Even though the financial years 2008-09 and 2009-10 were extremely tough for the MHE segment due to the global recession, the industry growth is back to figures of 15 to 20 per cent, and this is expected to sustain over the next few years. Equipment India glances at the changing trends in the industry.
There are many manufacturers of MHE in India and overseas countries, which result in the fragmented nature of the industry. Also, it is extremely difficult for a single company to manufacture and be present in the entire range of MHE, since it is very wide. There are many segments in MHE which are contributing to growth like warehousing equipment, automated MH systems, cargo handling systems, baggage handling systems, tele handlers, side loaders, etc.
Speaking about the potential for forklifts and other material handling equipment, Milind Shahane, VP – Marketing, Voltas, says, “The potential for forklifts in India is quite bright in the long term. The market size for forklifts and other material handling equipment is around Rs 2,000 crore at present, which is quite small, in comparison to the size of our economy. We expect this market to grow over the next few years with strong GDP growth for India. The boost would be given by more automation and mechanisation in handling material by the industry and infrastructure sectors. The market can be expected to double further in the next five years and present good potential for MH business.”
“The major trends noticeable in the logistics industry are to go for larger warehouses with greater vertical stacking. Further, more mechanisation and automation is taking place in the handling in the warehouses as well as entire logistics chain. These are driving more usage of more MHE by the logistics sector. The logistics sector would grow in a parallel manner with upgradation of infrastructure as well as some consolidation of the SMEs. The shift is towards larger warehouses which would need some consolidation of the smaller logistics players. However, this also needs to go concurrently with growth in the infrastructure including availability of roads, railways, ports, airports, etc,” he further adds.
Speaking about the product range, Shahane says, “Voltas was a pioneer in introducing forklifts in the Indian market; it has many first to its credit. We have a complete range of MHE including forklifts, warehousing, stackers, side loaders, tele handlers, etc. In the diesel forklifts, we offer a range of 1.5 to 40 tonnes; in electric forklifts from 1 to 4 tonnes and different sizes of stackers, power pallet trucks, reach trucks. Voltas’ MHEs are competitively placed in the market and are geared to face competition from Indian and multina tional companies in this area. We are one of the largest players in MHE in India and have a share of over 35 per cent of the Indian market.”
Recenly, Maini Materials Movement announced a strategic agreement with the world’s third largest forklift and materials handling equipment manufacturer, Nacco Material Handling Group (NHMG), USA. The partnership between the two companies will include the manufacture of specific Yale products within India, besides representing the Yale products made in overseas factories. NHMG will provide product design and engineering expertise to enable the Maini Group to build certain key Yale products in India. The soon to be introduced Yale-Maini range comprises an entire range of warehouse equipment and forklift trucks. Maini Materials Movement will in turn, utilise their knowledge of the local market, and solution expertise to introduce the new product range to customers and end-users.
“The manufacture of Yale products in India will benefit customers significantly, with the availability of European design Photo courtesy: Voltas products at competitive price points” said Sandeep Kumar Maini, Chairman, Maini Group. “The markets will experience new technologies which provide reliability, safety and significantly enhanced efficiencies.” he added.
The relationship between the two companies comes at a time when the Indian materials handling market is developing rapidly with increased demand for more complex equipment. “The current scenario provides the ideal trading environment for Yale and Maini Materials Movement to offer reliable and responsive materials handling equipment in India.” said Ralf Mock, Managing Director EMEA at Yale’s parent company NACCO Materials Handling Limited (NMHG). “NMHG will also be providing product design and engineering expertise to enable the Maini Group to build certain key Yale products in India. The first of these products is the successful three wheel RCF electric counterbalance fork-lift truck which is scheduled to roll off the Bangalore factory production line at the end of this fiscal year, March 2011.”
“Our entry into the fast growing forklift and reach truck market with a global leader, Yale, will be a game changer in the Indian market.” said S A Mohan, CEO of Maini Materials Movement.
Speaking about the trends, Shahane of Voltas says, “There are many trends in forklifts and MHE which are prevalent in the industry. The main trend is to make the machines more environment- friendly and green. This includes engines which meet the latest emission standards, shift towards LPG and CNG based machines. There is also a trend towards the usage of more electric driven/battery operated technology for various equipment which are more environment-friendly. The emphasis is also now on ergonomics and aesthetic designs.”
“The MHE manufacturers are also geared to shift towards more environmentfriendly equipment. There are many new products developed which use engines with Euro-III emission standards, more usage of gas-based machines. Further development of battery power and electric machines are also being carried out by Voltas’ MHBD which would help to provide more environment friendly equipment, “ Shahane adds.
The demand-supply scenario for Voltas’ MHE like forklifts, warehousing machines, cranes, and the like, is very positive. There is a large market potential for various equipment and the company is well placed to offer competitive products in all the areas. On a positive note Shahane sums up: “At present, the industry growth is back to 15 to 20 per cent levels and we expect this to be sustained over the next few years.”
The automated material handling equipment market is expected to be valued at USD 48.31 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 7.8% between 2017 and 2023. The growth of this market is propelled by the booming e-commerce industry, growing need for automated solutions in various industries, emphasis on workers safety, and the reduction in labor cost through advancement in robotics.