Material Handling Industry Outlook for 2020

The material handling industry keeps growing, as we move into 2020, the leading economists project growth of approximately $32 billion in new orders.[6] As we step into the next decade, our industry needs to accommodate and pursue the constantly changing needs of consumers. The material handling industry holds a critical role in the daily life of people, from receiving packages to buying groceries. We as an industry must research, develop and implement new products that complement the growing demands of consumers.


As we step into 2020, 60% of companies reported plans to invest more than $1 million in new technology before 2021.[3] The demand for automated solutions is high given the fact that today’s consumers desire to receive their orders faster and at the lowest price possible.  Automation remains the bedrock for flexible supply chains and manufacturing systems.[1]

At Hytrol we manufacture conveying equipment for a variety of industries such as distribution & fulfillment, e-commerce, parcel, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, along with several others.  As we project into the future, Hytrol’s goal is to make our conveyors more intelligent.  With the launch of our Intelligent Solutions Group, we are focused on making our conveyors smarter, faster to install, easier to operate and simple to maintain.  This involves the merging of software, controls, and IIoT functionality for maximum equipment performance.  


In 2019, the material handling industry made up more than 30% of employment in the United States and impacted nearly 1.6 million jobs.[2] However, the industry is facing a qualified worker shortage and higher turnover rates. We must begin to provide resources for professional development, by creating mentorships and educational programs for employees. [1] Recruitment in our industry is highly competitive and we need to readjust and develop new ways of recruiting that attract the youngest generation of workers to our industry. 

Hytrol has already made investments in our recruiting method. We launched an Academic Partnership Initiative that works with regional trade schools, colleges and universities to develop and promote education in both manufacturing and industrial automation work environments with the goal of increasing the talent pool.


 The e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid pace. To excel in this new age of online shopping, we as a material handling company need to provide ways that get consumers’ products to them in an efficient manner. By creating customized equipment and systems for smart warehouses that provide real-time visibility and better consumer experiences, we can increase customer satisfaction.[4]

With the rise of e-commerce, warehouses and storage units are expected to grow as well. This section of our industry relies on material handling equipment and technology, to serve customers in a quick and systematic manner.[5] Parcel is another industry on the rise as it goes collectively with ecommerce. Parcel facilities are announcing expansions and businesses will create new “superhubs,” that support faster processing. Our industry must work together to create new products that meet the demands of e-commerce, parcel, warehouses and the average consumer.

At Hytrol we produce conveying equipment and warehouse controls systems for some of the largest ecommerce companies in the world.

Going Digital

Big data, real-time shipment tracking and digital marketing are becoming key players in our industry. [1] By using big data, we can better understand our customers and their purchasing habits. In doing so, we can create targeted campaigns to attract potential and returning customers.

Digital marketing is becoming a crucial component in this era of digital media. Being able to market online allows us as an industry to reach a greater volume of people than previous marketing tactics. Creating a comprehensive and continuous digital marketing campaign allows companies to promote and brand their business to those who otherwise would be unaware.

Hytrol has utilized the resources pulled from big data to create integrated marketing campaigns that interact with multiple platforms. Creating print advertisements, working with Google Analytics, resourcing the advantages of social media and writing press releases, are just a few of the ways Hytrol establishes multiple touchpoints with consumers.


  1. Material Handling Business Trends, MHEDA (
  2. Handling the US Economy: The Economic Impact of the Material Handling Industry, MHI (
  3. Material handling industry embraces technology, Today’s Motor Vehicles (
  5. 4 Trends That Are Revolutionizing the Material Handling Industry, Industry Tap (
  6. Material Handling Equipment Distributors in the US Market Size 2002–2025, IBISWorld (

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