Technavio research outlines top trends impacting materials handling battery market

Declining lithiun-ion battery prices and increasing focus on AGVs identified as key trends in global industrial battery market.

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Technavio’s latest report on the global industrial battery market for material handling equipment provides an analysis of the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2017-2021:

  • Shift in manufacturing bases
  • Declining Li-ion battery prices
  • Increasing focus toward AGVs

According to the report, the market is primarily driven by the growing need for material handling equipment in warehouses and the industrial sectors. The global industrial battery market is expected to grow steadily during the forecast period. Industrial applications such as forklifts and stackers are driving the global industrial lead-acid batteries market. Manufacturing and process industries have grown drastically in the past few years, and this will drive the global material handling equipment market and the demand for industrial batteries.

Shift in manufacturing bases

Developing countries in Latin America such as Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela are anticipated to grow at faster rates due to the favorable conditions that currently exist in Brazil, Mexico, and Canada for interesting capital investment projects. The shifting of manufacturing bases may lead to the higher use of industrial material equipment batteries in Latin America.

“The major multinational companies in the US had outsourced their manufacturing to APAC countries, due to the availability of cheap labor,” said Thanikachalam Chandrasekaran, a lead analyst at Technavio for research on energy storage. “But, with the labor wages increasing considerably in APAC, companies are relocating their manufacturing plants to countries such as Brazil and Mexico, which leads to the increase in the demand for and use of material handling equipment in the region.”

Declining Li-ion battery prices

“Li-ion batteries offer higher energy densities than lead-acid or nickel-metal hydride batteries. Having a high energy density means that the battery can store more electricity in the same size cell. This is what makes the Li-ion batteries suitable for use in electric vehicles,” adds Chandrasekaran.

Cobalt pricing is at its lowest since it hit a peak in 2007; this is one of the reasons for the reduction in Li-ion battery prices. As production increases, the economies of scale will absorb a substantial share of cell manufacturing, reducing the cost significantly. The optimization of the cost savings in all the areas of the battery’s technology is contributing to the continuous decline in Li-ion battery prices.

Increasing focus toward AGVs

Increasing popularity of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) is based on the explicit adaptability of this technology, which eliminates the hassle of adjusting physical barriers. Using an autonomous system provides benefits such as routing the decisions based on real-time feedback of environmental conditions along with the ease of navigational adjustments.

Computer aided design (CAD)-based software programs in the AGVs route all the available paths and indicate the locations where the vehicles should pick or deposit the load. The first AGVs were guided by workers until CAD systems were introduced to guide the AGVs with the aim of optimizing and selecting the best route for a load of goods that needed to be delivered or picked up.


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