Organizations of all sizes are moving toward a digital supply chain, which is rapidly becoming the predominant distribution model, a shift accelerated by COVID-19, according to an industry report released by the Industrial Technology investment banking team from BGL. Supply chain and customer procurement trends, including eCommerce, have been fast-tracked in the pandemic, highlighting the need for participants in the industrial marketplace to consider an expanded use of digital technologies to remain competitive in response to unprecedented market changes.

BGL examined trends driving growth in Warehouse Automation, a $14 billion market that is projected to reach $30 billion by 2026, representing 14% compounded annual growth. The report documents a favorable outlook, citing technology innovation which is enhancing the capability, integration, and performance of supply chain automation solutions and making them increasingly more cost-efficient.

Consolidation of material handling equipment providers is increasing as traditional players see acquisition of technology leaders as an increasingly attractive way to enhance competitive positioning in response to changing market trends. Acquisitions by KION (Dematic), KUKA (Swisslog), Toyota (Vanderlande, Bastian Solutions), Hitachi (JR Automation), Honeywell (Intelligrated, Transnorm), Korber (Cohesio Group), and Teradyne (MiR, Energid, AutoGuide Mobile Robots) are some of the recent examples of this consolidation.