The logisticians in the packaging market have achieved the turnaround. After ten years, the losses in turnover have been made up. The focus is on the future.
The area of intralogistics and packaging logistics includes storage and shelving systems as well as the necessary accessories, identification, coding and goods security systems, conveyor systems, picking, sorting and loading systems, the necessary control software for this, and finally communication, navigation and goods tracking systems. In 2013, the production volume of the German materials handling and intralogistics industry amounted to around EUR 18.6 billion. For 2018 the VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association forecasts EUR 21.9 billion, which means an increase of 17.7 percent within five years. As positive as this growth may be, after now ten years it has merely ended a crisis that began in 2008. After all, the production volume level of 2007 was exceeded again for the first time in 2017.
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The driving force behind the development is once again Industry 4.0. According to the VDMA Association more and more companies are investing in networked technologies for their production and the associated logistics. As early as 2017, Dr. Klaus-Dieter Rosenbach, Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Association for Materials Handling and Intralogistics, stated: “We are experiencing a change in material flow and supply chains as a result of growing online trading and increasingly networked production. These changes can only be mapped and shaped by intelligent intralogistics”.
The VDMA Association states that developments in the individual product segments varied in 2017. Manufacturers of industrial trucks and series hoists recorded double-digit growth rates. The positive economic development was also reflected in the number of employees; in 2017 the workforce in the German intralogistics companies grew to an estimated 123,500 employees. After a decline in exports in 2016, manufacturers again recorded significant growth of 8 percent to an export volume of EUR 14.8 billion in 2017. With EUR 1.3 billion, the USA was the most important buyer of German intralogistics solutions, followed by France with EUR one billion and the Netherlands with EUR 702 million.