ARC Advisory Group began conducting formalized research on the global warehouse automation market in 2014. Looking back, I estimated the market in 2013 at $6.4 billion globally, and I forecast it to grow to $9.9 billion in 2019. Well, how often do you hear industry analysts say they underestimated a market’s growth rate? Well, I am saying it. I underestimated the growth by $2 billion. Fast forward 5 years, and ARC’s 2019 base-year study estimated the market at $11.9 billion. In my own defense, things kind of took off after 2014. I picked a good time to cover what is now well-known to be a hot market.
ARC defines the warehouse automation market according to a number of qualifications and dimensions to deliver a well-defined measure, with numerous segmentations, allowing those that purchase the research to understand what is being measured, and to easily extrapolate the findings to support their strategic planning needs. We define the market as those warehouse automation providers responsible for delivery of the system to the end-user (to eliminate double-counting). Also, warehouse automation excludes similar systems such as airport baggage handling, manufacturing-line automation, and manually driven forklifts. The process involves an analysis of large amounts of information and interviews with executives from numerous warehouse automation providers; and concludes with the publication of ARC’s Warehouse Automation & Control Market Research Study. I will soon be publishing the 2021 base-year study with a five-year forecast through 2026. Contact us for more information. Here are the top 20 warehouse automation suppliers across the globe, according to ARC’s estimates of 2021 revenues, followed below by a description of each company listed:
DEMATIC was the world’s largest warehouse automation provider in 2021, according to ARC’s analysis. KION acquired Dematic and Egemin Automation in 2016, forming KION Supply Chain Solutions that operates under the Dematic brand. Dematic has over 11,000 employees and 8,000 customer installations worldwide. KION is a publicly-traded company and reports on the Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) segment. In 2021, the SCS segment revenues grew an impressive 44.5 percent from 2,627 million to 3,796 million EUR. This growth was primarily attributed to the long-term project business, and regionally to North America and western Europe. Dematic offers a full-range of warehouse automation solutions and subsystems including pallet load AS/RS, mini-load, shuttle systems, AutoStore consulting and implementation, high-speed conveyor and sortation, pocket sorters, palletizing and depalletizing, AGVs, and the Dematic IQ software portfolio.
VANDERLANDE was the world’s second largest warehouse automation provider in 2021, according to ARC’s analysis. Vanderlande is a member of Toyota Industries Corporation within the Toyota Advanced Logistics Group. Vanderlande targets two high-level markets within the broader warehouse automation market – parcel and warehousing. The company has a long history and a strong presence in parcel center automation, including sites for major providers such as DHL, UPS, FedEx, TNT, Australia Post, and others. To address the needs of its customers, Vanderlande offers a broad-range of subsystems and warehouse automation solutions. According to the company’s fiscal year 2022 commercial report, ““Vanderlande achieved another strong year of growth in FY2022 despite a challenging market environment… While Vanderlande’s Airports business remained affected by the unprecedented market conditions, Parcel and in particular Warehousing continued to grow in line with the resulting e-commerce boom.”
KNAPP was the world’s third largest warehouse automation provider in 2021, according to ARC’s analysis. KNAPP AG is a privately-held company with over 3,000 employees. KNAPP offers integrated warehouse systems and logistics software solutions. The company is generally well-established in markets that demand automation solutions for small-item, high-variability fulfillment operations, and a leading supplier of shuttle systems. KNAPP states that over 250 of its shuttle systems and more than 25,000 shuttle units have been deployed since its market release. A couple of KNAPP’s prominent, publicly-stated projects include Walmart’s recently opened next-generation fulfillment center in Joliet, IL and Zalando’s recently commissioned 140,000 m2 distribution center. “2021 was an eventful and successful year for KNAPP,” according to Roman Schnabl, VP of Product Management, “Given the challenging times we are currently experiencing, we are both humbled and grateful for the successes we achieved together with our business partners. 2021 was also the year of new technologies. Never before have we launched so many innovations for all parts of the value chain.”
SSI SCHAEFER was the world’s fourth largest warehouse automation provider in 2021, according to ARC’s analysis. SSI Schaefer is a privately-held company that offers a broad range of warehouse automation systems, enabling it to offer end-to-end automation solutions. These capabilities, in conjunction with its scale, make SSI Schaefer one of the suppliers most capable of taking on large-scale integrated, multi-year warehouse automation projects. A few years ago, SSI Schaefer developed a large scale omni-channel fulfillment center for Suning in China. This system includes a miniload with 338,400 storage locations and an automated high-bay warehouse with 10,608 pallet storage locations. Recently, SSI Schaefer has experienced increased customer demand for robotic solutions. According to Florian Schneebauer, Head of Product Management – Software, “We are experiencing a fast-growing volume of medium to large customer projects with extensive use of robotics technologies. This validates our strategy and intensive standardization activities in the field of fully automated case picking and piece picking solutions as full-service provider.”
INTELLIGRATED was the world’s fifth largest warehouse automation provider in 2021, according to ARC’s analysis. Intelligrated is a business unit of the Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) segment of Honeywell. As a publicly-traded company, Honeywell reports its financial results on a regular basis. The company stated that Intelligrated experienced growth of approximately 50 percent in 2021 but expects 2022 sales to be roughly flat. Intelligrated has a long history and a large installed based on conveyor and high-speed sortation systems. The company’s broad portfolio of high-performance sortation systems and ability to scale has enabled the company to obtain substantial business in parcel sortation centers and other large-scale warehouse automation projects. One of Intelligrated’ s prominent, publicly-stated projects is an Amazon fulfillment center in Alberta, Canada with over 4,800 linear meters of conveyor.
DAIFUKU is a publicly traded company with over 12,000 employees. The company’s primary business is the design, manufacture, and installation, and service of material handling equipment and logistics systems. Daifuku provides material handling equipment to warehouse environments and to environments external to warehousing (manufacturing lines, semiconductor clean rooms, airport baggage handling). In 2013, Daifuku acquired Wynright, a US-based provider of warehouse automation and material handling systems. The company is vertically integrated, offering numerous internally developed subsystems, handling load sizes from small to pallet, allowing it to serve as a general contractor for large-scale warehouse automation projects, such as the recent one for Coca- Cola Bottlers Japan.
WITRON is a privately-held company with approximately 5,100 employees. Witron is especially strong in the development of large-scale, highly automation warehouses for customers in the food and beverage value chain, including manufacturers, distributors, and grocers. A couple of recent projects include METRO’s selection of Witron for a facility in the greater Montreal area and a contract with Migros’ distribution company Neuendorf AG (MVN AG). However, Witron also conducts business outside of food and beverage, such as the development of a global distribution center for Pepperl+Fuchs in Singapore.
MHS GLOBAL (Material Handling Systems) is a privately-held company backed by private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners. MHS Global has grown rapidly over the last few years, partially due to a string of acquisitions including that of Atronix in 2017; VanRiet, A2i, and OCM in 2018; and eMotion Controls in 2020. MHS has a strong presence in parcel facilities including projects for UPS, FedEx Ground, Amazon, and Walmart. In 2022, it was announced that MHS and Fortna will combine to form a multi-billion dollar company.
TGW LOGISTICS is a privately-held (foundation-owned) company with more than 4,000 employees. TGW is especially well-established in the EMEA region. From an industry perspective, the company is focused on fashion and apparel, grocery, and industrial and consumer goods. TGW’s has many prominent customer projects including a 1,700,000 square foot Levi Strauss logistics hub in Europe, a new logistics center in France for DIY provider Leroy Merlin, and a new distribution center for Urban Outfitters.
SWISSLOG is a business and reportable segment of the KUKA Group. Swisslog has a long history of providing pallet-load AS/RS to automated warehouses and has expanded its offering greatly over the years. Today Swisslog is a top distributor and implementation provider of AutoStore solutions. The company provides additional systems is its range of goods-to-person solutions, including the PowerStore pallet shuttle, the CycloneCarrier, and the CarryPick AGV. A couple of Swisslog’s recent, publicly-stated client projects include a US facility for The Giant Company (Ahold Delhaize) and a facility in Malaysia for IKEA.
BASTIAN SOLUTIONS is a member of Toyota Industries Corporation within the Toyota Advanced Logistics Group. Bastian Solutions began and grew from its roots in the Mid-Western US to an international company. Its solutions include internally developed systems and a wide-array of third-party systems to bet meet customer needs. Bastian has rapidly grown to become a leading AutoStore distribution and implementation partner. Some of Bastian’s notable client projects include a Puma facility in California with an AutoStore grid that can hold 305,000 bins and a Dafiti Group facility in Brazil that includes a large AutoStore installation, Interroll conveyor, and Bastian Solutions’ Exacta software. According to Greg Conner, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Development at Bastian, ““2021 was a record year for Bastian Solutions with revenues growing significantly. Robotics and automation are key innovations for the future of supply chain.”
SYMBOTIC is a warehouse automation provider with stock that recently went public. The company’s systems are primarily focused on case handling – the breakdown of pallets to cases, cases to a buffering structure, and case assembly into pallets. The system utilizes depalletizing robots, a scan tunnel, a high-density buffering storage area, a collection of lifts, a fleet of autonomous mobile goods handling robots, and palletizing robots. These subsystems are supported by a proprietary software application. Symbotic’s revenue grew from $92 million in the fiscal year ending in September 2020 to $252 million in the year ending September 2021.
KORBER is a privately-held (foundation-owned) company. The Korber Supply Chain business includes warehouse automation subsidiaries Körber Supply Chain Software (formerly inconso GmbH), Körber Supply Chain Automation GmbH (formerly Aberle), and the formerly-named Consoveyo. Korber Supply Chain Software provides a warehouse control system that has been implemented and utilized at numerous automated warehouses. Korber Supply Chain Automation Gmbh is a systems integrator and general contractor of projects for automated intralogistics systems. The former Consoveyo is a system integrator for warehouse automation projects and a supplier of automated conveyor and storage systems.
MURATA MACHINERY is a privately-held industrial manufacturing and services company. The logistics and automation business includes CIMCORP of Finland and AGVE of Sweden. Murata Machinery provides a range of warehouse automation systems including traditional AS/RS, shuttle systems, conveyors and sortation, warehouse transporters (AGVs) and more. CIMCORP is known for its gantry system for tire handling, while AGVE is a well-established provider of AGVs.
FORTNA is a privately-held company backed by private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners. Fortna’s framework includes consulting, design, planning, sourcing, implementation, and lifecycle services. The company sources subsystem mechatronics from numerous manufacturers, depending upon client needs. Fortna serves as a general contractor responsible for project realization, subsystem interoperability, and overall facility optimization. Fortna has many Fortune 500 companies as its clients. In 2022, it was announced that Fortna and MHS Global will combine to form a multi-billion dollar company.
FIVES is a privately-held industrial engineering group that designs and manufactures machines, process equipment and production lines. The Smart Automation Solutions business of Fives designs, manufactures and installs high-speed sorting systems and high added value handling and automation solutions for the e-commerce, distribution and general industry sectors. Fives obtains a large percentage of its warehouse automation business from parcel and other logistics providers such as DHL, Austrian Post, and La Poste Group.
SYSTEM LOGISTICS is a member of the Krones Group. System Logistics’ intralogistics business has a special focus on the food and beverage and grocery industries. The company is vertically integrated, with most of the technologies it deploys being engineered, produced, and installed by System Logistics. Some of System Logistics prominent project include Coca-Cola Iberian, Coca-Cola HBC, Constellation Brands in Mexico, and Toscano Supermercati in Italy.
SAVOYE is a subsidiary of Noblelift Intelligent Equipment. Savoye has over 800 employees globally and offers a suite of warehouse automation and software solutions. Prior to being acquired by Noblelift, Savoye was a subsidiary of Groupe Legris. Savoye’s historical product offeris included the Intellis, Prodex, and a-SIS product lines. More recently, the X-PTS shuttle system has experienced high levels of market demand. Some of Savoye’s prominent client projects include the micro-fulfillment center for Coop Liguria, a BELISOFT Logistics distribution center, and a multi-phase modernization for Bigben Interactive. According to Nicolas Guillot, Head of Marketing & Communications, “In 2021, SAVOYE experienced a strong growth driven by the acceleration of our business in North America (in particular in the food processing and courier, express, and parcel industries) and our continuous development in the EMEA region, boosted by our new affiliates (Italy, Benelux, United Arab Emirates).”
GEBHARDT is a family-run company, consisting of Gebhardt Fördertechnik, Gebhardt Systems, and other regional subsidiaries. Gebhardt’s shuttle system, the OLS Shuttle, is deployed in client sites directly by Gebhardt and through resellers in third-party projects. Gebhardt also develops its Storebiter load handling devices (hybrid shuttle/AGV), pallet AS/RS systems, and a suite of warehouse software. Some of Gebhardt’s notable clients include Miele, Avnet Logistics, and Jäger Direkt.
KARDEX MLOG is a division of the publicly-held company Kardex Holding. Kardex Mlog is mostly limited to Europe region, providing integrated material handling systems and automated high bay warehouses. Kardex Mlog is a reportable segment of Kardex Holding, and therefore publishes the division’s revenues. In 2021, Kardex Mlog reported revenues of 89 million euros. Some of the company’s notable customers include Eisbär Eis, Fresenius Kabi, and Brauns-Heitmann.
ARC’s research study on the global warehouse automation market employs a comprehensive, bottom-up approach toward sizing the global market and segmenting it across numerous dimensions. The study also includes a five-year forecast for the market and each of the segments, supported by description of the relevant factors contributing to growth and inhibiting it. For more information, existing clients should contact their account manager. Other interested parties, please contact us here https://www.arcweb.com/about/contact-us or contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.