Covariant, OSARO, Plus One Robotics, XYZ Robotics have established a new attractive capability for order picking in ecommerce fulfillment.

Analytical Insights

•Among all regions, US has been the key region to target having more than $4B market size in 2019 with a growth rate of 12% in next 5 years. Germany is the traditional hub in Europe apart having ~35% market share in the region apart from some attractive markets like UK, Nordic region and France. It is expected that next wave of opportunity is going to be originated from South East Asia, India & Australia which are the key market in APAC after China, Japan and South Korea. This group (SEA) of 10 countries is leading the adoption of robotics automation to match the GDP growth of around 5% but pandemic has put down this growth in short term.

•AGV/AMR market is expected to cross $5B mark by 2026 with a CAGR of ~32%. AMR (without any external support of optical tape, sensor or vision) is going to be main contributor in retail warehouses due to high demand in e-commerce sector and its flexibility to deploy the robot without any major change in the existing warehouse infrastructure. However, it is a bit slow in terms of pick rate per hour as compared to ASRS but is preferred in small and medium warehouses due to lower cost and quick deployment. It is expected that AGVs/AMRs are going to have more than 18% market share by 2026 in overall warehouse automation market led by AMR players like Geek+, Grey Orange, HikRobot, Locus Robotics, Fetch Robotics, Shopify (6 River Systems), Teradyne (MiR, AutoGuide Mobile Robots), Quicktron etc.

•The Grocery industry is one of the most challenging and attractive industries from a logistics perspective. Grocery distributors ship high cubic volumes of merchandise to retail stores with frequent deliveries to ensure product freshness. Grocery distribution center operations are amongst the most labour intensive of any industry. Higher automation driven by online grocery, micro-fulfillment centers and COVID-19 is going to be biggest opportunity in next 2-3 years led by cube ASRS, Delivery Robots and Micro-Fulfillment players such as AutoStore, Takeoff Technologies, Exotec, Fabric, Attabotics, Dematic, Nuro, Tele Retail, KiwiBot, Robby Technologies, and Starship It will witness an opportunity worth ~$5B by 2026 with ~18% growth rate. Kroger has already partnered with Ocado to bring its stores and supply chain to deliver best-in-class service to its customers. The first phase of the plan involves building 20 automated customer fulfillment centers across the United States to modernize and streamline operations.

Key Players: Dematic, DAIFUKU, Honeywell Intelligrated, Murata Machinery, FIVES, Raymond, Conveyco, Savoye, Witron, Beumer Group, Swisslog, TGW, Interlake Mecalux, Knapp, OPEX Corporation, Inther, Westfalia, IHI, Vanderlande, MHS, Bastian Solutions, SIASUN, Kuecker, Lodige, Kardex, HANEL, Jungheinrich, Dambach, PSB Intralogistics, Korber, Geek+, Quicktron, HikRobots and 6 River Systems

https://www.thelogisticsiq.com/research/warehouse-automation-market/



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