Material Handling is a growing field seeing an increase in demand for qualified professionals. One of the lasting effects of the pandemic was a new focus on supply chains and an immediate increase in demand for positions in the material handling industry.

With the ongoing talent shortage, it’s a critical time for companies to understand how the industry is growing and trends resulting from this demand.

Reasons for the Increase in Demand

Apart from the uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic, favorable government initiatives support new infrastructure development worldwide, creating growth opportunities in the market for material handling equipment over the forecast period.

Economies such as India, China, and Southeast Asia are attracting foreign investments promoting infrastructure and industrial development, subsequently creating avenues for growth. Public infrastructure development includes airports, rail networks, seaports and power plants, and others. All these activities may favor the adoption of material handling equipment in upcoming years.

Although the demand for industrial applications witnessed a minor setback in 2020, unprecedented growth in the e-commerce sector helped upkeep market growth through the pandemic. Healthy need for delivery and distribution of grocery items amidst the lockdown came as a respite for market growth. In addition to the OEMs, the pandemic has driven several supply-chain firms to explore tools that aid in making informed decisions with AI implementation to analyze large amounts of data they generate periodically.

The Demand Has Been Increasing for Years

The pressing demand in the material handling industry has not come without warning. Experts have noticed the trend since 2019. At that time, they predicted that 2021 would see 3.5 million material handling job openings worldwide. Additionally, the same data showed that from 2015 to the beginning of 2019, unfilled material handling industry jobs increased by over 50%.

  • Predictions for 2022

The global material handling equipment market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4% from 2021 to 2028 to reach USD 44.5 billion by 2028.

Roles With the Largest Demand

While all roles in the material handling industry are in high demand, some face higher demand than others. Specifically, the shortages are most significant for highly skilled technical staff.

There are many opportunities within material handling systems, manufacturers, systems integrators and automation, and material handling equipment manufacturers, dealers, and distributors. The talented professionals working in this field understand what it takes to bring value and productivity. And they enjoy the rewards for their challenging work.

Some of the fastest-growing areas include:

  • Material Handling Systems Manufacturers

  • Material Handling Systems Integrators

  • Material Handling Equipment Manufacturers, Dealer, and Distributors

What This Means for Candidates and Recruiters

This high demand is excellent news for candidates in the material handling industry. It means that they are likely to find a role with a great salary, especially if they have advanced technical skills.

On the other side, recruiters and companies must develop strategies for attracting top talent in material handling, such as employee branding and generous compensation packages. Whichever side you are part of, make sure to be prepared for this trend.


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Material Handling