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Material Handling Insights

Jul 30, 2020 4:03:41 PM // 5 min read

Emerging Material Handling Industry Trends You Need to Know

By Marcus Turner
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material handling industry trends

During the next decade and beyond, material handling businesses can expect to see a significant shift in how their operations are run and how they do business with partners and suppliers. Read on to discover the material handling industry trends that are transforming business practices.

2020 has had a significant impact on many businesses’ operations. However, change is inevitable, and the material handling industry is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

From identifying new ways of working with partners and suppliers, to expansion in the e-commerce sector, and the possibilities of big data and electric vehicles to drive operational efficiencies, there are plenty of material handling industry trends emerging that you need to be aware of.

Read on to find out more about the upcoming material handling industry trends, and discover how they can benefit your business and operation.

Businesses establishing new ways of working with partners

In recent times, at TCM, our dealer network has adapted to help our customers establish new ways of working with their partners. Our consultative approach has ultimately helped businesses achieve greater value from their suppliers.

'Don't just consider what you need today. Make sure your business is future-proofed for tomorrow, too.' - TCM Dealer Network


With many businesses looking to save money and reduce costs in the
current climate, assessing your relationship with suppliers is a good place to start. If you can negotiate a better deal with suppliers now, this can pay dividends in the future.

E-commerce sector continues to expand

Another material handling industry trend is the growth of e-commerce and the impact this is having on businesses’ operations, as more and more companies choose to invest in this area. And it’s easy to see why, as the popularity and convenience of online shopping is unlikely to go away any time soon.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in Great Britain, ‘The proportion spent online soared to the highest proportion on record in May 2020 at 33.4%’ in light of the recent pandemic.

If your business has started investing more heavily in e-commerce, you’ll likely need to reassess your warehouse infrastructure and processes to accommodate the change. For example, do you need to hire more operators or adapt shift patterns? 

Whether you need advice on choosing the right forklifts to support increasing demand, or help implementing a new racking solution, our dealer network is on hand and happy to help.

To speak with your local dealer about how you can accommodate and support the increasing demand for e-commerce related activities in your operation, click here.

Big data enhancing fleet management

Another emerging trend in the material handling industry is the impact of big data on fleet management

By harnessing the results of big data, businesses can glean powerful insights to enhance their fleet management, improve efficiency and productivity, and ultimately reduce costs.

More specifically, material handling businesses can utilise advancements in big data to streamline maintenance and repair scheduling, improve fuel management, and influence driver behaviour and training. 

A key example of this is predictive analytics, which can help businesses to identify operational and performance issues before they become a burden or an obstacle, reducing downtime and improving overall productivity in your organisation.

Related Read: How Fleet Management Analytics Are Transforming the Material Handling Industry

Electric vehicles reducing fuel costs

Electric vehicles are also on the uptake, and the same rule applies to electric forklifts, which are increasingly helping businesses to reduce the total cost of ownership and streamline their operations.

The benefits of introducing electric forklifts in your operation include:

- Reduced fuel costs

- Less need for maintenance (and therefore reduced maintenance costs)

- Reduced noise levels, contributing to a happier working environment

- No harmful CO2 emissions, creating a healthier work environment for operators

- Lowers your business’ carbon footprint, improving your green credentials

  • Reduced fuel costs
  • Less need for maintenance (and therefore reduced maintenance costs)
  • Reduced noise levels, contributing to a happier working environment
  • No harmful CO2 emissions, creating a healthier work environment for operators
  • Lowers your business’ carbon footprint, improving your green credentials

While there’s still plenty of time to assess your current operation and create a roadmap for the future on how your business will switch to a fully electric fleet by 2035, the prospect can feel overwhelming.

At TCM, we’re dedicated to helping you plan for a more cost-effective and sustainable future through our trusted dealer network.

To find out how your business can start planning and preparing for an electrified future, download our free Electrification Readiness Checklist to get started today.

Download the TCM Electrification Readiness Checklist Today

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